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Reports & Essays: Biography - Literary Authors

"AND""OR"

Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens, a nineteenth century writer, tells a story about a young boy in England and the adventures that happen to him. In reading the book the reader becomes entwined in the plot by Dickens^s expert writing and style. Using different scenes and scenarios, Dickens displays his characters' personality in a way the few other writers could. In the book Oliver Twist, Dickens uses different events that happen around Oliver instead letting Oliver decide his own fate. In the book, other characters determine Oliver^s path in life, and Oliver is the subject around which the story revolves. The accidents in the story give depth to Oliver and add depth to the story that increases elements of mystery and suspense. In the beginning of the book, Mrs. Thingummy is helping Oliver^s mother give birth to the young child. Mrs. Thingummy takes charge of Oliver^s life just as he is born by stealing Oliver^s only link with his father, his mother^s husband. Stealing the mother^s ring also commits Oliver to a life of lower social status because of his supposed illegitimacy. Oliver moves to the dark forces in the book when he starts with absolutely nothing from his very birth. The sides of good and evil, light and dark respectively, are also devices used by Dickens to display different sides of the social coin in England. Accidents tie in closely with this device because it is by accident that Oliver transferres to one side or another. After spending time in the dark forces, Oliver then switches back to the light side by a run in with Mr. Brownlow, a compassionate citizen who pities Oliver and later takes care of him. Of all the people that Oliver could run into Mr. Brownlow happens to be one of those people who Oliver desperately needed and who could and would provide for Oliver. In another example of an accident, and a shift back into the dark forces, Oliver happens to make a wrong turn and end up in the hands of a band of crooks who earlier had taken possession of Oliver. By chance the appropriate person was in the alley that Oliver, by chance, walked into when he was passing through the city of London. In the last transition of chance, Oliver is caught breaking and entering into a house that the band of crooks intends to pillage. This house contains another compassionate and tender character that becomes like a mother to Oliver. Luckily, and by chance, the shot that one of the house keepers fired when he found Oliver breaking in did not mortally wound Oliver. Throughout all of these changeovers and accidents Oliver never takes charge of his life and becomes a player in the book, he always stays the subject of the happenings around him. Because Dickens wrote in installments this method served to heighten the sense of suspense in the novel. Knowing that Oliver could change his circumstances would not make the story more interesting. Letting Oliver direct himself would let his readers guess the most probable outcome of the situation based on Oliver^s attitude and his previous decisions. By letting accidents direct the course of the story, dickens opens many avenues that the story could take that would not be previously open. Anything could happen to Oliver and the readers were always wondering what would happen. The winding story of Oliver Twist is one of Dickens classics, and a masterpiece of accidents.

 



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