Oliver Twist: Reading The Life of London in The Past

I’VE BEEN FINISHED MY READING ON OLIVER TWIST THIS WEEKEND and I found some interesting in this classic book. Well I don’t really understand the story at the beginning because the use of language in this book is quite different with the books that are written nowadays.

But maybe because I’m still not used to the classic books so I got difficulties in understand the meaning of the event in this story. However, classic books are certainly beautiful. Maybe the language sounds weird and unusual to us now but believe me they are contain a deep meaning that will only understood by people who love to understand something deep like that.


Reading the book Oliver Twist by Charles John Huffam Dickens or usually known by Charles Dickens is like reading the life of Oliver Twist in London many years ago. Moreover, the writer itself ever experience of hard life such as financial difficulties or poverty, prison living, and lack of education. This experience of shows him about the life of poor and of course it influence him in many of his works, including Oliver Twist.

The little Oliver was born in an orphanage. His mother died when he was a baby. After his mom died, he lives with another orphans in another house. But there he lives in a very miserable home because the owner, Mrs Mann, never really care to the orphans.

One day, Mr Bumble come to the house and look for Oliver. He wants to took Oliver back to the orphanage. Oliver thinks he would be very happy come back to the place when he was born. But he’s wrong. There, his miserable life never change but worse.

Another miserable life also happen when Oliver moves to another house. He met the cruel Mr Sowerberry and his family, and Oliver always treated rudely. This time, Oliver gets bravery so he can run to another place. But of course he still followed by unlucky life. Next, he met with a bunch of thieves—Fagin, Nancy, and Sikes— that makes him more and more miserable.

For a while, I was thinking Oliver will never find a happy life. He always failed to gain a happy life because he was surrounded by bad people. But unexpectedly, his meeting with Sikes and Fagin makes him found a new family. Here Oliver gets a new family that loves him as a real family. Finally, although Charles closed this story by by showing the reader about the killing and hanging, so far this story is happy ending.


Like I said in the beginning, Oliver Twist could be a simple-thin book but contains a deep meaning. It shows me how difficult for several social class to achieve a proper life. Like I can feel the hard life of London several years ago.

Charles, perhaps do not said directly about London. He shows us with a picture of violent, rough talks, food shortage, and crime in Oliver life. But look, crime related to an economic condition in a country. I believe London has the same condition that time and it makes the lower class difficult to survive.

In another hand, there’s another interesting thing I found here. It’s on the page of 29. In Bahasa it’s said:

Oliver menyadari bahwa pemakaman orang-orang kaya, sanak famili yang bersedih ketika si kaya masih hidup, seringkali bergembira setelah si kaya meninggal. Para suami terlihat tetap tenang walaupun kehilangan isteri mereka. Para isteri biasanya mengenakan pakaian hitam pada saat pemakaman para suaminya, tetapi mereka berdandan dan berusaha tetap terlihat cantik.

Oliver juga melihat bahwa orang-orang yang terlihat sangat berdukacita selama pemakaman, akan sembuh dengan cepat begitu mereka tiba di rumah dan menikmati secangkir teh. (Oliver Twist,29)

Well, I know this is normal if people today said it’s so cruel. I can’t imagine, how if this condition happen in my life. But we must understand for the people that lived in that time, social status is only obtained through ascribed status. Living by rely on legacy is a common culture. That’s why they will be happy if their member of family died.

 ©Tina Latief

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Thickness:216 pages

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