Charles Dickens Research Paper

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Just Your Average English Man Charles Dickens was a writer who used every opportunity to inject his works with realism and social criticism. Of the topics he chose to emphasize, poverty was the most abundantly used. Due to this, Dickens’ is revered as an influential social worker of his time, because his works shed light on the conditions of the poor in England during the Victorian era. These conditions are highlighted in a number of his well-known, including Great Expectations, Bleak House, A Christmas Carol, Hard Times and distinctly in Oliver Twist. His focus on the matter stemmed from his empathy towards the suffering of the poor, mainly poor children, because he too had experienced the injustices of poverty. The majority of this influence…show more content…
John paid for commodities through the many loans he acquired. However, when Charles was twelve, those debts had caught up with his family. John was arrested and sent to a debtor’s prison in 1924. All of the family, except the oldest son (Charles), lived in the prison with him. Therefore, Charles was forced to help support his family by striving to gather enough money to repay his father’s debts. The boy found a job labeling pots at a relative’s shoe polish factory. There he worked unfavorable hours in atrocious conditions for measly pay. The “unfavorable hours” were an estimated twelve hours a day for only six shillings a week. When he was not working, he could be found strolling through the streets of London’s poor neighborhoods (Cooper 2). His father was finally released after receiving an inheritance from a relative that could repay his debts. These experiences in his childhood never left Charles Dickens’ memory, and stayed with him even when he had climbed out of poverty. To climb this tall ditch of poverty, Dickens needed resilience unlike his parents to succeed. He knew he needed to start with finishing his education. After his family was free from debtor’s prison, he returned to school. There he studied to become a law clerk. After working as a law clerk, he became a reporter. As a reporter he learned to take exceptionally fast shorthand and became his editor’s most trusted writer (Cooper…show more content…
Also known as the New Poor Laws, they were designed to reduce the cost of looking after the poor by reducing the amount of money the poor received. With this law, people needing help had to turn to the workhouse, which was always a last resort. Charles Dickens despised these laws which cut the benefits given to the poor. The repercussions of the New Poor Laws can be seen throughout Oliver Twist. Several examples of the social injustices, caused by the Laws, are found in the novel and could be considered his direct assault on them (Richardson 6). The major cases present within Oliver Twist include highlighting inadequate food and child labor. Perhaps the most famous example of inadequate food is shown when Oliver asks, “Please sir, I want some more” (Dickens 15). Oliver has been slowly starving to death during his three months at the workhouse. In fact, it was the intention of the board members to starve the impoverished. They established an ultimatum for the poor to choose between death by starving slowly within the workhouse or quickly outside (Dickens 13-15). Ultimately, this allowed them to keep a larger portion of the grant money given to them by the government, since they were spending less on food for each individual and had fewer people in the

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