Oliver Twist Questions and Answers
by Charles Dickens

Oliver Twist book cover
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What are examples of third person in Oliver Twist?

There are numerous examples of the third-person viewpoint in Oliver Twist because the whole story is written in a third-person omniscient narrative. We can see this in the following passage: "For the next eight or ten months, Oliver was the victim of a systematic course of treachery and deception—he was brought up by hand. The hungry and destitute situation of the infant orphan was duly reported by the workhouse authorities to the parish authorities."

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In the above example, we can see how the third-person omniscient viewpoint works in Oliver Twist, and to what purpose it is put. In writing the book, Dickens wanted to provide a withering critique of English society, with all its poverty, misery, and systemic maltreatment of children. And as an expert writer, Dickens knew that the best way to do this was by telling his tale from a third-person omniscient point of view, from a God’s-eye perspective, if you will.

What’s interesting about Dickens’s use of the third person viewpoint is that he makes no pretense at objectivity; it’s perfectly clear from the outset that the narrator is firmly on the side of the poor and downtrodden. Returning to the above quotation, we can observe this in the following line:

For the next eight or ten months, Oliver was the victim of a systematic course of treachery and deception…

Strong words, indeed, and they are entirely indicative of the narrative posture adopted throughout the book. Without wishing...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 998 words.)

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