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A STUDY OF CHARACTERS AND SETTINGS TO REVEAL

THE VICTORIAN AGE SOCIAL STRATIFICATION IN


CHARLES DICKENS OLIVER TWIST

AN UNDERGRADUATE THESIS
Presented as Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
for the Degree of Sarjana Sastra
in English Letters

By
INDHY AGIVIENA PUTRI
Student Number: 024214064

ENGLISH LETTERS ST UDY PROGRAMME


DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH LETTERS
FACULTY OF LETTERS
SANATA DHARMA UNIVERSITY
YOGYAKARTA
2007

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Your future depends on many things,


but mostly on you.
(Frank Tyger)

Alhamdulillahirobilalamin!
I always thank to Allah SWT for
whataver I got.
(Indhy Putri)

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This undergraduate thesis is dedicated to:

My Beloved Family
and
Lovely Friends

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The first and foremost, I would like to bestow my deepest gratitude to


Allah SWT for giving me His blessing, strength, chance, and patience.
Secondly, my greatest appreciation goes to my beloved parents, Papa
Bambang and Mama Andrina who always give me love, encouragement, and
motivation to be a better woman. I thank my brothers Faisal and Raka for their
love and craziness in many ways. My gratitude is also extended to Eyang, Om,
and Tante, for the never ending pray. I owe many thanks to my big brother
Purwarno, SS. M.A. for his great suggestions and supports and for always being
my very patient teacher.
A special thank is due to my advisor, Drs. Hirmawan Wijanarka M. Hum.,
who has always given me his precious time in guiding me to finish this thesis and
for his patience and kindness. A special thank is also for my co-advisor
Tatang Iskarna S.S. M.Hum. for correcting my thesis so that I could complete this
thesis. It was memorable moments when I discussed with him. I owe big thanks
for his help to realize my ideals. Thanks are also due to all lecture rs in Sanata
Dharma University for teaching me many things.
My gratitude also goes to all my best friends; Nita, Sella, Kuncup, Orie,
Rina, Adik Lucky, Mbak Dede(98), Eko, Bondan, Leo and for those whom I
cannot mention one by one, for their fun lives and ideas during my time in Jogja.
Thanks for Amelia girls and all my friends of class 2002. I am proud to know you
all.
Last but not least, I address my genuine gratitude to my beloved Ay, Mas
Uddin in Korea. Many thanks are addressed for his love, laugh, strength, supports,
critics, and guidance. I also thank his family for loving me so much.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
TITLE PAGE ................................................................................................... i
APPROVAL PAGE ......................................................................................... ii
ACCEPTANCE PAGE .................................................................................... iii
MOTTO PAGE ............................................................................................... iv
DEDICATION PAGE...................................................................................... v
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ............................................................................. vi
TABLE OF CONTENTS................................................................................. vii
ABSTRACT..................................................................................................... ix
ABSTRAK....................................................................................................... x
CHAPTER I: INTRODUCTION.................................................................
A. Background of the Study .................................................................
B. Problem Formulation.......................................................................
C. Definition of Terms .........................................................................

1
1
3
3

CHAPTER II: THEORETICAL REVIEW ................................................


A. Review of Related Studies .............................................................
B. Review of Related Theories ...........................................................
1. Theories on Character and Characterization......................
2. Theories on Setting.............................................................
3. Theories of Literature and Society .....................................
4. Theories of Social Stratification .........................................
5. Theories Victorian Age Social Stratification .....................
6. Theories of Marxism and view of class ............................
C. Review on the Authors Historical Biographical Background ......
D. Theoretical Framework..................................................................

5
5
7
7
9
11
12
15
17
21
22

CHAPTER III: METHODOLOGY.............................................................


A. Object of the Study.........................................................................
B. Approach of the Study....................................................................
C. Method of the Study.......................................................................

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24
25
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CHAPTER IV: ANALYSIS..........................................................................


A. The Portrayal of Characters and Settings .........................................
1. The Parochial World ..........................................................
a. The Work House................................................................
b. The Poor .............................................................................
c. The Tradesmen...................................................................
2. The Criminal World ...........................................................
3. The Respectable People .....................................................
B. The Victorian Social Stratification Revealed through Characters
and Setting In Oliver Twist.............................................................
1. Middle Class ......................................................................
2. Lower Middle Class..........................................................
3. Lower Class.......................................................................

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27
28
28
37
42
44
49

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52
53
56
57

4.

Under Class....................................................................... 60

CHAPTER V: CONCLUSION..................................................................... 64
BIBLIOGRAPHY.......................................................................................... 67
APPENDICS
A. Summary of the Novel .................................................................... 69
B. Table of Settings in the V ictorian Age ............................................ 72
C. Table of Victorian Age Social Stratification................................... 73

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ABSTRACT
INDHY AGIVIENA PUTRI. A Study of Characters and Setting to Reveal the
Victorian Age Social Stratification in Charles Dickens Oliver Twist.
Yogyakarta: Department of English Letters, Faculty of Letters, Sanata Dharma
University, 2007.
Oliver Twist tells about a young orphan boy who lives with a lot of
mysteries around him. Dickens describes the novel without loosing sight of the
workhouse in which the story begins and many interesting scenes are depicted in
the V ictorian age . The writer analyzed the Victorian Age Social Stratification
through the portrayal of the characters and settings depicted in Oliver Twist. The
story of Oliver is related to the tales of other characters of the story, and the
settings portray the condition prevailing at that time. Oliver portrays the feeling of
despair that Dickens experienced as a child.
The writer, in this thesis, would analyze (1) how the characters and settings
are portrayed in Oliver Twist, and (2) how the Victorian Age social stratification
is revealed through the characters and settings in Oliver Twist.
To do the analysis, the write r did several steps. First, the writer conducted
close reading on the novel to get a deeper understanding about the topic,
especially about the problems stated above. Next, the writer wrote down all the
information that she considered important to her study. The next step she took was
to find the secondary references. She obtained some essential information from
books on literature. After getting all the selected data, the writer started to analyze
the problems and apply those related theories in the analys is. The analysis focuses
on obtaining the answers of two questions stated in the problems formulation. In
this part, firstly, she answered the first problem by finding how the setting and
characters are presented in the novel. In this case, she paid attention to the whole
text focusing on the characters attitudes and conditions that indicate them as the
portrayal of their respective classes. The next step, she answer ed the second
problem by finding out the Victorian social stratification of the story seen from
the setting and characters using Marxist criticism. Finally, she drew her
conclusions.
The result of the analysis shows that the characters and settings truly represent
the Victorian age social stratification. The setting begins in the parochial world
which is divided into three parts; the workhouse, the tradesmen, and the poor.
Then the setting continues to the criminal world. The last one is the world of the
Victorian middle-class. Then she found four divisions of the V ictorian Age social
stratification based on some theories. The first one is the Middle-cla ss which is
presented by Mr. Brownlow and his friends. The setting and their behavior toward
others portray the condition of the middle class social stratification. Second is the
Lower Middle Class which is represented by tradesmen family. Third is the Lower
Class which is represented by the staff of the workhouse. The last one is the
Under Class which is presented by The Lord of Underworld, Fagin, and his gang
of thie ves.

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ABSTRAK
INDHY AGIVIENA PUTRI. A Study of Characters and Setting to Reveal the
Victorian Age Social Stratification in Charles Dickens Oliver Twist.
Yogyakarta: Department of English Letters, Faculty of letters, Sanata Dharma
University, 2007.
Oliver Twist menceritakan tentang seorang anak lelaki yatim piatu yang
hidup penuh dengan misteri di sekelilingnya. Dickens menggambarkan novel ini
tanpa mengabaikan keadaan workhouse di mana menjadi awal dari cerita dan
banyak bagian menarik di zaman Victoria. Penulis menganalisa gambaran kondisi
stratif ikasi social pada zaman Victoria melalui karakter dan seting di dalam novel
Oliver Twist. Oliver menggambarkan keputusasaan Dickens pada masa kecil.
Dalam thesis ini, penulis akan menganalisa (1) bagaimana karakter dan
seting digambarkan di dalam Oliver Twist, dan (2) bagaimana stratifikasi sosial
zaman Victoria dipaparkan melalui karakter dan seting dalam Oliver Twist.
Dalam menganalisa, penulis melakukan beberapa langkah. Pertama, penulis
melakukan pembacaan seksama agar diperoleh pemahaman le bih mendalam
mengenai drama tersebut, khususnya berkenaan dengan masalah yang diungkap di
atas. Lalu, penulis menulis semua informasi yang dianggap penting. Langkah
selanjutnya adalah mencari referensi kedua. Penulis mendapatkan informasi
pentingdari buku-buku literature. Setelah memperoleh seluruh data, penulis akan
memulai menganalisa dan menerapkan seluruh teori yang berkaitan. Kemudian,
penulis menjawab masalah pertama dengan mendeskripsikan karakter dan seting
dalam novel. Dalam hal ini, penulis akan memfokuskan pada tingkah laku
karakter dan keadaan yang dapat menjadi fakta. Kemudian, penulis menganalisa
bagaimana stratifikasi sosial zaman Victoria digambarkan dalam Oliver Twist
melalui seting dan karakter dengan menggunakan pendekatan Marxism.
Kemudian, langkah terakhir adalah menarik kesimpulan dari hasil analisa.
Hasil analisa menunjukkan bahwa tokoh dan seting benar mewakili
stratifikasi sosial zaman Victoria. Setingnya berawal di lingkungan biasa.
Lingkungan biasa dibagi menjadi tiga bagian; workhouse, pedagang, dan rakyat
miskin. Kemudian seting berlanjut pada dunia kejahatan. Yang terkhir adalah
lingkungan kaum terhormat. Selanjutnya penulis menemukan empat bagian
stratifikasi sosial zaman Victoria berdasarkan beberapa theori. Yang pertama
adalah Middle Class yang diwakili oleh Tuan Brownlow dan teman-temannya.
Seting dan tingkah laku mereka kepada sesama menggambarkan kondisi
stratifikasi sosial kelas menengah. Kedua adalah Lower Middle Class yang
diwakili oleh keluarga pedagang. Ketiga adalah Lower Class yang dipresentasikan
oleh pekerja di workhouse. Yang terakhir adalah Under Class yang diwakili oleh
Fagin; raja kejahatan, dan kawanan pencurinya.

CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

A.

Background of the Study


Analyzing a novel is considered important when we try to understand a

piece of literary work. We need to interpret it as our own way even though many
critics have discussed a lot of things in the same novel. In interpreting a novel, the
expression of ones mind and creativity is thrown.
When analyzing a literary work, it would be better if we analyze the separate
elements that build the literary work. This idea is strengthened by Kenneys
statement in his book How To Analyze Fiction.
To analyze a literary work is to identify the separate parts that make it up
(this corresponds roughly to the notion of treating it to process), to
determine the relationship among parts, and to discover the relation of the
parts to the whole (1966: 5)
The idea of Hankle and Kenney has inspired me to write a thesis, which
analyzes the elements of Oliver Twist. The characters condition and setting in
relation with the Victorian social stratification in the novel are interesting to
analyze. However, it does not mean that I will neglect the other elements.
Dickens as master of realism has filled the pages of the novel with incidents
and characters with precision and details. Through his observation and experience,
he could project the social evils during the nineteenth century, which did much to
depict the social condition of that time. It would be apt to quote the words of John
Foster: The art of copying from nature as it really exists in the common walks

had not been carried out by anyone to greater perfection, or to better results in the
way of combination. (http: pinkmonkey.de.olivertwist.htm) His works are full of
wit and tenderness, and they do not only entertain but reform people.
Oliver Twist is a simple story of an innocent boys struggle for survival.
The work came out in twenty-four monthly installment (1837-9) in Bentleys
Miscellany. The childhood experiences of Dickens have been transferred into the
early pages of the novel and Oliver portrays the feeling of despair. Dickens
transforms this simple story into a moving one through his gripping narration,
convincing character delineation, masterly irony, mirthful humor, and casual
style (http: pinkmonkey.de.olivertwist.htm) The story sounds believable and
rings interesting true life of a young orphan who lives with a ol t of mysteries
around him without any knowledge about it.
Dickens introduces humor and irony in the novel. All the scenes, in which
some characters appear, either alone or along with others, provide comic relief
and irony to the readers. However, it has the hidden meanings inside it. One of the
examples, which I put forward to be the title of this thesis, is about the existence
of characters and setting in the novel. They support the idea that Dickens wants to
convey.
Oliver Twist is chosen because the pr esentation of the characters condition,
setting, and social background are very interesting to discuss in such a way that
they can make the story more vivid through the description of their attitudes and
behavior. The setting created in the story lead to the presence of characters
conditions, which later reflect and function to reveal social stratification at

Victorian age. This study tries to analyze the novel from a different angle which
means it analyzes the characters condition and the revelation of the Victorian
social stratification through the setting of Victorian age.

B.

Problem Formulation
Referring to the background of the study, there are two questions formulated

as follows:
1. How are characters and setting portrayed in Oliver Twist?
2. How is the Victorian age social stratification revealed through the
characters and settings in Oliver Twist?

C.

Definition of Terms
In this part, I will clarify the meaning of some significant terms that are used

in this study to avoid misunderstanding on reading this thesis.


1.

Characters

Characters are the persons, in a dramatic or narrative work, endowed with moral
and dispositional qualities that are expressed in what they say-the dialogue-and
what they do-the action. (Murphy, p.21)
2.

Setting

The setting of a narrative or dramatic work is the general locale and the historical
time in which its action occurs; the setting of an episode or scene within a work is
the particular physical location in which it takes place (Murphy, p.157).

3.

