The Industrial Revolution, Charles Dickens and Oliver Twist

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The Industrial Revolution, Charles Dickens and Oliver Twist

• Who - He is one of the greatest English novelists.He was a comic writer who used irony to ridicule people’s hypocrisy and to describe thecruelty and injustice he saw in contemporary society• What - He wrote a series of great works, giving a vivid picture of life in early 19th century England• Why - He had an unhappy childhood because he had to leave school and work when he was very young (hisfather was sent to prison for debt). This experience made him unhappy but gave him a knowledge andsympathy for working-class life.• How – through the ilterary form of the novel he gave a detailed analysis of real situation, reflecting the social and moral problems caused by the industrial revolution.Where - his novels are generally set in the new industrial cities, which are described in a very realistic way.

•What – it was a period of great changes in agriculture,manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology, which had a deep effect on the socioeconomic and cultural conditions of the time.•When – from the 18th to the 19th century•Where – it began in the United Kingdom, then subsequently spread throughout Europe, North America, and the world.•Consequences – the industrial revolution had a lot of effects on English society: the steam engine produced goods more cheaply than the traditional handworkers who had to move from the country to the new industrial cities and work in factories there. But the conditions in the cities were terrible: smoke from the factories, bad housing, no sanitation, and long working hours for little or no salary. The workers lived in SHALLOWS, where moral and social evils of alcoholism, prostitution and criminality involved men, women and children. Above all children and women worked in factories where the introduction of machinery made useless the muscular strength.

Charles Dickens

The Industrial Revolution, Charles Dickens and Oliver Twist

The Industrial Revolution

Oliver Twist

• What – Oliver Twist is a sentimental novel about the social problems of the time: the poverty of the masses, the horrors of the slums, the bad school and medical assistance. It is the the story of an orphan and his adventures in the industrial London of the second half of the 18th century. Through all his story Oliver is accompanied by bad people. He grows up in a workhouse and runs away to London. There he is adopted by a gang of criminals, who force him to help them in their crimes. One of the gang, Nancy, saves him and a kind gentleman gives him a new opportunity in life.• Where – the setting is the London suburbs. • Why – he wanted to describe the great poorness and the bad conditions in which the working‐class was forced to live by the factory owners.• Who – Oliver Twist becomes the symbol of the weak and the poor people, all victims of industrialization.

• Victorian writers did not like the bad effects of industrial revolution, so they decided to become spokesmen of this age.• They chose the novel to describe in a very realistic way the social and moral problems of the period.

Victorian novelists



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