Sunday, March 6, 2011

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens


In Charles Dickens Oliver Twist, Oliver is a boy raised in an orphanage in the Victorian age with no known background at all. As he grows up he is soon taken to a work factory but is soon tried to be sold into another profession after a outrage at a factory during a meal when he says, " Please sir, I want some more" (Dickens 12). Some of the people that show up to take him off his hands is a chimney sweeper but knowing of how chimney sweepers were back then, Oliver is scared to death and pleads to stay. However he is soon taken by a coffin maker in which he founds out his new family resents and hates him. He runs away eventually traveling towards London where he meets The Artful Dodger (aka Jack Dawkins). Artful introduces Oliver to Fagin's also called The Jew who turns young parent less children into thieves and robbers for his own personal greed. Outraged by the moral standards of Fagin's and the actions of the children during a day when Jack robs a man, Oliver is soon wrongfully accused as the theif. As his dilemma continues Mr. Brownlow who accused him takes him in due to a fever and Oliver has never known such kindness to him before seeing as everyone treats him like dirt due to him being an orphan. One day Oliver is asked to take books back to the store and is trusted with this task even though Mr. Brownlow's friend warns him he wont come back. Oliver on his way is soon captured by Fagin's and Sikes leaving Mr. Brownlow who took him in betrayed thinking Oliver left him. As Oliver is Captured he wonders if he will ever see Mr. Brownlow again.

1.If you did not know your own background would you try to find out what it was or would you leave it be.

2. Based on Society back then how were children treated back then and how is it different to how society treats them today.

24 comments:

David G. 13-14 said...

1. I for one would definitely try to find out my background so I could see what I came from. I think that being thankful for one's ancestors and their hardships makes one a better and more humble person to know that someone else is the reason for your very existence.

Nick E. 13-14 said...

1. If I had no recollection of my previous background, I would absolutely want to discover my roots and where I came from. Something that significant is too important to just forget. Once I find out what my background consisted of, the pieces that made of my life would start to fall into place and make sense.

Kara K. 5/6 said...

1. If I did not know my own backround, I would try and find out what it was. I would feel empty not knowing who I truely am.
2. Children back then were treated as slaves or just an object. Today children are valued greatly by their parents and oter adults. They are not treated as just an object.

Courtney R 5-6 said...

1) I would most definitely try to find out my background if I didn't know what it was. Even if I grew up not knowing it, it is still a part of me. I would feel empty not knowing where I came from or who I could have been associated with. Knowing your background is one of the first things that help you to figure out who you truly are inside.
2) In this time period, children were not treated well at all. They were basically treated as people to push around to do "dirty work" for adults. No health precautions or safety precaustions were looked into at all in order to protect children. Now, children are treated much differently. There are laws that keep young children from working and they cannot be bought and sold, like in the time period of Oliver's.

Heather M. 13-14 said...

i think i would definitely try to find out my past if it was all unknown to me. Not knowing where i came from or who my real parents and family were would be terrible. It would offer so much more security and a much better feeling if i knew how i got where i was. Everyone has a past, and even if its good or bad, it would still be good to know what happened in the past.

Dana G. 13-14 said...

IIf I did not know my background, I would probably try to figure it out a little bit, but not all of it. It may change who I am and how I think.

Fritz J. 13-14 said...

I think my human curiosity would make me want to find out what my background was.

Natalie S Mods 5-6 said...

1) If I did not know my past I would try and find out more about it. I have a curiosity that would not allow me to leave it alone. Also, I think that a person's family history and their past can help them on their road to self discovery.

Jacci L. 11-12 said...

1. if i didn't know my own background i would definitaly do everything i could to figure out what it was. Not knowing something about yourself isn't a very comforting feeling and would only make me curious and wonder, wonder who i may be or what i could be linked to.

2. back then, there was no such thing as child labor laws. children had to work and were treated much harshly than today. also, if i child is abused or even hit by a parent, the parent can automatically go to jail or the child would go to into child protective services. There is also an age limit for children to start working as well as how long they work and to make sure, on school nights, depending on their age, they don't work pass a certain time. the longest they can work on a school night is 10 pm. so how children were treated back then compared to today is completely different and more rational.

Cieran B. 5-6 said...

Of what David said I completely agree knowing your background makes you a better person for it influences you and can determine if you will follow in their path whether it be right or wrong or make your own one.

Cieran B. 5-6 said...

Fritz-
I also agree that human curiosity would make you want to find out who you are and knowing your background helps you determine how you live your life.

Kaitlyn H 11-12 said...

If I didn't know my background I would definitely try to find out where I came from. Mostly, I would just look because I would be curious, but also your background has a big impact on your future and I'd want to know what made me into the person I became.

Richard B. said...

To answer question one, I would only attempt to discover my background if I was not content with my life. There is no reason to ruin one's mindset/future over things they can't control, like who they are or where they come from.

Megan D. 11-12 said...

I agree with Richard; would only try to find out my background if I was discontent with my life. The would lead me to trying to find other alternatives and my past might hold some answers. On the other hand, if I were completely happy with my life, I would not want to ruin it by looking too closely into the past. Why ruin a good thing?

Megan L.11-12 said...

To answer question 1, I think it would all depend on my current situation. If I were in a loving home with a family who cared for me I don't think I would want to know my history just because it wouldn't matter really. I would be curious but I wouldn't actively search for it. On the other hand, if I were in a difficult situation without a caring family I think it would only be natural to look for other alternatives.

LeahS11-12 said...

If I didn't know much about my background, I'd try to find out as much as possible in order to really discover who I am.

MaryL11-12 said...

Yeah if I didn't know about my heritage and where I'd come from I'd probably do what I could to figure it out. People often find a lot of pride in their roots, and having that kind of identity helps a person find their place in the world. Feeling unsettled is not a good way to go through life.

Matt P. 13-14 said...

1. I would also try to find out about my family and where I came from. I think that anyone at some point would wonder who they really were and who they were related to. I would feel the urge to connect in some way with my family, even if this way was simply knowing who they were.

Kristen T. 11-12 said...

I would definitely try to find out information about my past if I was not aware of it. I feel that knowing where one comes from is very important and can help one understand who he or she really is. Knowing one's background can also help one make important decisions about his or her future. However difficult it may be, I would search for answers because I would feel incomplete without knowing where I came from.

Kristen R. 11-12 said...

To answer the first question, if I did not know about my background I would definitely try to figure out information about it. I think it's important to know and understand where we come from in order to appreciate the cultures and traditions that we have. If I did not know about my background I think that I would become extremely confused and possibly experience an identity crisis. To answer the second question, children in the past were typically treated as unimportant and passive bystanders; they were often put to work under dangerous conditions. I think that children in today's society have much more of a voice even if it is not always a direct voice; many adults stick up for the rights of children more so than they did in the past.

Vanessa D. 13-14 said...

I would try to figure out my background, maybe because of interest or out of curiosity. I am who I am today because of my past and my background, so not knowing where I came from or something like that would leave me very confused as I live life.

Leah A 5-6 said...

1. I would try to find out my background. I believe it is important to know who you are and where you came from. It helps you get a better understanding of yourself.

James F (11-12) said...

1. if i didnt know who my family was then yes i would of course try to find out what my background is. i guess if it was anything else then no i wouldnt really care.
2. well lets see...children are treated like people in this of age. back then they were looked at as lower than human i guess.

Mrs. Sherwood said...

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