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Word Count: 1,150
Born into a poor English family in 1812 Charles Dickens worked his way up from a life of poverty and debtors prison to become a writer of national acclaim In his Victorian era he was an exception to the rule because it was very difficult to break through the barriers of social class and better oneself Because of his bleak childhood Dickens was one of the few writers of his day who could express the horrors of society as they really were One of his most famous novels is Oliver Twist This story centers on a young boy named Oliver whose real identity is unknown when his mother dies in childbirth As an orphan he is exploited by unscrupulous and selfish authority figures and is forced into a life of poverty hard labor misery and crime Oliver suffers horribly and often takes the blame for others misdeeds Dickens is showing that Oliver is a good person and the bad things that happen to him are through no fault of his own but because society and the people around him are bad From his earliest childhood days Oliver is treated harshly by society He was born in a workhouse where he is barely given enough food to live and is forced to do hard manual labor Dickens satirically describes the authorities view of the poor in this passage Oho said the board looking very knowing we are the fellows to set this to rights well stop it all in no time So they established the rule that all poor people should have the alternative of being starved by a gradual process in the house or by a quick one out of it 34 These fat overfed Board Members decide they are too lenient on the starving paupers so they decrease their rations and increase their labor In describing the orphanages and workhouses Dickens is portraying the Victorian belief in Malthusian economics which holds that population
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