Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens


Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens, is a novel about a young troubled boy named Oliver Twist. After Oliver was born in a warehouse in the 1830's, his mother dies shortly after on the streets. Because of this, Oliver is sent to a poor orphanage until the age of nine. He struggled greatly with being bullied by the other orphans, and eventually gets kicked out of the orphanage because the bullies pushed him to ask for more food from the "parish beadle," Mr. Bumble. Oliver struggled to stay in a stable, safe home, until a man named Fagin took him in. He sheltered many young boys that helped him pick-pocket random people on the streets. Because Oliver was too afraid to run away, he agreed to pick-pocket people for Fagin, along with some other boys. On their first mission, Oliver runs off because he is too afraid to actually steal from another person. A man named Mr. Brownlow, who had been pick-pocketed by some of the boys Oliver was with, took Oliver in and nursed him to safety. This did not last long, because two of Fagin's accomplices captured Oliver and brought him back to Fagin. Then, Oliver was pressured into doing committing burglary and gets shot. At an all time low, Oliver is taken in by the woman who lives in the home, named Mrs. Maylie. Her niece Rose lives there as well. Oliver lives with them for a perfect summer together. It only gets better from there when Oliver discovers a man named Monks is his half-brother. Their wealthy father had an affair with Oliver's mother (Agnes Fleming), so now Oliver gets his share of their family's inheritance money. He also finds out that Mrs. Maylie's daughter, Rose, is his Aunt (His mother's younger sister). Fagin is also hanged for all his wrong-doings. In the end, Mr. Brownlow, who sheltered Oliver earlier in the novel, adopts him and they live happily ever after in the countryside with the Maylie's.



Discussion Questions:


1. Oliver Twist was under a lot of peer pressure his entire life. How does peer pressure appear in our modern society today?


2. How would you react if you found out you had a half-brother or sister you never knew about?


3. Some novels and movies have a happy ending, and some do not. Oliver Twist on the other hand had a very happy ending. Do you think we all have a happy ending in life? Do we have the potential to make happy endings for ourselves? Do you think fate has something to do with it?

20 comments:

Deanna K 5-6 said...

1. Peer pressure appears in lots of places in today's society like school, work, with friends, at practice, and at home.


2. I would be very surprised if i found out i had another sibling. I would be mad that my parents kept it away from me, but happy that i had another brother or sister once i met them.


3. no, not everyone has a happy end coming to them. And yes, we do have the potential to make happy ending for ourselves. Fate has nothing to do with it. I do not believe in fate.

James F (11-12) said...

1.peer pressure is everything in this society. why do you think there are so many people who have tried illegal drugs? friends pressure their friends to try new things (peer pressure) and it usually works.
2.well i have experienced this and i didnt know what to feel. my oldest sister is actually my half sister. i didnt know this until i was in about 6th or 7th grade. my step mom told us by complete surprise and really ruined finding this out.
3.everyone could have a happy ending. everyone also has equal opportunity to make a happy life and ending for themselves. i believe in a type of fate. i believe you have choices in life but everything still happens for a reason.

SeanK56 said...

Everyone is under some sort of peer pressure today. Whether its the clothing they wear, what to do on the weekends, and many other things. It controls way to much

Kelsey M. 11/12 said...

1) We are taught from a young age not to give into peer pressure or let others influence our behavior. I don't think it is that big of problem except for the people that don't realize that people who are real friends will like you no matter what. You don't have to do anything that you feel is wrong to keep these kind of friends. But others who feel like they need to do certain things to fit in, fall to peer pressure. I think that peer pressure can influence how people dress, if they smoke, drink or do drugs, and their eating habits. Some girls get eating disorders because there is so much pressure around them to be skinny.

Mike B 13-14 said...

Peer pressure is very prevelent in society today. Today it seems to effect people for the worst. People are worried about how the look in front of others. Peer pressure can cause people to change and do things they would not normaly do.

Allie H 11-12 said...

You guys all make a good point about peer pressure. I believe it will always be present in our society, no matter what time-era it is. People become paranoid and get these thoughts that they have to act a certain way and look a certain way. But, with maturity, we learn that this is not the case. As we get older, we become comfortable with ourselves and confident in our actions. We also gain wisdom as we age and realize it in immature to give in to peer pressure.

