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thetall eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Tom Canty, who was born on the same day as Prince Edward, lived in Offal Court. Offal Court was a reserve of the poor families in London. In the story, it was stated that although London streets were narrow, dirty and crooked, the situation was worse in the area where Tom and his family lived. The place was filthy, and the houses were dilapidated.  Offal Court was basically a storied building which was decayed, shaky and inhabited by poor families. Among them was Tom’s family, who occupied the third floor. The houses were small, with a general area which was not partitioned. In Tom’s case, the parents turned one corner into their bedroom while the rest of the floor doubled as the children’s’ bedroom. They had no beds; instead they used old straw and torn blankets. Drunkenness and violence were prevalent in the area. In Tom’s home, both his father and grandmother were violent drunks.

The house which Tom's father lived in was up a foul little pocket called Offal Court, out of Pudding Lane. It was small, decayed, and rickety, but it was packed full of wretchedly poor families.

All Offal Court was just such another hive as Canty's house. Drunkenness, riot and brawling were the order, there, every night and nearly all night long.

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The Prince and the Pauper

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