Victorian Era

The Victorian Era of Great Britain is considered the height of the British industrial
revolution and the apex of the British Empire. It is often defined as the years from
1837 to 1901, when Queen Victoria reigne d, through many historians believe that
the passage of the Reform act 1832 marks true inception of a new cultural era.
The Victorian era was preceded by the Regency era and came before the
Edwardian period. They would find that the Victorian did not consider their age
stable and secure. Whether they belonged to upper, middle, or lower classes, they
through themselves as living in time of troubles (Ausuble, 1955: 9).
4.

Social Stratification

According to Dobriner, the stratification system in a society is essentiality the


distributive system of that society. When a society evolves to the points of
surplus, the distribution becomes more complex because there is simply more to
be distributed. The stratification system generally receives comparatively greater
amounts of wealth, status, and power. Depending on the stratification system, any
of these here variables may predominate in society in time and place. Social
stratification is largely a condition that builds in a community after a certain level
of development (Dobriner, 1994: 214-228).

CHAPTER II
THEORETICAL REVIEW

A.

Review of Related Studies


Dickens originally entitled the novel Oliver Twist: the Parish Boys

Progress but it has since been shorten to simply Oliver Twist. Dickens initially
published Oliver Twist in the format of serial publication. It also contains an
aspect of social reality as Dickens details the Poor Laws and workhouses. The
poor laws were portrayed as the priority to the publication of the novel. The novel
reveals the world of the Poor Laws by describing in detail the life of a prostitute,
an orphan, a gang of thieves, and other groups in the underworld of civilization.
Dickens narrates the story of Oliver by relating the tales of other characters
of the story. As a boy Dickens suffered economic insecurity and humiliation. It
was the time when he felt misery, humiliation, and despair. Oliver portrays the
feeling of despair that Dickens experienced as a child. Dickens had come across
such people living in the streets of London, as he was familiar with every section
of the city. He was also aware of the condition of the paupers living in
workhouses managed by the parish. As stated by Jennifer Lenz, Oliver Twist is
the story of an orphan who unwittingly stumbles upon his hidden fortune.
(http://caxton.stockton.edu/victoriannovels/stories) The tale depicts the orphan
boy born into a workhouse without parents and is forced to struggle the life.
Oliver is unloved and unwanted from the open of the novel. However, as the
novel progresses, Oliver finds his fortunes and having a variety of friends in high

places because of his honest and kindness. The novel depicts the figures of bad
and good characters in the society.
Dickens described and commented the story in detail, which make the reader
experience the conditions in the Victorian Age. As Kenneth Hayens writes, His
attitudes are that of a man talking unrestrainedly to a large audience and
occasionally addressing it. His style is the natural outcome of that attitude
(http://www.online-literature.com/dickens/olivertwist/) Dickens made the story
into a moving one through his casual style, strong characters, and maste rly irony.
As Ella Westland stated, the plot opposes innocence and corruption, good and
bad characters. Dickens shifts rapidly between sentiment and sensation,
storytelling and satire, murderous melodrama and dream (Ella, 1992: XII).
She also wrote tha t Dickenss Blacking Factory experience did not make
him unique. He concerned about what might happen in middle class at this crucial
stage in the formation of the Victorian structure (Ella, 1992: XXII).
The writer considers that the reviews are very helpful. In this thesis, the
writer is going to analyze deeper Dickenss criticisms towards the setting and
characters to reveal the Victorian social stratification in Oliver Twist, which have
not been analyzed yet. The writer wants to find out the Victorian Social
Stratification that is presented through the setting and characters so that the
readers will understand about the social structure as Dickens writes on his works
with a good style, masterly irony, and strong character that built the story.
Dic kens uses such aspects to make the beauty of the novel.

B.

Review of Related Theories

1.

Character and Characterization


Character is the object of this study. Therefore, in order to understand

clearly about the characterization, I draw some theories about character and
personality of the people of the people in a literary work from some books.
Firstly, I will discuss the characterization theory based on M.J. Murphy in
Understanding Unseens (1972). This book provides nine ways of how an author
may revea l the characters personalities and traits to the readers in literary work.
They are as follow s:
1.

Personal description

It is about the description of a persons appearance and clothes from the authors
point of view. The person appearance can be description of face, skin, eyes, and
so on.
2.

Character as seen by another

Instead of describing a character directly, the author can describe him through the
eyes and opinions of another (1972: 162). We can obtain a lot of information
about what kind of person is the protagonist from the other characters opinions
about her.
3.

Speech

The author can give us an insight into the other character of one of the person in
the book through what that person says. Whenever a person speaks, whenever he
is in a conversation with another, whenever he puts forward an opinion, he is
giving us clues to his character (1972: 164). We can see ones character is reading
the speech or the dialogue from the text.

4.

Past life

By getting the reader learn something about a persons past life; the author can
give us a clue to events that have help to shape a persons character (1972: 166).
5.

Conversation of others

The author can give us clues to a persons character through the conversations of
other people and things they say about him (1972: 167)
6.

Reactions

The author can give us a clue to a persons character by letting us know how that
person reacts to various situations and events (1972: 168). We can judge ones
character from the way he faces a particular problem.
7.

Direct comment

The author can describe ones character direction (1972: 170). We know ones
character from the authors description.
8.

Thoughts

The author can give direct knowledge of what a person is thinking about (1972:
171).
9.

Mannerisms

The author can describe ones mannerism, habits, or idiosyncrasies that may also
tell us something about his character (1972: 172). We can describe ones character
only by looking at his mannerisms, habits behaviour, and so on.
E.M. foster in his book Asp ect of the Novel gives differentiation between flat
and round character. A flat character is built around a single idea or quality and
is presented without much individualizing detail. Its character can be stated in one
phrase or sentence. A round charac ter is complex in temperament and motivation.

It is difficult to describe and is similar to a person in real life. Therefore, it can be


surprising us (1977: 46-48).
According to Abrams (1993: 23), characters are the persons in a dramatic or
narrative work whom naturally posses novel, dispositional, and emotional
qualities that all are reflected in the dialogue and the action among the persons.
From the above definition, the dialogue and the action are very important in
understanding more about characters.

2.

Setting
Holman and Harmon (1986: 465) say that setting is the physical and

sometimes spiritual background against which the action of a narrative (drama,


novel, and poem) takes place. According to them the elements making up a setting
are:
1.

The actual geographical location, its typography and such physical


arrangement as the location of the window and doors in a room

2.

The occupations and daily manner of living of the characters.

3.

The time or period in which the action takes place for example, epoch in
history or season of the year.

4.

The general environment of the characters, for example is religious mental


moral social, and emotional conditions though which the people in the
narrative move.
Abrams in A Glossary of literary Terms states that the setting of a narrative

or dramatic work is the general locale, historical time, and social circumstances in
which its action occurs. The setting of an episode or scene within a work is the
particular physical location in which it takes place. When applied to a theatrical

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production, setting is synonymous with mise en scene, a French term denoting


the scenery and the properties, or movable pieces of furniture, on the stage. The
term mise en scene sometimes includes the positioning of the actors in a
particular scene (1981:157).
Stanton defines setting of a story as the environment of its event, the
immediate world in which event occurs. He says that part of the setting is the
visible background, such as a caf in Paris, the California Mountains, a deadend street in Dublin; part of it may also be the time of year, the climate, or the
historical period. According to him, although a setting does not include the
principal characters, it may include the people in the background, such as the
grim Puritan crowds in The Scarlet Letter (1963: l8).
Usually, the setting is presented through descriptive and many readers are
impatient with these because, understandably enough, they want to get or, with
the narrative. Sometimes we find own the setting influences the characters and
sometimes the setting exemplifies a theme. In many stories, the setting evokes
a definite emotional tone or mod that surrounds the characters (1963: 18-19).
Rohberger and Woods define setting as the particular time and place in
which a work of literature occurs (1971:22). They say that the setting of a
successful piece of fiction is as functional as any of the other elements, and
like the other elements, it never exists by itself. Setting aids in establishing
credibility; it can help to explain both characters and situation, it can
contribute to the atmosphere, or predominate mood, it can be active in
foreshadowing, and it can be symbolic.

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Elisabeth Langland in her book Society in the Novel, says that society in
the novel is not merely people and their classes but also their customs,
convention, beliefs, and values, their institutions-legal, religious, and cultural
and their physical environment (1984: 6).

3.

The Relation between Literature and Society


The relation between literature, a novelists, and society is that literature

mirrors or expresses life and therefore an artist is supposed to express real life in
his work. However, it is not the whole of life that a writer expresses in his work.
He must concern the specific object such as social, economic, political, and
religious condition in his era that ought to be representative of his time and
society, since historical and social truths are symbols of artistic values in
literature. A novel is supposed to be a representation of social problems. By doing
so, literature can also be viewed as the essence, the abridgment, and summary of
all history (Wellek and Warren, 1956:95). It means that a literary work can be
stated as historical record to certain time.
Moreover Stanton states (1963:1) states that literature is the principle of a
culture. It contains a record of values, thought, problem, and conflicts that are
transmitted either through written and spoken words. With such acknowledgment,
literature stands as the instrument to pass the experience from the generation to
the next. The literature then functions as a representation of the situation.
Wellek and Warren (1956:96) state that there are three actual relations
between literature and soc iety. The first is the sociology of the writer, the

12

economic basis of the literary production, the social provenance and status of the
writer; his social ideology, which may find expression in activities and literature.
The second is the problem of the social content, the implication and social
purpose of the literary works themselves. The last is the problem of the audience
and actual social influence of literature. Since the work much deals much with
social problem, the suitable actual relation that is us ed in this study is of the
second explanation as listed above.

4.

Social Stratification
When we deal with social stratification we are no longer in the relationship

or groups. We are considering a form of social reality from interaction and to a


degree can be found in all groups. Social stratification is largely a condition that
builds a community after a certain level of development (William, 1994:214)
Stratification, as a form of social reality, is not an organized interaction system (a
group); the system developed by a society (or community). Social stratification is
essentially the organization of inequalities w ithin society, the distribution of
rewards, the allocation of scarcities, and the formalization of positions in some
hierarchical order. The stratification system is characteristically flat and
horizontal zed, with occasional, slight projections of consumption patters for a
few and somewhat more dramatic extensions in power, prestige, and authority
(William, 1994:214). In stratification systems of any society is probably not as
independent as economic and honorific status factors. That is to say, power
most likely rests on something and it is difficult to regard it as a purely solitary

13

unit of analysis. The phenomenon of stratification is best seen as a condition


arising from community and society; even the simplest human groups have a
dimension of hierarchical structure (1994:214). The major current theoretic
orientations to social stratification and the principal conceptual terms through
which stratification is observed are economic class, honorific status, and power.
Most sociologists generally employ a five class conception of national
stratification. And there are certainly interrelationships between the local and
national structures, particularly on the economic -occupational level. Fist, the
upper class is the most highly educated segment of the total class structure. They
are quite rich, but they have also prestige, honor, and power. Wealth, status, and
power are concentrated in this stratum. Second, the upper middle class is a
stratum of joiners, with memberships ranging throughout the voluntary
associations of the community. They represent a practical dream that is within the
realm of statistical possibility. Third, the lower middle class includes section
heads in governmental agencies and large business concerns along with managers
in shops, services, chain stores, and the like. In this class, three out four in the
labor force would be classified as employees. Its population has heavily
suburbanized. Fourth, the lower class embraces those of the labor force who do
manual labor, who join unions, who earn a wage (hourly per rate) rather than a
salary and whose characteristic symbol is the blue rather than the white collar of
the middle class. The occupational character of the lower class is that labor
physically; they use their hands and manipulate things. The last class is the under
class which has the lowest educational achievement of any stratum in the

14

community. In a number of the jobs tend to be intermittent, seasonal, and cyclical,


long periods of employment and underemployment are characteristics.
An early example of a stratum class model was developed by the sociologist
William Lloyd Warner in his 1949 book, Social Class in America. For many
decades, the Warnerian theory was dominant in U.S. sociological theory. Based
on social anthropology, Warner divided Americans into three classes (upper,
middle, and lower), then further subdivided each of these into an "upper" and
"lower" segment, with the following postulates: Upper-upper class or "Old
money." People, who have been born into and raised with wealth, mostly consist
of old noble or prestigious families (e.g., Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Hilton). Lowerupper class or "New money" is individuals who have become ric h within their
own lifetimes (e.g. entrepreneurs, movie stars, as well as some prominent
professionals). Upper-middle class or high-salaried professionals are doctors,
lawyers, professors, corporate executives. Lower-middle class; lower-paid
professionals, but not manual laborers (e.g., police officers, non-management
office workers, small business owners). Upper-lower class is blue-collar workers
and manual laborers, also known as the "working class." Lower-lower class are
the homeless and permanently unemployed, as well as the "working poor."
In sociology, social stratification is the hierarchical arrangement of social
classes, castes, and strata within a society. While these hierarchies are not
universal to all societies, they are the norm among state -level cultures (as
distinguished from hunter-gatherers or other social arrangements). Social
stratification is regarded quite differently by the principal perspectives of

15

sociology. Proponents of structural-functional analysis suggest that since social


stratification exists in most state societies, a hierarchy must therefore be beneficial
in helping to stabilize their existence. Conflict theorists consider the
inaccessibility of resources and lack of social mobility in many stratified societies.
They conclude, often working from the theories of Karl Marx that stratification
means that working class people are not likely to advance socioeconomically,
while the wealthy may continue to exploit the proletariat generation after
generation. "The advancement of technology has changed the structure of
mobility completely" (Francois Adley). However, some conflict theorists, mainly
Max Weber and his followers, also critique Marx's view and point out that social
stratification is not purely based on economic inequalities but is equally shaped by
status and power differentials. They proceed to examine the basis and structure of
stratification in society along all of the three axes (Lee, 1976:120-123).