Leah A 5-6 said...

1. Peer pressure appears all over in society today. At school, work, home, even with our friends.
2. If I found out I had a half sibling I think I would be pretty excited at first. However I would be somewhat angry at my parents for keeping it a secret from me.

Rachael B MOds 5-6 said...

Peer pressure appears in our society more than most people realize. In our media, we are constanly being subjeted to different photos, videos, commercials, and ideas that allow us to be convinced that there is a certain stereotype we need to fit and certain things we just NEED to have. Women have to be thin, we all need to be texting, the coolest person in the room is the one with the nicest car, and the only people who will get far in life are the ones with the most money. Even our commercials use subliminal messages and meanings which are forced upon us without the general public ever actually really realizing that they are being influenced.

Betsy C 1314 said...

If I found out that I had a half-brother or sister, I would be pumped! I would be happy to get to know someone in my family that was previously unknown. It would be fun to catch up and become close.

Laura B. 13-14 said...

1) Peer pressure appears in the modern day society due to everything being a competition. I believe that in todays society, everyone compares themselves to the people they are surrounded with. We measure our successes today not on our expectations, but the ability to do better than those we are surrounded by.

2) I would be shocked if I discovered I had a half sibling, but I would be angry with my parents if they kept it a secret from me. To me, family is very important and to hide a member of my family from me that I could have had years of memories with previously, that would be extremely rude and mean.

Justin B. 11-12 said...

It is foolish to believe that everyone has a happy ending in life because people die every day in freak accidents. I don't think you can say death in war is always an unhappy ending because some people would die for their country and see it as honorable, etc. However, I think people can take measures to ensure the greatest chance of whatever they perceive to be a happy ending of occurring such as not going to jail, having a retirement plan, etc. I also do not believe the concept of fate has anything to do with it because I know that humans have total free will, it is what makes us human.

Hannah L 13-14 said...

I believe if I found out I had a half-brother or sister I believe I would be shocked and I don't know how I would react. I think I would want to meet them but I think I would also be very scared about it. I would probably be very mad about it because I had not been told before and would be very upset and probably not trust my parents about anything else for a long time because they had kept something so big a secret. I believe it would greatly affect the rest of my life and my relationships with others.

Vanessa D. 13-14 said...

1.) Peer pressure appears in our modern society in many ways. The thing I think of the most is high school. It seems to be almost inevitable that someone will try and push you to do one thing or another for whatever reason. Also, another thing I think of is my little sister. She is 7 and she literally said to me "I hate Justin Bieber. He sings like a girl." And I asked her why she thought that and she said because people in her class said that.

Kali D. 13-14 said...

Peer pressure is everywhere in our society. It really can't be avoided because people always want to fit in so they will do anything to feel wanted. No one wants to be left out, so doing things everything else is doing or thinking, makes people change.

Allie H 11-12 said...

You guys are all right, I would be excited to find out I had a brother or sister I never knew about. It would definitely teach you more about your family and your past. And again, with the peer pressure topic, it happens all the time. I agree that it appears mostly in high school. But it also occurs with adults as well, like in the workplace or in college. Peer pressure will always be something that will follow us our entire lives. We just have to get the courage and strength to overcome it.

Nick E. 13-14 said...

2. If I discovered I had a half-sibling that I never knew about, I would definitely be shocked and confused. Depending on the circumstances of his/her birth (or if I even knew of these circumstances), I would feel differently about my half-sibling. It would all depend on what-if's.

KatherineS13-14 said...

1) Peer pressure is everywhere and affects everyone. It is impossible to escape, but can be ignored by following the thoughts that you have, not what others have.

russell F 11-12 said...

1) peer pressure happens in our society very similarly to how it happens in Oliver's time. I have been pressured to pickpocket elderly folk by groups of British orphans on multiple occasions.

Alexander C. [13-14] said...

Peer pressure affects adolescents all over the globe. Teenagers feel they need to fit in and will do whatever it takes in some instances to fulfill this. They fail to realize the implications that may follow if they choose to partake in the action they thought was "cool".

Mrs. Sherwood said...

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