It has often been thought that Charles Dickens based the character of Oliver Twist on his own experiences. As a young boy, Dickens' father went to prison because he was in debt. At the time families could accompany prisoners in jail, and so Charles' mother and siblings joined the father in prison, leaving Charles alone, essentially an orphan like Oliver. Charles worked in a bootblacking factory where he worked hard in pretty bad conditions. This experience scarred him for life, and he drew on these experiences for the character of Oliver. It also made him hate the social system, which he reveals the flaws of and comments on in the book "Oliver Twist."