5.

The Victorian Age Social Stratification


Ausubel (1955:9-11) states that in the last decades of the nineteenth century

the English people suffered from a depression-worldwide in its incidence-that was


of central importance in the shaping of their history. Scholars have rarely given
sufficient attention to this depression and the great variety of its repercussions.
Yet it clarifies much of the political, social, economic, and intellectual
development if the late Victorians. It helps to explain what happened to their
agriculture, industry, commerce, and the condition of their working classes. It

16

throws much light on the history of their government and churches and the ideas
about the role these institutions should play in their lives.
Present day Englishmen often view the last decades of the nineteenth
century as golden age. Accustomed to depression, war, austerity, and fear of
another war and another depression, they consider the late Victorians and
extremely fortunate generation. People would find that the late Victorian did not
consider their age stable and secure. Whether they belonged to the upper, middle,
or lower class, they thought themselves as living in a time of troubles. They had
complicated problems to solve and they disagreed sharply as to how to go about
solving them (Ausubel, 1955:28-36).
The Victorian Age is one of the most remarkable periods in the history of
England. It was an era of material affluence, political consciousness, democratic
reforms, industrial and mechanical progress, scientific advancement, social unrest,
educational expansion, empire building and religious uncertainty. There were a
number of thinkers who were well-satisfied with the progress made by the
Victorians; while from a whole class of adverse critics could be heard a scathing
criticism of the values held dear by the Victorians. The Victorian age was
essentially a period of peace and prosperity for England. The few colonial wars
that broke out during this period exercised little adverse effects on the national
life. Peace brought material advancement and industrial progress in the country.
The industrial Revolution of the age transformed the agrarian economy of
England into an industrial economy. Industrial advancement created social unrest
and economic distress among the masses. The Industrial Revolution while
creating the privileged class of capitalists and mill-owners, rolling in wealth and

17

riches, also brought in its wake the semi-starved and ill-clad class of laborers and
factory workers who were thoroughly dissatisfied with their miserable lot.
National wealth was increased but it was not equitably distributed. The Victorian
era, therefore, witnessed vigorous social reforms and a line of crusading
humanitarian reformers who sought to do away with the festering sores and
seething maladies of the Victorian age. The Victorian age is, therefore, an age of
humanitarian

consideration

and

social

uplift

for

the

masses.

The reign of Queen Victoria was the golden age of the English novel. It was used
as a popular medium for expressing its rapid progress in commerce, democracy
and science. The material and scientific progress had its influence upon the
Victorian life and it was inevitable that it should be expressed through its prose,
poetry and fiction. (Mundra, 2001:370-374)

6.

The Marxist Criticism and View of Class


The aim of Marxism is to bring about a classless society, based on the

common ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange.


Marxism is a materialist philosophy: that is, it tries to explain things without
assuming the existence of a wor ld or of forces beyond the natural world around
us, and the society we live in. it looks for concrete, scientific, logical explanations
of the world of observable fact. Marxism sees progress as coming about through
the struggle between different social cla sses. The view of history as class struggle
regards it as motored by the competition of one social class. Marxism also built
upon the socialist thinking which was produced in France at the time of the
French Revolution.

18

Marx and Engels themselves did not put forward any comprehensive
theory of literature. Their views seem relaxed and undogmatic; good art always
has a degree of freedom from prevailing economic circumstances. As cultured and
highly educated Germans , Marx and Engels had that reverence for great art and
literature which was typical of their class, and there is an obvious desire in such
pronouncements to emphasise the difference between art and propaganda. Marxist
literary criticism maintains that a writers social class and its prevailing
ideology have a major bearing on what is written by a member of that class. So
instead of seeing authors as primarily autonomous inspired individuals whose
genius and creative imagination enables them to bring forth original and
timeless works of art, the Marxist sees them as constantly formed by their social
contexts in ways which they themselves would usually not admit.
In the Marxist view, the key structure to the understanding of human history
is class. Classes precipitate in the various historical levels (tribal, classical, feudal,
and capitalist) in terms of a critical relationship to the prevailing modes of
production characteristic of each epoch essentially ownership and nonownership.
There are thus two primary classes in each major historical sta ge and these are
essentially antagonistic to each other. The basis of antagonism, Marx concluded,
is the essential opposition of the interest of each polar class to the other. For
example, in modern (capitalist) society, the working class, the proletariat, has
class interests that are directly opposite to those of the bourgeoisie, the capitalists,
the owners of large scale industry and finance. In order to maximize their profit
and increase their wealth (the ultimate guiding necessity of the bourgeoisie), the

19

owners pay he workers as little as possible and force them to work long and
grueling hours, better working conditions, higher pay, and the like. Thus, the two
classes are arrayed in a fundamental antagonism. What one wants must be paid
for by the other. For Marx, viewing much of history as class struggle born of this
basic structural conflict, the one way out for the oppressed proletariat was
violence and revolution.
For Marx, human society is primarily organized around the pursuit of basic
needs -food, shelter, clothing. Not only are men social in a sort of instinctive
sense but the very nature of human association (society) is to facilitate the
acquisition of basic needs via the division of labor. In the course of the early
history of mankind, accor ding to Marx, a sort of parasitic, exploitative class arises
which takes for itself the primary modes of production. This class uses and
exploits another class (nonowners0 for its own greedy and acquisitive purposes.
Marx was the font of inspiration for the conflict school of social
stratification, there seems to be no single figure identifiable with the functional
approach. The conflict approach views stratification essentially from the
dysfunctions it produces in society. Class is seen essentially as a negative factor
which reduces adaptation and the integration of the social systems (William,
1994:220-222).
It was in Victorian Britain that Karl Marx became the first person to
critically attack the privileges not just of a hereditary upper class, but of anyone
whose labor output could not begin to cover their consumption of luxury. The
majority proletariat which had previously been relegated to an unimportant
compartment at the bottom of most hierarchies, or ignored completely, became

20

Marx's focal point. He recognized the traditiona l European ruling class ("We rule
you"), supported by the religious ("We fool you") and military {"We shoot at
you") lites, but the French Revolution had already shown that these classes could
be removed. Marx looked forward to a time when the new capitalist upper class
could also be removed and everyone could work as they were able, and receive as
they needed.
Karl Marx defined class in terms of the extent to which an individual or
social group has control over the means of production. In Marxist terms a class is
a group of people defined by their relationship to the means of production. Classes
are seen to have their origin in the division of the social product into a necessary
product and a surplus product. Marxists explain the history of "civilized" societies
in terms of a war of classes between those who control production and those who
actually produce the goods or services in society (and also developments in
technology and the like). In the Marxist view of capitalism, this is a conflict
between capitalists (bourgeoisie ) and wage -workers (the proletariat). For
Marxists, class antagonism is rooted in the situation that control over social
production necessarily entails control over the class which produces goods -- in
capitalism this is the exploitation of workers by the bourgeoisie.
Marx himself argued that it was the goal of the proletariat itself to displace
the capitalist system with socialism, changing the social relationships
underpinning the class system and then developing into a future communist
society in which: "..the free development of each is the condition for the free
development of all." or communist manifesto.

21

C.

Review on the Authors Historical Biographical Background


Charles Dickens, the second child of John and Elizabeth Dickens, was born

on February 7th, 1812 at Portsea. When he was twelve, his family fortunes were
on the decline owing to his father's incapacity to manage his financial affairs.
When his father was arrested and sent to the debtor's prison at Marshalsea,
Charles was sent to work in a boot-bleaching factory and to board with other
unwanted children in Mrs. Roylance's house. Young Charles found life miserable
as he walked daily from the factory to the boarding house. A timely inheritance of
money relieved his suffering. After studying for a few years at Wellington House,
he entered a Solicitor's Office as a freelance reporter at the office of the Doctor's
Common, the Parliament and the Morning Chronicle.
His literary career started in 1836 with the publication of "Sketches by Boy."
Around the same time, he got married to Catherine Hogarth. In 1837, "Pickwick
Papers" was published. Soon his other novels were in print. With "David
Copperfield" he reached the zenith of his literary career.
Dickens traveled a good deal around the world. In 1838, he instituted public
reading of his own books on a professional basis and this venture proved to be an
outstanding success. With the pressure of work and mounting activities, his health
began to suffer. In 1870, when he died from a cerebral stroke, he was remembered
as the most popular novelist his country had never known.
"Oliver Twist," the saga of a boy who passes through the trials and
tribulations of life to emerge stronger from it, first appeared as a monthly serial in
"Bentley's Miscellany" in 1837 and later was published as a book. The novel

22

fictionalizes the experiences of the writer and reflects the social evils prevailing at
that time.
As a boy Dickens suffered economic insecurity and humiliation. At the
tender age of twelve, he was sent work at a blacking factory to earn six shillings a
week. He was also sent to board with other unwanted children to Mrs. Roylance's
house. In the words of Kenneth Hayens, "Those few months were for Dickens a
time of utter misery, humiliation, and despair, the memory of which, as he later
confessed, he could never quite shake off." These childhood experiences of
Dickens have been transferred into the early pages of the novel and Oliver
portrays the feeling of despair that the author had experienced as a child.
In nineteenth-century England, there was a great shift in movement from the
villages to cities because of rapid industrialization. The migrants, who were
unemployed and lived in dirty streets, often took to crime. Dickens had come
across such people living in the streets of London as he was familiar with every
section of the city. He was also aware of the conditions of the paupers living in
workhouses managed by the parish. He thus comes down heavily on pompous
bureaucratic boards and corrupt parochial organizations of his times by attacking
the Poor Laws in "Oliver Twist."

D.

Theoretical Framework
In this thesis, I analyse the social stratification in Charles Dickenss Oliver

Twist. In analyzing this study the theory of character and characterization, theory
of setting, theory of literature and society, theory of social structure and social

23

stratification, and Theory of Victorian age stratification, take important roles.


These theories will support the analysis and help to answer the problems stated in
problem formulation.
I use Murphys character and characterization theory to answer the first
question of the problem formulation that is a clear description of characters in
Oliver Twist. According to this theory, in a literary work, a character can be
presented in nine ways. They are through personal description, speeches, past life,
from other characters, conversation, reactions, direct comment, thoughts, and
mannerisms.
Then, the theory of literature and society, theory of setting, and theory of
Victorian age are used to answer the first and second question. They are used to
help the writer to get more information about setting in Victorian age period.
In answering the second question of the problem formulation, I used
Williams theory about Social structure and social stratification. Those theories
will help the writer to get idea of what is social structure and social stratification,
so that the analysis would become much easier.
Among the theories talking about critical approaches to analyse a literary
work given by Guerin, the historical-biographical approach is considered to be the
most appropriate approach to perform the analysis of this study since this
approach sees a literary work as a reflection of its authors life and times or the
life and times of the characters in the works.

CHAPTER III
METHODOLOGY

A.

Object of the Study


The object of the study is Charles Dickenss novel entitled Oliver Twist. The

tale of Oliver Twist is legendary in British culture. Everyone has heard the little
boy who asked the authorities for more. The novel was an instant success in the
1830s and the story retained its popularity. The edition used in this thesis study is
the one introduced by Ella Westland and was published in 1992 by Wordsworth
Editions Limited.

It consists of 373 pages, and it is divided into fifty-three

chapters. First, Oliver Twist appeared as monthly serial in Bentleys Miscellany


in 1837 and later was published as a book. It is an interesting story of a young
orphan who lives with a lot of mysteries around him without any knowledge about
it. Olivers characters are felt very real by the way the author projects him. Oliver
Twist is much easier to read than other Charles Dickenss works.
The story is about an innocent boy struggling for survival. The novel deals
with the life of not only Oliver but also all the characters that are connected with
his life. The novel opens in a workhouse in a small town seventy-five miles north
of London where Oliver is born to Agnes. She is an unwed mother who dies soon
after Olivers birth. Olivers childhood is spent in the workhouse in a certain
town, which is not mentioned by the author. Like other children, he finds
miserable life where most of his time is ill treated and starving. Oliver escapes and

24

25

walks toward London. Then, he is introduced to the underworld by taking him to


The three Cripples, a shady public house owned by Fagin. Finally, Oliver
discovers his identity and regains his rightful place in society. He goes back to
live in town with his mothers family.

B.

Approach of the Study


A literary approach is needed in order to analyze a literary work so that a

good analysis can be produced. In Beginning Theory: An Introduction to literary


and Culture Theory (2002: 156-171) divides literary approaches into thirteen
criticisms.

They

are

structuralism,

post-structuralism,

post-modernism,

psychoanalytic criticism, feminist criticism, lesbian and gay criticism, Marxist


criticism, new historicism and cultural materialism, postcolonial criticism,
stylistics, naratology, economic criticism, and liberal humanism.
To go into the depth of the story in this study, the Marxist criticism will be
employed. This criticism maintains that a writers social class and its prevailing
ideology have a major bearing on what is written by a member of that class.
Marxist criticism tends to deal with history in a fairly generalized way. It talks
about conflicts between social classes and clashes of large historical forces, but,
contrary to popular be lief, it rarely discusses the detail of a specific historical
situation and relates it closely to the interpretation of a particular literary text.
Using historical-biographical approach I try to answer the problems by analyzing
the life, times, and conditions, which are reflected through the irony presented in
the story. Therefore, I can get the idea of the Victorian social structure.

26

C.

