English essay on the theme of child labour in Oliver Twist

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uppladdat: 2016-10-27
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Detta är en essä i engelska om en djupgående analys av Oliver Twists olika teman. Framförallt angår detta temat child labour.


Child labour in oliver twist and in contemporary times



Child labour has been present in human society for very long and have been displayed in various literary works such as Oliver Twist. In the dawn of the 21century it is phenomenal that child labour is still occurring. How is child labour displayed in Oliver Twist and how does the equivalent function in the 21century?


Child labour in the book is observed in the main theme of Oliver Twist which is poverty from the point of view of a child. Charles Dickens wrote the book as a reaction to the poor law amendment act of 1834, that allows cruelty to be conducted unto children that were born into poorer conditions. The book was written during the time of the industrial revolution in britain and is therefore not only a fiction but it’s foundation has underlying truths of how life for a poor child was at their time. Real british orphans around the age of seven were sent of to jobs all across Britain. Their shifts were between 12-13 hours per day and the kids were in this way turned into a free labour force. The kids in question did not have much of a choice and this is because they were “paid” in the form of food and boarding. It is this powerlessness of children that Dickens was largely interested in and this is being described throughout the book. Oliver being powerless has its roots in that he is always dependent on others for example when oliver does everything he can to survive but only manages as a result due to the kind actions of Mr. Brownlow. Here it is shown how Oliver is luckily transported from the hostile and awful environment he was born into, into the comforts of a middle class life. Dickens main point here is that he did not manage to do this purely as a result of his own actions, but only due to the fact that he found people willing to help him get away from his child labour imprisonment. But this is a fictional sunshine story and the reality is that this was not the case for most children at the time. During the time of the industrial revolution 40% of Britain's population were kids and the first wave of factory labour was orphans.


The equivalent of child labour in the 21century is concealed and kept quiet.


Nowadays child labour is not used in most countries because of new laws. Not only that, but also because labour that previously had to be done by working in factories by hand, now are replaced with machinery. But this doesn't mean that child labour today has perished. One example of statistically proven reports of child labour is from Australia were they every year import tobacco produced by child labor worth around $16 million. But to...

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Johan Recén Larsson [2016-10-27]   English essay on the theme of child labour in Oliver Twist
Mimers Brunn [Online]. http://mimersbrunn.se/article?id=59915 [2018-10-15]

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