Oliver Twist And Hedda Gabler: Commentary On The Social Conditions Of That Time


Oliver Twist and Hedda Gabler: Commentary on the Social Conditions of that
Both Charles Dickens and Henrik Ibsen, writing at the onset of the
Industrial Revolution, made their literary work a commentary on the social
conditions of the time. Their work illustrates the conditions of life at
the time and their characters portray ,if a bit idealized, the nature of
people back then. The characters in their work contain destructive natures
that may be the result of the their surroundings. As always the nature of
these destructive characters, they remain hidden to everybody else in the
story or play except to the reader. They beguile the others in their
surroundings, making themselves appear ...

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that they associate with that they reveal their mind to. But
those that know are of a like mind to them. "Birds of a feather flock
together", it has been said. It has certainly been true to the characters
in Ibsen's and Dickens' work.
In Oliver Twist, Fagin and his gang are of like qualities, all
being thieves and gangsters, with whom poor Oliver unwittingly falls in
with. Oliver, being a kind and innocent soul, is beguiled by Fagin and his
boys into joining them for time. He uses double talk to keep his true
motives from others.

"You'd like to be able to make pocket-handkerchiefs as easy as Charley
Bates, wouldn't you, my dear" (p. 36, Oliver Twist)

He means that he will try to make Oliver steal like his other boys. But
Oliver, being the simple innocent, does not really get in on the joke.

" He is so jolly green!" (p. 36)

This remark by Charley Bates, showing Oliver's purity, further shows us
that Fagin is willing to corrupt an innocent soul for the sake ...

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actions. As in Fagin's assent to let Sikes
use Oliver in his schemes has proved, self-interest is always the
underlying motive. When Fagin lets Sikes get the boy for his purposes, we
find out that he only does so to get Oliver in trouble with the law so that
Monks' directives to Fagin will get fulfilled and Fagin collects a lot of
money, and so does Monks, who it turns out is Oliver's half-brother who
gets all the inheritance if Oliver is disgraced in the eyes of the law.
Fagin, Sikes, Monks, all have this underlying quality of greed and self-
interest which draws them all together. Even Noah Claypole, while not
corrupted yet, is drawn in to Fagin's group because of his ...

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Added: 2/16/2008 08:07:37 AM
Category: Book Reports
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2315
Pages: 9

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