Method of the Study


In writing this thesis, I took some steps that were done systematically,

considering that the method I used to collect data for the thesis was library
research. As the first step, I read the novel Oliver Twist thoroughly. I needed more
than three times to read the main reference. I wrote down all the information that I
considered as being important to my study. The next step I took was to find the
secondary sources. I obtained some essential information from books on literature.
Among others, they are M.J. Murphys Understanding Unseen, E.M. Fosters
Aspect of the Novel, Abrams A Glossary of literary, Perrines Literature:
Structure, Sound, and Sense, second edition,Peter Barrys Beginning Theory: An
Introduction to literary and Culture Theory and Guerins A Handbook of Critical
Approaches to Literature.
The next step was starting to analyze the novel. The analysis was focused on
obtaining the answers of three questions stated in problems formulation. In this
part, firstly, tried to answer the first problem by finding how the setting and
characters are presented in the novel. In this case, I tried to pay attention to the
whole text focusing on the characters attitudes and conditions that sign them to
be facts. The next step, I tried to answer the second problem by finding out the
Victorian social stratification of the story seen from the setting and characters.
Finally, I drew conclusion.

CHAPTER IV
ANALYSIS

A.

The Portrayal of Characters and Settings


Oliver Twist is a classic story, which is depicted in interesting ways. The structure

of the story is murderous melodrama. The story tells about a young orphan whom
Dickens projects living with a lot of mysteries around him and the character of Oliver is
very real. His unwed mother gives birth to Oliver and leaves him. Olivers journey begins
in London, from the underworld of the Jew until he finds his family. The plot unravels
the secret of Olivers birth and ends with the orphan finding a new family and his
mother's written name on a memorial tablet. Dickens describes Oliver Twist without
loosing sight of the workhouse in which the story begins and in which many interesting
scenes are depicted in the underworld. In this part, the writer tries to analyze the portrayal
of characters and settings depicted in Oliver Twist.
The novel is set in London and its surrounding districts. The initial years of Oliver's
childhood are spent in a certain town, the name of which is not mentioned by the author.
When Oliver runs away from the undertaker's shop and walks towards London, it is
mentioned that the farm workhouse is seventy- five to eighty miles to the north of
London. The boy meets the Artful Dodger at Barnet, a little Hertfordshire town where
every house is a tavern, large or small.
The social setting of the novel is depicted at three different levels. First, the
parochial world is revealed. The inhabitants of this world are calculating and insensible to
the feelings of the poor. The parochial world is divided into three parts; the workhouse,

27

28
the tradesmen, and the poor.
Second, the criminal world is exposed. Pickpockets, house-breaker, and murderers
belong to this world. Poverty drives them to crime and the weapon they use to achieve
their end is violence. They live with fear and guilt and die a miserable death. Fagin, Bill
Sikes, Artful Dodger and Noah Claypole are part of this society.
Finally, the world of the respectable people is unfurled. Respectable people who
show a regard for moral values, and believe in the principles of human dignity live in this
world. The members of this world are Mr. Brownlow, Dr. Losborne, and the Maylies.

1. The Parochial World


The parochial world in Oliver Twist involves the workhouse, the tradesmen, and the
poor. It is called parochial world, because those groups are related to the parish world in
which the area has its own church and clergymen. The workhouse is managed by the
parish officers who manage the destitute. The tradesmen are a group of people who
employee the destitute.

A. The Work House


A workhouse is a place to look after the poor who cannot support their own lives,
because it is very difficult to get a job at that time. Parish poor relief is distributed mostly
through "out-relief". It grants of money, clothing, food, or fuel, to those living in their
own homes. However, the workhouse gradually begins to evolve in the seventeenth
century as an alternative form of "indoor relief", both to save the parish money, and also
as a deterrent to the able-bodied who are required to work, usually without pay, in return

29
for their board and lodging. Parish workhouse buildings are often just ordinary local
houses or rented for the purpose sometimes a workhouse is purpose-built.
The running of workhouses is often handed over to a contractor who would, for an
agreed price, feed and house the poor. He would also provide the inmates with work and
benefit from any income generated. This system is known as 'farming' the poor.
However, the parish officers do not do their duty and do not handle the Poors life as
well. The staff of a workhouse is supposed to comprise; master, matron, medical officer,
chaplain, porter, a schoolteacher. This is the minimum number of staff although smaller
workhouses did not employ so many people. For the most part, the staffs are in directives
of the Poor Law Commission. Inspectors from the Poor Law Commission are expected to
visit each work workhouse twice annually. Unfortunately, many of the Assistant
Commissioners were untrained also and learned by experience. This made the smooth
running of workhouses a difficult task and also allows scandals.
Among other public buildings in a certain town, which for many reasons it will be
prudent to refrain from mentioning, and to which I will assign no fictitious name,
there is no one anciently common to most towns great or small to wit, a
workhouse and in this workhouse was born (p. 3).
In this novel, we can draw that a workhouse is an institution provided by the parish
to house and feed the destitute. In workhouse, Oliver is born and stays at as one of the
destitute. There is an alternative called outdoor relief, which is money and goods given
to them. The New Poor Law (the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834) introduced a
centralized system across the country, grouping parishes into six hundred unions and
putting a Board of Guardians in charge of poor relief be abolished, so that the able -bodied
poor seeking assistance had no alternative but to enter the workhouse. At the same time
workhouses were to be made less attractive than the conditions of the poorest local

30
laborer. As dickens put it: The relief was inseparable from the workhouse and the gruel;
and that frightened people (p. II). Men, women, children, and the elderly were to be
accommodated separately, and subsistence diet enforced on all inmates.
She was brought here last night, replied the old woman, by the overseers order.
She was found lying in the street. She had walked some distance, for her shoes were
worn to pieces; but where she came from, or where she was going to, nobody
knows
The surgeon leaned over the body, and raised the left hand. The old story, he said,
shaking his head; no wedding ring, I see. Ah! Goodnight! (p. 4).
The novel opens in a workhouse in a small town seventy five miles north of London
where Agnes bears Oliver, an unwed mother who dies soon after his birth. Oliver Twist is
born around 1827-8 under the old workhouse system. From the quotation above can show
that it is a full true and particular the life of adventure life of Oliver Twist who begins in
a grim workhouse with Olivers birth and his mothers death. Nobody, however, only a
pauper, old woman, who is rendered rather misty by an unwonted allowance of beer; and
a parish surgeon, has surrounded Oliver. It implies there are old women who are
midwives in workhouse. They are untrained and occasionally paid in beer. There is a
parish surgeon who employed as a local doctor who always attends a workhouse,
probably awarded the contract after tendering the lowest bid for his service. So, those
people are witness during the death of Agnes and the birth of Oliver.
Oliver breathed, sneezed, and proceeded to advertise to the inmates of the
workhouse the fact of a new burden having been imposed upon the parish (p. 3).
The quotation above shows that Oliver as a parish child, the orphan of a workhouse,
the humble, half-starved drudge, to be cuffed and buffeted through the world, and only
give a new burden to the workhouse. He is despised by all and pitied by none. We see the
tendency of the workhouse is to support the economic and security condition of poor

31
people. Oliver is born out to the world in the circumstances under the old workhouse
system. It is strict and cruel inside, though the government later makes a new Poor Law
to make poor people not suffering from the lack of social security.
For the next eight or ten months, Oliver was the victim of a systematic course of
treachery ad deception. He was brought up by the hand. The hungry and destitute
situation of the infant orphan was duly reported by the workhouse authorities to the
parish authorities. The parish authorities inquired with dignity of the workhouse
authorities, whether there was no female then domiciled in the house who was in
a situation to impart to Oliver Twist the consolation and nourishment of which he
stood in need (p. 5).
As a matter of fact, a workhouse is a place where the destitute can rely on, because
there are so many things offered from government. However, the condition in workhouse
itself is really terrible for everybody living there. Violence and slavery are the
characteristics in the wor khouse. As a child, Oliver should not get ill-treats, otherwise he
should get good treats. Even, he is sent to the workhouse other than to the farm where
infants are taken care. It is because in that country areas, the annual death rate in baby
farms is between forty and sixty percent.
The elderly female was a woman of wisdom and experience; she knew what was
good for children: and she had a very accurate perception of what was good for her
self. So, she appropriated the greater part of the weekly stipend to her own use, and
consigned the rising parochial generation to even a shorter allowance that was
originally provided for them: thereby finding in the lowest depth a deeper still; and
proving herself a very great experimental philosopher (pp. 5-6).
From the quotation above depicts the kindness and humanity moral value given by
the workhouse is to be the contrary with what be the fact. In workhouse, there is a matron
acts as a deputy for the Master in his absence, and also has specific responsibilities of her
own, mostly relating the supervision of female inmates and the workhouse's domestic
arrangements. Her duties such as; to oversee the admission of female paupers and pauper
children under seven, to oversee the employment and occupation of female paupers, to

32
assist the Schoolmistress in training up the children so as best to fit them for service, to
pay particular attention to the moral conduct and orderly behavior of the females and
children, and see they are clean and decent in their dress and persons, to superintend the
washing, drying, and getting up of the linen, stockings, and blankets, to take proper care
of the children and sick paupers, and to provide the proper diet, and for women suckling
infants (www.workhouses.org.uk/Leeds/).
The parental superintendence is an elderly female, Mrs. Mann, the matron of the
farm workhouse, who abuses children and pockets their stipends. She receives illegally
from a head of an orphan seven pence-halfpenny per week from the culprits. The cost is
not equal to overload their stomach and make them uncomfortable. It states that the
matron is a woman of wisdom and experiences in taking care of the destitute, but on as a
matter of fact she only take the benefit for herself. Though government has given enough
money to feed poor people or in other words the supply of money and goods is enough,
but there is wrong allocation of the fund. As stated in theory of characters and
characterization that the author can describe ones mannerism, habits, or idiosyncrasies
that may also tell us something about his character (1972: 172). We can describe ones
character only by looking at his mannerisms, habits behavior, and so on. From this
theory, we see the character of the two matrons in this novel. The first matron, Ms. Mann
uses the allowances that should be provided for the destitute for the sake of her self. She
does not care of the paupers life and she takes the money for her own business. Dickens
wants to say that she is a corruptor. We can see that she is trusted as the matron who has
a kind heart and capable to manage the workhouse. She, however, does unexpected
matters and does not responsible for her job. And because of her behavior, a lot of poor

33
people suffer and they are lack of social. Even, in the novel states that Dickens uses the
term of experimental philosopher for her attitude.
Now, Mr. Bumble was a fat man, and a choleric; so instead of responding to his
open-hearted salutation in a kindred spirit, he gave the little wicket a tremendous
shake, and then bestowed upon it a kick which could have emanated from no leg
but a beadles (p. 7).
Dickens never loses sight of the workhouse set with whom the story promising
begins. He creates Mr. Bumble character, a paid parish official who wears a cocked hat
and carried a staff. Mr. Bumble is a pompous beadle, who latter marries Mrs. Corney, is
one of the Olivers oppressors and Dickens comic characters. He is a parish officer
whose job delivers parochial business connected with the parochial orphans and controls
the workhouse. Dickens even links him into the darker London plot, but continues with
his appearances for maximal comic effect. The superb scene where Mr. Bumble woos
Mrs. Corney exploits a range of comic scene, starting with the bitterly irony contrast
between the selfish enjoyment of creature comforts by the workhouse matron and the
parish beadle, set against the suffering of wretches appealing for winter relief.
Antiporochial weather, Mr. Bumble terms it, speaking in the interests of parish
ratepayers and officials, as he intransigently imposes a cruel system on the poorest
parishioners.
Mrs. Corney, said the beadle, smiling as men smile who are conscious of superior
information, out -of-door relief, properly managed properly managed, maam is
the parochial safe guard. The great principle of out-of-door relief is, to give the
paupers exactly what they dont want; and then they get tired of coming (p. 147).
From the quotation above shows that Mrs. Corney as the matron of the workhouse
to which the readers have been already introduced as the birthplace of Oliver Twist, who
marries Mr. Bumble, is such the aspect of out-of-doors affairs. It is a reduction that
people are threatened with starvation unless they entered the workhouse. Mr. Bumble is

34
begrudgingly administering limited rations on behalf of the parish. He is also envying
Mrs. Corney with her prosperous as a matron in the place of out door relief. Dickens
creates Mr. Bumble and Mrs. Corney to be a spouse. It was necessary for the master and
matron to be a married couple (Burnett, 1974: 33). Dickens also wants to convey the
existence the matron, in this part represented by Mrs. Corney who does not manage her
job.
Mr. Bumble, cried the discreet lady in a whisper; for the fright was so great that
she had quite lost her voice Mr. Bumble, I shall scream! Mr. Bumble made no
reply, but in a slow and dignified manner put his arm round the matrons waist.
As the lady stated her intention of screaming, of course she would have screamed at
this additional boldness, but the exertion was rendered unnecessary by a hasty
knocking at the door;
If you please, mistress, said a withered old female pauper, hideously ugly, putting
her head in at the door, Old Sally is a-going fast (p. 151).
The quotation shows that such serious matters speedily give way to the hilarious
sight of Mr. Bumble courting his lady by moving closer around circumference of the tea
table; but a satisfactory finale to his seduction is in turn rudely disrupted by a knocking at
the door. Enter the harbinger of death, as in a medieval morality play, in the form of
hideously ugly old woman. After hearing tha t news, Mrs. Corneys requests Mr. Bumble
to stay till she came back. She is afraid something happened with the Old Sally and they
are walking so fast, following the old pauper from the room with a very ill grace.
Mr. Bumbles conduct, on being left himself, was rather inexplicable. He opened
the closet, counted the teaspoons, weighed the sugar-tongs, closely inspected a
silver milk-pot to ascertain that it was of the genuine metal; and, having satisfied his
curiosity on these points, put on his cocked-hat corner-wise, and danced with much
gravity four distinct times round the table (p. 152).
Mr. Bumble depicts the theatrical interlude with a secret dance of satisfaction, exposing
to us. As stated in the sixth theory of character and characterization that the author can
give us a clue to a persons character by letting us know how that person reacts to various

