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Ideas for Reports and Papers

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. Oliver Twist describes characters from many different social and economic levels. What effects do class and economic level have on the characters in this novel?

2. Compare Dickens's view of men with his view of women in Oliver Twist. What are the characteristics of his ideal woman? His ideal man? How do the novel's characters fulfill or not fulfill these ideals?

3. Oliver Twist deals with questions of good and evil. How do you think Dickens would define these terms? What evidence from the novel supports your conclusions? How do the novel's characters measure up against Dickens's definitions?

4. How do you think Dickens feels about Nancy? Is she predominantly good or bad? To what extent does Dickens seem to reward or punish her, and for what aspects of her life does he do so?

5. How does coincidence function in Oliver Twist? Do the connections among various characters seem forced? What effects do these coincidences have on the reader?