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What is a quotes I could use for the theme of satire of the poor laws in Oliver Twist?...

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ftc1234 | Student, Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted March 18, 2012 at 6:39 AM via web

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What is a quotes I could use for the theme of satire of the poor laws in Oliver Twist?

I know one of the themes in this book is the British Poor Laws in the first half of the 1800s. But I don't know which quotes in the book would be good to use in my essay. If you know, could you put the chapter and page they would be in too (it would help and help me speed things up a bit).

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 6, 2013 at 12:51 AM (Answer #1)

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Dickens wrote Oliver Twist to satirize the Poor Law because he wanted people to understand how the poor were being treated.

Satire is the use of humor to make a point, often a political one.  In this case, Dickens believed that the Poor Law was abusive.  His descriptions of it demonstrate that well.

The members of this board were very sage, deep, philosophical men; and when they came to turn their attention to the workhouse, they found out at once, what ordinary folks would never have discovered—the poor people liked it! (ch 2)

His comments about the poor enjoying the workhouse, and their choice to starve to death slowly in it or more quickly out of it, are satirical representations of the conditions of the workhouse and their effects on the poor.  The wealthy board can say that the poor enjoy it because they never have to suffer the conditions themselves.  It’s easy to judge someone from above.

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