35
situations and events (1972: 168). We can judge ones character from the way he faces a
particular problem. Therefore, we can conclude that it is only the naked self interest
behind his marriage proposal. He is very happy because he can marry Mrs. Corney and
dominates her property. The interesting one of Mr. Bumble scene is that Mr. Bumble in
ensuing episodes deprived of the beadles cocked hat, which has been so much a part of
his former identity. May be this scene reduces the sympathy toward Mr. Bumble and it is
such a rich source of humor.
I sold myself, said Mr. Bumble, pursuing the same train of reflection, for six
teaspoons, a pair of sugar-tongs, and a milk pot; with a small quantity of secondhand furniture, and twenty pound in money. I went very reasonable. Cheap, dirt
cheap! (p. 233)
The quotation above depicts there are some promotions in life, he exchange his life
with property. Dickens wants to convey that the condition in Victorian age is insecure.
Because of the condition at that time Mr. Bumble or other people will do everything for
wealth. The quality and duration of life are social variables which have always depended
upon an almost infinite range of economic and social factors (Hobsbawm, 1999: 21).
Mr. Bumble has married Mrs. Corney, and he is the master of the workhouse. As the
master he should be responsible to the Union and to the Poor Law Commissioners for the
proper running and administration of the workhouse. He is also required to be "a friend
and protector of the inmates". A workhouse Master had to be at least 21 years old, able to
keep accounts. He must be "a person of sufficient education, strength of will, and
firmness of purpose and must have control over himself. A Master holds office for life,
unless he resigns or becomes incapable of discharging his duties. Where, as often
happens, the Master and Matron are married, and the wife dies, resigns or is dismissed,
then the Master had to vacate his post unless the Guardians and Poor Law Commissioners

36
agreed to re-appoint him. The beadle has come into power to change his position, and his
cocked hat, gold-laced coat, and staff is descended. Mr. Bumble even sells himself with
all the property Mrs. Corney has. Because the condition he has, Mr. Bumble will do
everything for wealth.
Whether the late Mrs. Corney is particularly proof against eagle glances, are matters
of opinion. The matter of fact is that the matron is in no way overpowered by Mr.
Bumbles scowl, but, on the contrary, treats it with great disdain, and even raises a laugh
thereat, which sounded as though it is genuine. It shows that the authority owned by Mrs.
Corney cannot be purchased by a marriage.

B.

The Poor
People ends-up in the workhouse for a variety of reasons. Usually, it is because they

are too poor, old or ill to support themselves. This may have resulted from such things as
a lack of work during periods of high unemployment, or someone having no family
willing or able to provide care for them when they become elderly or sick.
The surgeon leaned over the body, and raised the left hand. The old story, he said,
shaking his head; no wedding ring, I see. Ah! Goodnight! (p. 4).
It is seen from past life in theory character and characterization, by getting the
reader learn something about a persons past life; the author can give us a clue to events
that have help to shape a persons character (1972: 166). Their families often disown
unmarried pregnant women and the workhouse is the only place they could go during and
after the birth of their child. It is similar with Olivers mother, Agnes, who gives birth in
the workhouse by the assistance of the nurse and the doctor there. It reveals that Agnes as
an unwed mother is one of the poor people as she is an unmarried woman who is found

37
lying in the workhouse. Her family disowns her because of her pregnancy and Oliver
becomes a parish child, the orphan of a workhouse. Prior to the establishment of public
mental asylums in the mid-nineteenth century, the mentally ill and mentally handicapped
poor are also live in the workhouse. Workhouses, though, are never prisons, and entry
into them is generally a voluntary although often painful decision. The operation of
workhouses, and life and conditions inside them, varied over the centuries in the light of
current legislation, economic and social conditions.
The condition of the workhouse where many orphans suffer from ill-treats is very
horrified. The poor do not get good treatments as they should get. For instance, since
Oliver is infant until he is about nine years old, he always suffer hunger and under
pressure. Children do not get more attention, even less for adult and old poor people; they
will get punishment as put them in the jail. It shows in the workhouse where there is no
peace and convenience. The example of Olivers and his friend violence is when his nine
birthday found him as a pale thin child and very small in shape. He suffers inconvenient
as well, because of the bad treatment in the workhouse. His tragic birthday party was held
with a select party of two other young gentlemen, who, after participating with him in a
loud sound, had been locked up therein for presum ing to be hungry. This is an example
how the workhouse treats children very bad.
Hunger and recent ill usage are great assistants if you want to cry; and Oliver cried
very naturally indeed. Mrs. Mann gave him a thousand embraces, and, what Oliver
wanted a great deal more, a piece of bread and butter, lest he should seem too
hungry when he got to the workhouse (p. 9).
In the workhouse mastered by Mrs. Mann, Oliver suffers a great painful, and then
short after that Mr. Bumble moves him to another branch workhouse in which orphans in
the same age are together in order to improve the quality of their lives. Therefore, it

38
means that Oliver will get good treatment and proper food in the new workhouse as Mr.
Bumble said. However, the condition is not the same as Oliver expects. Oliver and his
friends still suffers tortures even more and starvation for three months. They get so
voracious and wild with hunger. The council who should give opportunity, protects, and
comfortable shelter and environment to the children; even do not carry out well. There is
a classification and segregation, workhouse inmates were strictly segregated into seven
classes: aged or infirm men, able bodied men, and youth above 13, youths and boys
above seven years old and under 13, aged or infirm women, able bodied women and girls
above 16, girls above seven years old and under 16, and children under 7 years of age.
Each class had its own area of the workhouse. Husband, wives, and children were
separated as soon as they entered the workhouse and could be punished if they even tried
to speak to one another.
He continues his life by going to London to seek his fortune then. Because, in the
silence of the gloomy undertaker shop in which Oliver work for gives his feelings which
the days treatment may be supposed likely to awake him to against his destiny.
You mustnt say you saw me, Dick. said Oliver. I am running away. They beat
and ill-use me, Dick; and I am going to seek my fortune some long way off. I dont
know where. How pale you are!
I heard the doctor tell them I was dying, replied the child, with a faint smile. I am
very glad to see you, dear; but dont stop, dont stop!
Yes,yes, I will, to say good-bye to you, replied Oliver. I shall see you again,
Dick. I know I shall. You will be well and happy. (p. 45)
Oliver goes back to the workhouse and asks permission to his young dear friend
Dick as they have miserable experiences together; being beaten, starved, and shut up
together, many and many time. In this scene we can see the torture given by the
workhouse, pity of young Dick who soon died after Oliver leaves him and friendship as

39
well.
I thought they were talking rather too much to be doing their work properly, my
dear, replied Mr. Bumble, glancing distractedly at a couple of old women at the
wash-tub, who were comparing notes of admiration at the workhouse-masters
humility (p. 236).
In the novel, Oliver Twist, the destitute live there. Inmates are given a variety of
work to perform, much of which is involved in running the workhouse. The women
mostly do domestic jobs such as cleaning or helping in the kitchen or laundry. Some
workhouses had workshops for sewing, spinning, and weaving or other local trades.
Others had their own vegetable gardens where the inmates worked to provide food for the
workhouse. The women work for the inmates of the workhouse because before entering
the workhouse, paupers were stripped, bathed (under supervision), and issued with a
workhouse uniform. Their own clothes would be washed and disinfected by the women
and then put into store along with any other possessions they has and only return to them
when they leave the workhouse.
There are other characters of poor people; Noah Claypole and Charlotte. Noah is a
charity boy working for Mr. Sowerberry and Charlotte is his girlfriend who also a servant
of the mistress and she is willing to be Noahs accomplice in crime. They ill-treat and
underestimate Oliver consider their selves are superior to Oliver.
Im Mister Noah Claypole, said the charity-boy, and youre under me. Take
down the shutters, yer idle young ruffian! (p. 29)
Noah Claypoles behavior seems like a rich and powerful man, but as a matter of
fact he is a worker, so is Oliver. Noah thinks he can order other people, for instance
Charlotte and Oliver. Noah is just a charity boy who has an unhappy family. He acts like
that because he feels not satisfied with the condition he is in. It shows what a beautiful
thing human nature sometimes is, and how impartially the same amiable qualities are

40
developed in the finest lord and the dirty charity-boy.
Noah was a charity-boy, but not a workhouse orphan. No chance-child was he, for
he could trace his genealogy all the way back to his parents, who lived hard by; his
mother being a washerwoman, and his father a drunken soldier, discharged with a
wooden leg, and diurnal pension of two pence-halfpenny and an unstatable fraction
(p. 30).
He cannot possibly devote to a worthier purpose than annoy young Oliver Twist.
He acts like a malicious and ill-conditioned charity boy as he is. Noah always tortures
Oliver, twitches his ears, and expresses his opinion that he is a sneak and furthermore
announced his intention of coming to see him hanged. However, none of these treatments
make Oliver cries. Therefore, Noah tries to find the angle that can make Oliver brushes
the tears.
Intent upon this innocent amusement , Noah put his feet on the table, pulls Olivers
hair, and twitches his ears, and expresses his opinion that he is a sneak (p. 37).
The quotations depicts the scene where Oliver as the oppressed one, weak, thin, and
smaller than Noah, and people recognized Noah as a dirty charity boy, after aggravating
and tantalizing Oliver, is so weak and no power against Oliver. He is not doing a single
mistake but what he gets is much more than torture and causing humiliation. Many times
Oliver gets ill-treats which he does not deserve to get that. All people in the shop are very
cruel to him. It shows that people cannot differentiate which is bad and which is good.

C.

The Tradesmen
For a week after Oliver asks for more, he remains a close prisoner in the dark and

solitary room to which he has been consigned by the wisdom and mercy of the board. He
only cries bitterly all day and when the night comes, he spreads his little hands in over his
eyes to cover the darkness and crouches in the corner, tries to sleep close to the wall

41
where the gloom and loneliness surrounded him.
If the parish would like him to learn a light pleasant trade, in a good spectable
chimbley-swepin business, said Mr. Gamfield, I wants a prentis, and Im ready
to take him.
Its a nasty trade, said Mr. Limbkins, when Gamfield had again stated his wish (p.
1).
Soon after that, Oliver is sent to be prenticed by the board to Mr. Gamfield; a
greedy chimneysweeper. From the quotation above shows he is a man who employees
inmates. He tries to take Oliver as his apprentice through Mr. Bumble without paying
some money. In 1834 Act for the Better Regulation of Chimney Sweepers and Their
Apprentices raised the age limit to ten and the boys should serve a two-month trial
apprenticeship before the letters are signed. Mr. Bumble states as a chimneysweeper,
Oliver will have prentice and good life later. Otherwise, after the case finished with Mr.
Gamfield, he still faces cruelty and unhealthy condition of work as in the explanation
follows.
In rural areas, inmates are sometimes used for agricultural labor. The jobs are stonebreaking, corn-grinding, bone-crushing, gypsum -crushing, oakum-picking, woodchopping, a mute in burial and chimney sweeper. No work, except necessary household
work and cooking, was performed by inmates on Sunday, Good Friday, and Christmas
Day.
Oliver is once more again informed to let the nasty trade, and that five pounds will
be paid to anybody who will take possession of him. Mr. Bumble after that inquiry
returns to the workhouse to communicate the result of his mission and just at the gate,
Mr. Sowerberry, the parochial undertaker is the first man who favors Oliver. He is a local
undertaker contracted to the workhouse, having agreed to carry out jobs at a specified

42
low price, who makes Oliver his apprentice. Mr. Sowerberry is a tall, gaunt, large -jointed
man, attired in a suit of threadbare black, with darned cotton-stockings of the same color,
and shoes to answer. His features are not naturally intended to wear a smiling aspect, but
he is in general rather given to professional man.
Aha! said the undertaker, glancing over it with a lively countenance; an order for
a coffin, eh?
For a coffin first, and a parochial funeral afterwards, (p. 31)
Oliver works in Mr. Sowerberrys shop as a mute boy in funeral or parochial
funerals. It is culturally important even for poor families to hold elaborate funerals, but a
funeral paid for by the parish would have been a meager and demeaning affair (pp. 368369). In Sowerberrys world, Olivers expectation is not fulfilled; even he is in very bad
condition.
Then come with me, said Mrs. Sowerberry, taking up a dim and dirty lamp, and
leading the way upstairs; your beds under the counter. You dont mind sleeping
among the coffins, I suppose? (p. 27)
He was alone in a strange place; and we all know how chilled and desolate the best
us will sometimes feel in such situation. The boy had no friends to care for, or to
care for him (p. 28).
He presumes after moving out from his previous circumstance he will have a better
life, but it is worse. It is unimaginable that Oliver must sleep among the coffins under the
counter, which is directed by Mrs. Sowerberry, his new mistress, who ill-treats Oliver. In
this scene Oliver really does not get satisfaction working in Mr. Sowerberrys shop. Even
for Mrs. Sowerberry, Oliver is too small, feels disgust and underestimates Oliver,
whether he can work or not in her shop. He is really under pressure and faces horrible
moment. In the silence of the gloomy undertaker shop gives Olivers feelings which the
days treatment may be supposed likely to awake him to against his destiny.

43
2.

