Analysis Pages

Historical Context in Oliver Twist

Historical Context Examples in Oliver Twist:

Chapter I

🔒 2

"despised by all, and pitied by none..."   (Chapter I)

This was the sad reality of the workhouse. In East London, so many were sent to the workhouses that they became generic symbols of mass-protection rather than serving the "Christian" purpose of clothing and feeding the needy. 

"a workhouse..."   (Chapter I)

According to the newer Poor Laws of 1834 a parish would become a poor law union and workhouses would be established to bring relief to the poor. The problem was that such workhouses were poorly administered and were often a bigger problem than a solution.

"sevenpence-halfpenny..."   (Chapter II)

Close to 2 dollars in U.S. money as of 2008. Back in the 1800s it would have been around 8 pennies. Per head, it would have been a good enough amount to live in genteel modesty, like Dickens states later on. 

Analysis Pages