Oliver Twist

Charles Dickens' mug, on a..... mug. I MUST own one of these.
Finished February 3, 2010

This novel never ceases to affect me deeply. I think in order to get a firm grasp on the gravity of this story; one should certainly read John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, seeing as it bears a few similarities (and its name The Parish Boy’s Progress alludes to Bunyan’s own novel). True to it’s predecessor (Pilgrim’s Progress), it’s a story that really highlights mere religion versus the true love of God. The quote from Nancy when she meets with Rose towards the end is heartbreakingly true: “Why ar’n’t those who claim to be God’s own folks as gentle and as kind to us poor wretches as you…?” Dickens poses a simple question that rings as true today as it did in his day, why can’t Christians (myself included) show the love God would have us show to everyone? I wish I knew.

In Fagin’s final scene I am always brought to tears reading Oliver’s sincere plea to allow him to lead the criminal into a prayer. This young character also shows what Dickens deemed to be a true quality of a Christian, one who not only forgives those who’ve done them wrong, but who wants to share God’s love with them in life’s bleakest moments. Far from being a story full of sunshine and laughs (though there are some very humorous parts), Dickens second novel is dramatic and sometimes gruesome, but fascinating nonetheless.

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