The Criminal World


In nineteenth century England, there was a great shift in movement from the

villages to cities because of rapid industrialization. The migrants, who were unemployed
and lived in dirty streets, often took to crime. Dickens had come across such people
living in the streets of London as he was familiar with every section of the city. He was
also aware of the conditions of the paupers living in workhouses managed by the parish.
Then, he criticized the bureaucratic boards and corrupt parochial organizations of his
times by attacking the Poor Laws in Oliver Twist.
Olivers adventure starts from the meeting with The Artful Dodger. Oliver walks
twenty miles to London to seek his fortune, but nothing he has to survive along the
journey. He thinks nobody can find him in London, not even Mr. Bumble. He has often
heard the old men in the workhouse that it is the very place for a homeless boy, who must
die in the streets unless some one helps him. As these things passed through his thoughts,
he jumps upon his feet, and again walks forward. In the short time, unexpected young
gentleman comes offering of shelter; a comfortable place.
As John Dawkins objected to their entering London before nightfall, it was nearly
eleven oclock when they reached the turnpike of Islington (p. 50).
Oliver discovers that his friends name is Jack Dawkins or The Artful Dodger. In
this story Artful Dodger responsible for Olivers entry into the underworld. John
Dawkins is also known as the Artful Dodger who is the most successful pickpocket
belongs to the Fagins gang. He is one of the delightful characters of Dickens who
entertains the readers with his slang and crude language. He gets acquitted with Oliver at
Barnet and leads him to London to the world of criminals. He is good to Oliver but tries
to convince him to join their trade.

44
A dirtier or more wretched place he had never seen. The place was very narrow and
muddy, and the air was impregnated with filthy odours. There were a good many
small shops; but the only stock in trade appeared to be heaps of children, who, even
at that time of night, were crawling in and out at the doors, or screaming from the
inside (pp. 50-51).
In the very narrow and muddy street and in the condition of unhealthy air, there is
friendship and convenience, because Oliver finds out that there is no miserable life. He
finds happiness, laugh, and food. In the old house where Arthful dodger lives there is
many children wear good clothes, smoke long clay pipes, and drink spirits with the air of
middle-aged men as they are not acting as well as children in their age.
This is him, Fagin, said Jack Dawkins; my friend, Oliver twist.
We are very glad to see you, Oliver very, said the Jew. Dodger, take off the
sausages, and draw a tub near the fire for Oliver (p. 52).
We know the characters of Fagin from the description of a persons appearance
and clothes from the authors point of view, as stated in the personal description. The
person appearance can be description of face, skin, eyes, and so on (1972: 162). There is
a very old shriveled Jew dresses in a greasy flanne l gown, assumed he is the master of the
house. He is a stereotyped portrait of a Jew, lord of the underworld, wily and greedy and
feels delighted to lure young men into his profession. In making a Jew the lord of the
underworld, whose dominant character traits are his cunning and scheming, Dickens
depicts a long existing stereotype of Jews as money, hungry, and deceitful. Such portraits
of Jews are popular fare in Dickens society and instead of opposing them with a realistic
portrait, he depicts them. Fagin has a faithful gang of thief that time, the merry old
gentleman and the hopeful pupils show very good behavior and welcomes Oliver, not like
the gang leader of thieves. He thinks the old gentleman must be a decided miser to live in
such dirty place, with so many watches. Oliver sees a box full of treasure belongs to the

45
Jew. However, he still keeps positive thoughts that the Dodger and the other boys cost the
Jew a good deal of money. Before finally he knows Fagin is the lord of underworld.
In a couple of days in the house of Fagin, Oliver wonders that picking the old
gentlemans pocket in play has to do with his chances of being a great man. He does not
realize that being a thief is a bad manner, because he thinks it is just a game learned by
Fagin. Oliver assumes London provides him a good life and the Jew, being so much his
senior, must know the best, and Oliver follows the Jews instruction and is soon deeply
involved in his new study. He still does not realize what he is doing now; he is such an
innocent pupil. The day where he goes with Artful Dodger and Charley Bates who is a
fun-loving thief, seems a horror for his life. He watches The Dodger and Master Bates
steal a handkerchief from the old gentlemans pocket in bookstall. Oliver runs away, as
accused one, a thief. The crowd eagerly gathers around him, each new comer jostling and
struggling with the others to catch a glimpse. Oliver only can surrender covering with
mud and dust, and bleeding from the mouth. He really gets torture from what he does.
Later, the man whose book is stolen takes Oliver at his house. After a couple of
days recovery of Oliver, Mr. Brownlow sends Oliver to return the books to the
bookseller where the tragic event happened. Meanwhile, on the way to the book stale,
The Jew Fagin sends Bill Sikes and Nancy. Bill Sikes is a crude and cruel man, an
accomplice of Fagin and the boy friend of Nancy.
Hush! Hush! Mr. Sikes, said the Jew, trembling; dont speak to loud.
None of your mistering,replied the ruffian; you always mean mischief when you
come that. You know my name; out with it! I shant disgrace it when the time
comes (p. 79).
After Oliver is being arrested, he is under controlled of Fagin and Bill Sikes. The

46
underworld life brings him into a miserable life. Bill Sikes is a man who has a role as the
man brings him to the crime. In the quotation above shows that Sikes has a bad temper
and harsh manner. He sometimes torture Oliver. A notable plan is always discussed and
determined on by Fagin and the gang of thieves, which will be carried out by Bill Sikes
and his accomplice, Toby Crackit, a housebreaker and a cheerful drinker. The characters
of Bill Sikes and Nancy can be seen from their speech. The author can give us an insight
into the other character of one of the person in the book through what that person says.
Whenever a person speaks, whenever he is in a conversation with another, whenever he
puts forward an opinion, he is giving us clues to his character (1972: 164). We can see
ones character is reading the speech or the dialogue from the text.
To get Oliver back, a plan to catch Oliver by sending Bill Sikes and Nancy is
success. She is a desperate fallen woman with tender heart who serves Sikes with
devotion and later helps Oliver establishing his identity. Nancy is the counterpart of Rose
in her love for Oliver, her sensitivity and her goodness. However, Rose is lucky to have
found respectability, security and love. Nancy is cursed with a fallen status and
wretchedness. She feels guilty during Oliver into crime and expresses her sympathy for
him. When she overhears Monks conversation with Fagin concerning Oliver, she goes to
meet Rose to deliver her the information. Risking her own life, she walks over the
London Bridge to keep her appointment wit h rose and, in the process, loses her own life.
Bill Sikes, the man she has loved and served, kills her mercilessly when he suspects her
of betraying their trust. Dickens has success in portraying Nancy as unfortunate woman,
possessed with a good heart but a tortured soul.

47
I have saved you from being ill-used once, and I will again, and I do now,
continued the girl aloud; for those who would have fetched you, if I had not, would
have been far more rough than me. I have promised for your being quiet and silent:
if you are not, you will only do harm to yourself and me too; and perhaps be my
death. See here! I have borne all this for you already, as true as God sees me show
it (p. 131).
From the quotation above shows that Nancy feels pity with Oliver, and then she
turns to be a nice friend of Oliver who later saves his life. She is very fond of Oliver and
he can see Nancy loves him as a brother. She promises that she will save his life. Oliver
is shocked that Nancy is really such a dear sister. She speaks the truth; her countenance
was agitated, and produces trembled voice.
I, lady, replied the girl; I am the infamous creature you have heard of that lives
among the thieves, and that never from the first moment I can recollect my eyes and
senses opening on London streets have known any better life, or kinder words than
they given me, lady. I am younger than you would think, to look at me, but I am
well used to it. The poorest women fall back as I make my way along the crowded
pavement. (p. 263)
Nancys life has been squandered in the streets in London, but there is still
something on the womans nature left in her. She struggles with her shame, and then she
feels better feeling and pride. She knows that she is the representation of the lowest and
most debased creature not less than the high and self -assured. Her miserable companion
of thieves and ruffians, the most places she visits, the jails and hulks, are in her shadow.
However, she is proud to be her self, betraying the myths that a woman is a weak
creature, because of her strong humanity, caused of the trace she faces since she is a
child. Though she is one of the gang of thieves and spends most of her life at the streets,
she is such a nice creature, honest, and an angle for Oliver indeed, that later she helps
Oliver to reveal his identity.

48
3. The Respectable People
When Oliver will be put in jail, Mr. Brownlow, a respectable gentleman rescues
Oliver from the criminals and later adopts him as his son. Dickens presents Mr.
Brownlow through a childs vision. Oliver regards him as a godly man possessing the
virtues goodness and greatness. When he comes back to meet Mr. Brownlow after a
period of time, the gentleman welcomes him with open arms. Mr. Brownlow feels
responsible to provide Oliver with respectability and security. In order to ensure the
identity of the boy, Mr. Brownlow persuades Monks to reveal the true story of Oliver
births. He also restores the boys share his fathers property. He wards off the evil forces
from Olivers life and provides the boy with love and security. He is Olivers guardian
and savior.
The encouraged, Oliver tapped at the study door. On Mr. Brownlow calling to him
to come in, he found himself in a little back room quite full of books, with a
window looking into some pleasant little gardens. There was a table drawn up
before the window, at wihich Mr. Brownlow was seated reading (p. 85)
After the tragic event happens to Oliver, Mr. Brownlow brings him to his neat
house, in a quiet shady street near Pentonville, which is a district inhabited by middleaged clerks employed in the city. Mr. Brownlow has a study room which is characterized
as an educated man. The environment of his house and the property he has are
categorized as a middle class man. He also has a servant called Mr. Bedwin. It also shows
that Mr. Brownlow has a higher social status than Others as he employees a servant.
Bless us, and save us! Wash your hands, and let me part your hair nicely for you,
child, said Mr. Bedwin. Dear heart alive! If we had know he would asked for you,
we would have put you a clean collar on, and make you as smart as sixpence! (p.
85).
For many days, his new friends take care of him with all the goodness, as the old

49
lady, Mrs. Bedwin who is the housekeeper of Mr. Brownlow, who champions Olivers
integrity, has been so kind to him in his illness. Couples day has passed and Oliver is
getting well. They are happy days after Oliver recovery. Everything is so quiet, neat, and
orderly, everybody is so kind and gentle, that after the experiences he faces in his whole
life, it seems like heaven itself.
Mr. Brownlow smiled; and, turning to Oliver, said that Mr. Grimwig was an old
friend of his, and he must not mind his being a little rough in his manners, for he
was a worthy creature at bottom, as he had reason to know (p. 87).
Oliver now becomes a member of Pentonville and his new family very loves him.
After recovering from the illness, one evening Mr. Brownlow would like to see Oliver in
his study, and talk to him a little while. There is also an old companion of Mr. Brownlow
named Mr. Grimwig who doubts Olivers integrity.
He had a manner of screwing his head on one side when he spoke, and of looking
out the corners of his eyes at the same time, which irresistibly reminded the
beholder of a parrot (pp. 87-89).
He is being a little rough in his manners and he really wants to know Oliver. Mr.
Grimwigs manner is not very good as a respectable man as he underestimates people
from the appearance, especially Oliver. He accuses Oliver as a thief and prejudices him
of being somebody improper to live in such a house of Mr. Brownlow, because he is a
poor one. The spirit of contradiction is strong in Mr. Grimwigs mind at the moment. It is
illustrating the importance when we attach to our own judgments, and the pride with
which we consider in rash and hasty conclusions. Mr. Grimwig is not by means a badhearted man, though he does not sorry to see his respected friend deceived.
She was not seventeen. Cast in so slight and exquisite a mould, so mild and gentle,
so pure and beautiful, that earth seemed not her element, nor its rough creatures her
fit companions. The very intelligence that shone in her deep blue eye, and was
stamped upon her noble head, seemed scarcely of her age or of the world; and yet

50
the changing expression of sweetness and good humour, the thousand lights that
played about the face and left no shadow there, above all, the smile, the cheerful,
happy smile, were made for Home, for fireside peace and happiness (p. 186).
Dickens portrays Rose as a charming young woman who is always warming,
sensitive, and cultured. Her characters can be seen from her speech that the author can
give us an insight into the other character of one of the person in the book through what
that person says. Whenever a person speaks, whenever he is in a conversation with
another, whenever he puts forward an opinion, he is giving us clues to his character
(1972: 164). As the ward of Mrs. Maylie, she takes care of Oliver when he is laid up in
bed and becomes his companion after recovers. She understands his needs and provides
his comfort and security. She takes pity on nancy and and tries to reform her. She takes
Mr. Brownlow into confidence by revealing Nancy story to him. Unsure of her origins,
she refuses Mr. Harry Maylies proposal of marriage even though she loves him. After
her true status is revealed and when Mr. Harry decides to settle down in a village as a
parson, she marries him. She is a good lady who wishes the best for everyone around her.
Her heart is reservoir of love. Then she feels happy to strengthen her bond of friendship
with Oliver.

B. The Victorian Social Stratification Revealed Through Characters and Setting In


Oliver Twist
In the late eighteen-century, different social class can be distinguished by
inequalities in such areas as power, authority, wealth, working, and living conditions, life
styles, life span, education, religion, and culture. Early In the nineteenth century
working classes and middle classes were already coming in the society. The basic

51
hierarchical structure formed the upper class, middle class, the lower middle class,
the working class, and the under class. In this part I will analyze the Victorian social
stratification. There are four divisions at that present time; middle class, lower middle
class, lower class, and under class. Why I exclude the upper class family in the Victorian
Age is because Dickens, in this novel, does not portray the upper class. He only portrays
the condition of underclass, which is surrounded and related with the people in middle
class, lower middle lass, lower class, and under class. Therefore, I only explain four
social classes.

1.

Middle Class
We tend to think of the middle class as characteristically Victorian, and we assume

that middle class conditions and attitudes adequately represent all of Victorian England. I
will explain the characters and settings that reveal the middle class family.
After the tragedy happens to Oliver, Mr. Brownlow takes Oliver to his house.
Oliver gets well treatment from the inmates of the house contradicted with the situation in
the workhouse. After couple of days has passed, Oliver gets well and everybody is happy.
The scene presents the goodness of the inmates of the house as they love him so much.
Mr. Brownlow as a representation of a middle class man as his good characters and the
place where he lives is in Pentoville. As described that his house is located near
Pentoville in which it is the area inhabited by middle-aged clerks employed in the city.
Mr. Brownlow has a study room which is characterized as an educated man. The
environment of his house and the property he has are categorized as a middle class man.
He also has a servant called Mr. Bedwin. It also shows that Mr. Brownlow has a higher

52
social status than Others as he employees a servant. The character of a middle class
people is having maid or workers.
Turning a different way when it reached the Angel at islington, stoped at length
before a neat house, in a quite shady street near Pentoville. (p. 69)
After Oliver recovers from his illness, Mr. Brownlow introduces Oliver with his
friend, Mr. Grimwig, which has a rough character. Mr. Grimwig who belongs to the
middle class does not posit him self as a middle class man, because his manner is not
very good if we compare with the other characters in the story. He underestimates people
from first appearance, as Oliver has, and also distrusts every people who are peculiar for
him. It shows though someone comes from middle class family it does not mean his
behavior is good as expected. People belongs to the middle class in this story are Mr.
Brownlow and friends, such as; Mr. Grimwig, Mrs. Maylie, Harry Maylie, Rose.
Howeve r Mr. Grimwig has different character presented in this scene.
Mr. Brownlow smiled; and turning to Oliver, said that Mr. Grimwig was an old
friend of his, and he must not mind his being a little rough in his manners. (p. 87)
Middle class in Victorian period are families of professionals, physicians, attorneys,
writers, engineers, and doctors. Dickens describes the middle class society well, as he has
Mr. Brownlow and his friends, included Dr. Losborne, a medical practitioner and a friend
of the Maylies who saves Oliver from the clutches of the law. Dickens also describes
that the women in the middle class in this story do nothing only staying at home, as Mrs.
Maylie and Rose. Dickens portrays Rose as a charming young woman who is also warm,
sensitive and cultured. As the ward of Mrs. Maylie, she take care Oliver in his illness.
Dickens portrays both of two women have good heart, which is reservoir of love. Dickens
depicts the condition of the women at that level well, where at that time a single woman

53
at this economic level or middle class still had only one option for respectable
employment; working as a governess. If she did not marry and had no relatives to care for
her, a governess would have to remain a governess all her life, which of course would
mean moving from house to house. The lifestyle of the governess remained all that a
middle class. In the story, even there is no one single character has a job as governess,
because Mrs. Maylie and Rose as the icon of middle class women prefer to stay at home
with his family, as no other option besides to be a governess. Because being a governess
at that time is also the opportunity for lower middle class women. A family of the
commercial middle class especially employs the duties of governess. The middle and
upper class styles for educating girls at home created the phenomenon of the governess.
Some middle-class women were taking up as professions, needlework and
teaching were seen as natural professions for women, and so would have been
appropriate for those from the middle and upper classes. Whereas only some
women had the education to be a governess, virtually all women had the
necessary experience for needlework. (Burnett 1974, p. 22)
Dickens only portrays an obvious job as a doctor, which belongs to the middle
class presented by Dr. Losborne. As Mr. Brownlow and Mr. Grimwig are not mentioned
there what kind of job they belongs, while Harry Maylie, he son of Mrs. Maylie, is a
parson. Those characters belong to the middle class. Middle class society in this novel
mostly has good behavior as well as Mr. Grimwig though he is a little bit rough. The
classification of the middle class society is analyzed from their behaviors, setting, living
condition, and occupation. Middle class people are families of professionals, such as
physicians, attorneys, woman writers, engineers, doctors. They work for upper class
society and employee lower middle class and lower class people to support their business.

54
2.

Lower Middle Class


In this part, I will explain about the existence of lower middle class society

portrayed in Oliver Twist. In Victorian Age, people who belong to lower middle class
society commonly have occupations such as hoteliers, publicans, tradesmen or
tradeswomen, lodging housekeepers, governess or teacher for middle class family. There
are others occupations in this social class, as the master of chimneysweeper and
magistrate. Mentioned in 1834 Act for the better regulation of Chimney sweepers and
their apprentices raised the age limit to ten and the boys should serve a two-month trial
apprenticeship before the letters are signed. The lower middle class societies in Oliver
Twist are represented by Mr. Gamfield and The Sowerberrys. Mr. Gamfield as one of
the representation of this class is a person who seems a good master for Oliver Twist,
oppositely has bad manner which against human right, because he only pays five pounds
for taking Oliver as his prentice through the magistrate. He is as a tradesman who trains
prentices is one of the criteria as a lower middle class person. This explanation of this
scene shows the real condition of lower middle class people where people in Victorian
Age work as tradesmen.
Considering about tradesmen in this story, remains us to the characters of the
Sowerberrys where Oliver is employed in Mr. Sowerberrys shop. He is a parochial
undertaker and is the first man who favors Oliver. He thinks after moving from the
apprentice of Mr. Gamfield to Mr. Sowerberry, it will make his life better. However, it is
contradiction with what he assumes as he gets ill-treats from some people there, even
Mrs. Sowerberry who has manner is opposite with her husband. He really lives in
inappropriate condition. The condition where Oliver stays and works for portrays the

55
lower middle class society, especially for the tradesmen. They have some workers, which
is in the story presented by Noah Claypole and Charlotte, who do ill-treats to Oliver.
Noah Claypole as a worker or a charity boy and charlotte as a housemaid in Sowerberrys
house are employed in the nasty trade.
For instance: when Sowerberry had an order for the burial of some rich old lady or
gentleman, who was surrounded by a great number of nephews and nieces. (p. 36)
As trades family, Mr. and Mrs. Sowerberry have a shop related with a death or
burial ceremony. Rich family from upper and middle class are classes need the favor of
Mr. Sowerberrys trade. It shows that the stratification social class is based on power and
wealthy in which the upper class ask for help to the lower class society as seen is the
illustration above. The portrayal of lower middle class society in this story is presented
by the existence of the tradesmen. They work for the upper and middle class people. The
lower middle class people employee the under class people to run their business by the
helps of lower middle class people.

3.

Lower Class
The lower class was distinguished from the upper by having less education, no

pretensions to gentility, fewer resources or opportunities, in some cases, simply less luck.
A definition of the lower class in the Victorian Age commonly have division occupations,
they are women of the upper working class, miscellaneous occupations, seamstresses,
milliners, farm, factory and mine workers, washerwomen, domestic servants, and women
of the lower working class. I will analyze the representation of lower class society in
Victorian Age in Oliver Twist.
In Oliver Twist, the condition prevailing at that time is portrayed in a very good

56
way. Oliver belongs to no one for the eight or ten moths as the victim of systematic
course of treachery and deception in the workhouse. In workhouse, the paupers should be
protected and well treated, but it is provided inconvenience. Women at that time barred
from all professions and higher public offices. Apart from a few exceptions women were
employed in official positions only where female gender was an occupational
requirement, such as workhouse matron. To be selected for such occupations a woman
had to be eminently respectable, pious, and good reputations. In the previous discussion I
wrote about some characters represent the lower class society. As stated in the theory of
Social stratification that the lower class embraces those of the labor force who do manual
labor , who join unions, who earn a wage (hourly per rate) rather than a salary and
whose characteristic symbol is the blue rather than the white collar of the middle class.
The occupational character of the working class is that labor physically; they use their
hands and manipulate things. One of the characters is presented by Mrs. Mann, a
workhouse matron, who takes advantage from managing the workhouse. She even does
not have a character as a matron. Since Oliver is a child, she gives him unhealthy foods,
only watery milk of bread, flour and milk rather than breast-fed. It is stated that the
woman is full of wisdom and experiences in taking care of the destitute. However, all of
these are the contrary of the fact. She only takes it for her shake without considering the
destitute condition. It is very bad condition, where in the workhouse should be a
comfortable place where the pauper can rely on, but the fact is the workhouse as a jail for
them. They feel inconvenience, because starvation, violence, and slavery are occurred.
The act of Poor Law at that time was not working well. From the scene, it portrays a
condition that the matron cannot provide some kind of public services. From that scene,

57
we can also graphs that the matron which is the staff of a workhouse belongs to the lower
class in the society. The staff of workhouse are hired and paid by government to run the
workhouse.
Here, the staff of a workhouse which belongs to miscellaneous occupations is
supposed; a master, a matron, a medical officer, a chaplain, a porter, and a schoolteacher.
This was the minimum number of staff although smaller workhouses did not employ so
many people.
The more evidences of lower class society revealed by the appearance of Mr.
Bumble as a parish beadle whom Dickens creates as a comic character in this story. As a
pompous beadle belongs to the lower class he has an authority to manage the
workhouses. It shows the reality that although in the same social class the beadle is still
considered. He sacrifices his life only to marry Mrs. Corney, who is the matron of
workhouse as well, to occupy her property, and then he becomes the master of the
workhouse. Mr. Bumble really wants to change his social class a little bit higher than
now. Actually they have the same social class, but considering that Mrs. Corney is a
matron of the workhouse, who has many beautiful things. It becomes a great opportunity
that he can collect Ms. Corneys property, that is why he decides to marry her. His pride
of being a master of a workhouse makes him very arrogant and does whatever he wants
without considering peoples business. Besides as a comic character, Dickens creates Mr.
Bumble as a materialistic character that he sells Olivers identity to Monks. Mr. Bumble
will do many ways to satisfy and fulfill his needs.
I sold my self, said Mr. Bumble, pursuing the same train of reflection, for six
teaspoons, a pair of sugar-tongs, and milk pot; with a small quantity of second-hand
furniture, and twenty pound in money. I went very reasonable. Cheap, dirt cheap!
(p. 233)

58
The quotation above shows that it is only naked self-interest behind his marriage
proposal. In the workhouse, that time it was necessary for the master and matron to be
married as a couple. However, Mr. Bumble marries Mrs. Corney and dominates her
property. If we relate the middle class and lower class society, we will find the link that
there are many people employed by middle class society. Lower class people work for
upper class people or government and help as the broker of lower middle class peoples
business. The portrait of this society is seen in the life of workhouses officer. They have
responsibilities to manage the destitute as they work for the government.

4.

Under Class
Many modern people mistakenly imagine the Victoria n period, which has been a

time of tranquility and peace as it is such a violent age. In fact, parts of London were so
dangerous that no policeman would enter them and thieves would murder people for their
handkerchiefs. Even in the Victorian vicious thieves, housebreaker, and hustlers watched
household that is a secure place. In this part, I will analyze the under class society in the
Victorian Age revealed through the characters and settings. As the works of Dickens have
been wide spread and he criticizes the existence of Poor people particularly people in the
under class social stratification. There are some criteria of under class, such as; deserving
poor, undeserving poor, criminal classes, prostitution, women of the underclass.
Oliver is born out wit hout family, because his mother died soon after delivering her
baby. The matron of the workhouse take care Oliver since he is an infant. As an orphan
without family born by unwed mother, no body knows that Oliver belongs to what class
society. It portrays that parish officer in the workhouse manages the orphan and poor

59
people. The orphan belongs to the under class society must be protected under control of
the workhouse system.
The workhouse authorities replied with humility, that there was not. Upon this the
parish authorities magnanimously and humanely resolved, that Oliver should be
farmed. (p. 5)
It also portrays the condition of under class society which is called the deserving
poor people. As stated in the theory that the under class people have the lowest
educational achievement of any stratum in the community. A number of the jobs tend to
be

intermittent,

seasonal,

and

cyclical,

long

periods

of

employment

and

underemployment are characteristics. The deserving poor people include unemployed,


underemployed people, and people who were the victims of injury and illness. When
Oliver and friends stay in the workhouse never get good treatment, otherwise ill-treats. At
that time, the shameful practice of child labor should have played an important role in the
industrial Revolution.
Oliver Twist and his companions suffered the tortures of slow starvation for three
months. At last they got so voracious and wild hunger. (p. 12)
They always feel insecure and suffer from violence. It means that they are
children who are the victims of injury and illness; even they do not get proper shelter and
food. The condition shows the under class people of Victorian Age do not get good
treatment from the workhouses officer. The inmates of the workhouse also belong to the
under class. It is depicted where Mr. Bumble woos Mrs. Corney, and suddenly the door
knocked by the inmates of the workhouse. It is a knocking report that the old Sally is
going to die and will deliver a message which has a very important point about Olivers
identity. Those two things are contradiction; happiness and sadness, while Mr. Bumble
shows theatrical interlude with a secret dance of satisfaction. The existence of the inmates

60
in the workhouse as a messenger portrays a life of under class society, which belongs to
the underemployed in deserving poor people class. It shows many of the inmates who
work in the workhouse as a washerwoman. Even the old Sally, when she is young she is a
matron of the workhouse who helps Olivers mother gives birth, now is a pauper who
settles in the workhouse, not as the matron anymore. At that time women inmates in the
workhouse often performs the dual role of midwife and the nurse who watched at a
sickbed and laid out the body.
Considering Mr. Sowerberry who has a shop which employs some worker, it
means they belong to the lower middle class social stratification. I have already
mentioned as a tradesman, he has some worker to run and help his business. For instance,
there two people work there. They are Noah Claypole and Charlotte. The characters
presented by Noah Claypole as a charity boy shows the existence of under class society
as an underemployed people. Noah Claypole as a charity boy comes from under class
acts as a master of the shop and orders without considering someones business. It is a
dissatisfaction of him self towards the condition he has. It shows a person from under
class behaves not as his nature and he never realize that he do not deserve to get that. It is
not fair when Oliver is a victim of mockery but he is also the one who is always accused
doing violence. This contradiction depicts the condition of underclass, in which an
orphan has no power than a charity boy who has the authority and be the master of the
shop. They actually work as the employee of Mr. Sowerberry and can be categorized as
the underemployed people. The same as Charlotte, she is Noah Claypoles girl friend, she
is one of the example of underemployed people, but here it can be specified to be the
woman of the underclass who works as a servant.

61
Discussing about the underclass, we cannot neglect the characters of criminal world
and prostitution in this story. As stated in the theory that the under class has the lowest
educationa l achievement of any stratum in the community. In a number of the jobs tend
to be intermittent, seasonal, and cyclical, long periods of employment and
underemployment are characteristics. Dickens narrates Oliver Twist well. Dickens
portrayed a long existing stereotype of Jews as money, hungry, and deceitful as well.
Fagin presents as the lord of underworld, and the gang, shows the existence of criminal
class. It is about the kindness of Fagin and the gang that Oliver gets in the narrow and
muddy place where there should be no kindness and humanity. Oliver presume there is
no humanity the underworld, but after enters the house he notices everybody wears good
clothes and serves delicious food. Even the Jew belongs to the underclass and settles in
such a very dirty place, Oliver sees some treasure and thinks that the Jew is a miser. From
the underworld, his adventure begins again. He does not realize that what Fagin and the
gang teach to Oliver is a crime. He thinks the Jew is his senior and the trick being a
pickpocket is only a game. It portrays the situation of the place in the underclass. Fagin
and the gang portray as the criminal class where they are very popular in Dickens
society. Fagin has a faithful gang of followers who participate in criminal activities and
hand over the loot of him. In return he takes care and gives them the allowance. Dickens
presents Fagin as cartoon figure with a haggard face, restless eyes and devilish
expressions. Fagins character illustrates and represents an uneducated underclass man
who has some friends who work in criminal world. Their characters can be seen from the
theory characters and characterization, as mentioned in their reactions, thoughts, direct
comments, and mannerism.

62
Why they work as a thief is because English men, women, and children suffer the
economic disaster created by industrial revolution. Unlike citizens of modern
industrialized nations, the Victorian who lost his or her job did not receive any help from
government. That is why there are underclass people who have a bad occupation, for
example as a thief. Under class people suffer from being poor and weak, because they do
not get what they want. Therefore, to fulfill their needs they think having an occupation
as a thief can improve their life, otherwise it against the norm. The underclass life has to
deal with street drinkers, whose main crime was to make the place untidy. In the mid
nineteenth century, this was a very serious matter. A person could be arrested and jailed
simply for being drunk in a public place, or for sleeping in the open air. A first offender
might be ordered to leave town, but punishments will be given. Even knocking on a rich
persons door and politely requesting a few pennies or some bread got harsh punishment.
One of the Fagins followers is Bill Sikes who has a job as a housebreaker. Sikes
has a harsh and rude temper that cannot act like that, and Nancy is portrayed as a
prostitute who also has a good manner. The contradiction of behavior makes this story is
interesting. It portrays the condition of criminal class, in which there is burglars, mud
larks, smash and grab. Bill Sikes and Nancy belong to the underclass as housebreaker and
prostitute. They do criminal activities which against norms. Nancy as a prostitute helps
Fagin and the gang as well, it is just because her love to Bill Sikes and dissatisfaction of
her past life. The scene presented by Nancy when she wants to help Oliver find his
identity. Her characters as seen in the theory that we can give a clue to a persons
character by letting us know how that person reacts to various situations and events. As
what Nancy does for her gang and Oliver is she is a kind caring woman.
I have saved you from being ill-used once, and I will again, and I do now,
continued the girl aloud. (p. 131)

63
Nancy is the counterpart of Rose in her love for Oliver, her sensitivity and her
goodness. However, while Rose is lucky to have found respectability, security and love,
Nancy is cursed with a fallen status. She feels guilty in bringing Oliver into a crime and
expresses her sympathy for him. She has a kind heart not similar as her friends. However,
her life ends in a tragic way. Bill Sikes the man she has loved and served kills her
mercilessly when he suspects her of betraying their trust. Dickens has succeeded in
portraying Nancy as an unfortunate woman, possessed with a good heart but a tortured
soul. It depicts the portrait of the life of prostitute in the Victorian Age. It seems that
prostitutes were left in peace until they fell foul of the law and a prostitute who is
wandering in the streets one day in 1826 is committed to the watch house, and then
discharged. The condition of the underworld society characterizes the underclass people
as seen in the setting and their characters.
The under cla ss people work for people who belong to the class higher than them.
Marxist criticism states that in the modern industrial capitalism, particularly in the 19 C,
there is an exploitation of one social class by other. It is also seen in Oliver Twist that
there is exploitation of under class people especially for the poor people. So, the
exploitation of poor people causes a class struggle which brings people to commit crime.
Why the criminal world occurs in the Victorian Age is because the Victorian government
do not protect and solve economic problems of English people which are created by
unemployment. This case causes insecure condition at the prevailing time.

CHAPTER V
CONCLUSION

Oliver twist is an interesting story of a young orphan who lives with a lot
of mystery around him. Oliver is an innocent boy who struggles to find his
identity. Befor e I conclude the analysis , it is better I rewrite the two problems
formulation; 1. How are characters and setting portrayed in Oliver Twist? 2. How
is the Victorian age social stratification revealed through the characters and
settings in Oliver Twist? I used some steps to answer the two problems
formulation.
The first problem formulation is about the characters and setting portray in
Oliver Twist. In analysis I could find some characters and setting presented the
condition in Victorian age. The setting begins in the parochial world. The
parochial world is divided into three parts; the workhouse, the tradesmen, and the
poor. The representation of characters in the parochial world such as; the member
of work house, Mr. Griemfield, Mr. Sowerberry, the poor Oliver and his friends.
Then the setting continues to the criminal world in which pickpockets, housebreaker, and murderers belong to this world. Poverty drives them to crime and the
weapon they use to achieve their end is violence. Oliver is introduced by the lord
of underworld; Fagin and the gang. They bring him to the criminal world and
some tragic events which show the way for Oliver to find his identity. Fagin, Bill
Sikes, Artful Dodger and Nancy are a part of this society. The last one is the
world of the respectable people is unfurled. In this world live respectable people

64

65

who show a regard for moral values and believe in the principle of human dignity.
Mr. Brownlow, Dr. Losborne, and the Maylies are its members and they welcome
Oliver into its fold. They are very fond of Oliver and welcome him as a new
member in their family at Pentonfille.
The second problem formulation is the revelation of Victorian Social
Stratification. In this part I found four divisions of social stratification of Victorian
Age based on some theories. First, the Middle-Class is divided into several kinds
of occupations, such as; families of professional, physicians, attorneys, writers,
engineers, doctors. The portrait of Middle class is presented by Mr. Brownlow and
his friends. The setting and their behavior toward others portray the condition of
middle class social stratification. The arrogant of Mr. Grimwig and the kindness
of Mrs. Bedwin, Rose, and Mrs. Maylie is portrayed the Middle class social
stratification. The classifica tion of the middle class society is analyzed from their
behaviors, setting, living condition, and occupation. They work for upper class
society and employee lower middle class and lower class people to support their
business
Second, the Lower Middle Class which is divided into some categories, such
as tradesmen, magistrate, hoteliers. The representation of the Lower Middle Class
is in the the Sowerberrys and Mr. Grimwigs world. It portrays real condition of
middle class; a trademen family toward an orpha n boy. Their characters and the
place where they live are representations of Lower Middle Class people. Their
occupations also represent their status as well as their behavior and setting of
place. They work for the upper and middle class people. The lower middle class

65

66

people employee the under class people to run their business by the helps of lower
middle class people.
Third, the Lower Class has some clases, such as; women working in the
upper and middle class, miscellaneous occupation as the staff of wor khouse,
seamtresses and milliners, workers, servents. The representation of Lower-Class is
the staff of the workhouse. Sets in the workhouse and Mrs. Corney house, Mr.
Bumble, Mr. Corney, and also the workers at workhouse such as the Doctor, Old
Sally, and Mrs. Mann are the portrayal of the Lower Class. Lower class people
work for upper class people or government and help them as broker of lower
middle class peoples business. The portrait of this society is seen in the life of
workhouses membe rs.
Fourth, the Under Class is represented by The Lord of Underworld, Fagin,
and his gang of thief. The problems happen there shows the setting and condition
in narrow muddy street where gang of thieves live. Crime and treachery always
done and they bring Oliver to the circumstances. Fagin, Bill Sikes, Nancy and
others portrays the condition in underworld. The under class people work for
people who belong to the class higher than them. the exploitation of poor people
causes a class struggle which brings people to commit crime. This case causes
insecure condition at the prevailing time.

66

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APPENDIX

SUMMARY OF THE NOVEL


The novel opens in a workhouse in a small town seventy-five miles north
of London where Oliver is born to Agnes, an unwed mother who dies soon after
his birth. The infant is sent to a branch workhouse to be looked after by an elderly
lady called Mrs. Mann who pockets a major portion of the stipends allotted to the
orphans. When Oliver is nine years old, he is taken back to the workhouse to learn
the business of picking oakum. Like other children, he finds life in the workhouse
miserable. Most of the time they are ill-treated and sent to bed hungry. One day
when Oliver asks for more food, he is beaten up and confined to a solitary cell.
Later, he is sold to Mr. Sowerberry, an undertaker, who makes him his apprentice.
He is trained to be a mute at children's funerals. Though Mr. Sowerberry likes
him, Mrs. Sowerberry and her loyal servant, Noah Claypole, make his life
miserable. One day, after he hits Noah for taunting him and insulting his mother,
Oliver is beaten up and confined to a dark room. Early the next morning, he
makes his escape to London. The first chapter of Oliver's life thus comes to an
end.
On the way to London, Oliver meets a young man named John Dawkins
who gives him food and promises to provide him shelter in London. Dawkins,
also known as Artful Dodger, introduces him to the underworld by taking him to
the house of Fagin. Unaware of the nature of the underworld, Oliver lives in the
midst of criminals enjoying himself more than he has ever done before. However,

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the day he goes out with Dodger and Bates and watches them pocketing the purse
of a gentleman, his suspicions are aroused. He feels revolted and tries to run away
from the scene. Unfortunately, the gentleman seeing him running away from the
scene, suspects him of being the thief. As Dodger and Bates make their escape,
Oliver is led to the office of the magistrate. He is almost charged for the theft,
when the book-seller, who was a witness to the crime, enters the scene and
declares him innocent. Unable to withstand the strain anymore, Oliver faints. Mr.
Brownlow takes pity on the boy and carries him to his home in Pentonville. In the
peaceful atmosphere of the house, Oliver recovers. Both Mrs. Bedwin and
Brownlow shower him with affection. When Oliver regains his strength, he is sent
on an errand to the book-stall by Mr. Brownlow. As he walks down the street,
Nancy and Sikes who lead him towards Fagins den capture him.
Oliver is made to abandon the world of goodness to enter the bad world of
the criminals once again. Fagin and his associates try to tempt him towards
criminal activities but the boy remains unmoved, thus displaying an inner strength
and a spirit of confidence. One evening, he is sent to accompany Bill Sikes on a
secret mission. Though he suspects the nature of the mission, he becomes aware
of the real crime only when they visit the spot. Oliver is forced to help Bill Sikes
and Toby Crackit break into a house to rob it of its valuables. Unmindful of his
protests, they push the boy in the through the window and order him to open the
door. The boy takes the opportunity to alert the inmates of the house but before he
can summon courage, a servant of the house shoots him at. Sikes leaves him
wounded in a ditch but Oliver's instinct for survival makes him walk towards the

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house and seek help. Though the servant as an accomplice in the robbery
identifies him, Mrs. Maylie and Rose take him in and nurse him back to strength.
They believe his words and allow to stay with them. One more chapter of Oliver's
life comes to an end and a fresh one begins.
Rose and Mrs. Maylie shower him with motherly affection, which he has
missed in his childhood. They provide him the much needed security and love he
had craved all along.
Thus, striking a bond of friendship with them he becomes their companion
in joy as well as in grief. With their help he is reunited with Mr. Brownlow. His
benefactor catches hold of the man who is partly responsible for Oliver's plight.
Through Monks, Mr. Brownlow discovers the identity of Oliver and learns about
his share in the property of his father. Oliver, thus, regains his rightful place in
society. He goes back to live in a town similar to the one in which he was born.
In order to emphasize the travails of Oliver and trace his journey through
life, Dickens deviates from the main plot to dwell on the life of certain other
characters in the story. Thus the author introduces the reader to the different
worlds of Oliver, Bumbles, Claypole and Sikes by often shifting the scenes in the
novel.

THE SETTING OF VICTORIAN


AGE

PAROCHIAL WORLD

THE WORKHOUSE

Mrs. Mann
Mrs. Corney
Mr. Bumble

THE POOR

Agnes
Oliver Twist
Little Dick
Noah Claypole
Charlotte

CRIMINAL WORLD

RESPECTABLE PEOPLE

Fagin
Artful Dodger
Bill Sikes
Nancy

Mr. Brownlow
Mr. Grimwig
Rose
The Maylies

THE TRADESMAN

Mr. Gamfield
Mr. Sowerberry

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VICTORIAN AGE
SOCIAL STRATIFICATION

MIDDLE CLASS

Mr. Brownlow
Mr. Grimwig
Rose
The Maylies

LOWER MIDLE CLASS

Mr. Gamfield
Mr. Sowerberry

LOWER CLASS

Mrs. Mann
Mrs. Corney
Mr. Bumble

UNDER CLASS

Agnes
Oliver Twist
Little Dick
Noah Claypole
Charlotte
Fagin
Artful Dodger
Bill Sikes
Nancy

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