Review of 2005 Oliver Twist

Just last night, I watched the movie of Oliver Twist, which is the 2005 version. I still have yet to see the musical adaption.

Major Spoilers:

This movie closely followed the book. Since I read the book, it was interesting actually seeing it. I thought the acting was well done on many actors. I loved the boy who played Oliver. Just like the book, I grew very fond of Oliver. I honestly did not like many of the people Oliver ended up being around. He is only a boy, but had to around abusive and villainous people throughout his young life. He had to put up with Noah Claypole saying mean things about his mother especially considering the fact that Oliver is an orphan. Things were even more terrifying to Oliver when he ended up being around Fagin and Bill Sikes. The only person who treated that kid kindly was Mr. Brownlow, who eventually took him in and adopted him. It is crazy how all of the action unfolded just because Oliver said “please sir, I want some more”.

As a matter of fact, the actor who played Bill Sikes was so believable that each time I saw Bill Sikes on screen, I was terrified and at times even terrified of his dog. Just actually watching Bill Sikes in the movie, I ended up disliking him even more than how much I didn’t like him in the book. Bill Sikes seemed to become more terrifying as the movie went on especially when he brutally beaten Nancy to death. I hated how poorly he treated both Nancy and Oliver.

When it comes to Nancy, the main moment I loved her was when she told Mr. Brownlow information when it comes to Oliver. That was quite courageous because she knew that if she told anyone about Oliver that Bill Sikes will most likely murder her. At times she stood up for Oliver so in a way she cared about Oliver. At least she wasn’t as evil as Sikes or Fagin was.

The actor who played Fagin was able to show his villain side, but I actually like Fagin more than Bill Sikes even though I disliked both of those characters. He didn’t horribly abuse all of boys he was teaching to be pickpockets. He just wasn’t very nice especially because he was teaching all of boys how to live a life of pickpocketing.

Just by watching the movie, I fell in love with the story even more. Emotions can seem to be greater when you are actually watching the action compared to words in a book. I was terrified of Bill Sikes and that was a good sign. You could easily feel for Oliver due to how poorly he was treated and despite all of that, nothing was able to corrupt the goodness found within him.

Next thing I honestly need to watch is the movie musical of Oliver Twist. Most likely if I fall in love with the musical, the musical has a good chance of becoming meaningful. I actually saw Oliver live in middle school, but I do not even remember watching it. I actually found a journal entry about my experience with Oliver and it was only like three or five sentences and based upon what I found, I did say it was a wonderful show and did list songs that I did love. But due to not remembering seeing it, I need to form a new opinion on it.

One Hundred Story Home Review

A True Story about Finding Faith in Yourself and Something Bigger

The Hundred Story Home leads you on an inspirational journey that begins with a questions, “where are the beds?” and ends with over one hundred formerly homeless people living in home of their own.

Kathy Izard was a graphic designer, wife, mother of four daughters, and volunteer at Charlotte’s Urban Ministry Center when an unlikely meeting with formally homeless author Denver Moore (Same Kind of Different As Me) changed the course of her life. Inspired by Denver’s challenge to do more than serve in the soup kitchen, Kathy quits her job to take on what seemed like an unimaginable task in her second half of life-to build housing for Charlotte’s homeless

Women together in this motivational story of a call to social action of Kathy’s personal journey to define the meaning of home. Read the book that not only makes you believe you can change the world, it will also end up changing you.

-Unknown

One Hundred Story home was the third book I finished this summer and also my third genre I read this summer. This time I read a nonfiction book. I am not a big fan of nonfiction, but my mom bought it for me knowing of my passion to help the homeless when I am older. I throughly enjoyed this book and was so inspiring. It actually made my dream of opening a theatre to help the homeless feel like it is possible. I want the homeless to act in plays and musicals and possibly even get the chance to work backstage.

At times, Kathy thought that there was no way she can ever house the chronically homeless because it seemed impossible. But through the motivation of people such as Denver, Dale, her husband and children, it helped her get through many hurdles she had to face while getting this started.

By reading the book, I realized just how hard it is to get a nonprofit started. The reason why I want the homeless to be involved in theatre is because I have a passion for musicals. The homeless have hidden talents that we do not know about. I know how much theatre has changed me and I cannot imagine how much more it would impact the homeless.

I am hoping the theatre will help give the homeless purpose in their lives and will help a community they might feel like they are missing. Even Kathy’s purpose took a lot of work especially when raising enough money to build the apartments. Lots had to be done before construction of the apartments could begin. It all started out with a sample program to see if her idea would work out.

So what I am saying is that this book made me realize that the theatre has chance of possibly working out. It shows me that it will happen even though it will take a lot of work. It shows you that some days will be harder then others. Even though I honestly just do not like nonfiction that much, I loved this book. I sometimes wonder why I am deeply connected to those living in poverty and homelessness. Kathy says that when you discover your calling, go for it. Even when people tell me my dream job is impossible, there will be people who will help you. I know I cannot get this theatre opened alone and will need more than just God to help me. The book shows that you can make a difference in the world.

A Clearing in the Forest Review

Princess Adriana is about to leave the Kingdom of Ayrden on the Journey of her sixteenth year

If she is to ever to ascend the throne, Adriana must go-alone and unarmed-into the unknown. She’s been trained and gifted for the Journey, just like all the royals who preceded her-even the ones who never returned.

Adriana leaves Ayrden on Sultan, the black stallion gifted to her by her brother just the day at her birthday celebration. With bravery in her heart and hopes for a quick return, she soon encounters three paths: one of grass, one of gold, and one of gemstones. She chooses the pragmatic path of grass. Although it seems safe, and the landscape familiar, she quickly finds that she will have to overcome nearly  impossible challenges. Ultimately, an unexpected friendship changes not only Adriana, but the very kingdom that she someday hopes to rule. The question is, will the friendship turn into everlasting love?

Reading this fantasy book is an easy book to read. It was a nice read even though the journey could have been filled with even more challenges. The description of the plot made me hope the journey was more difficult than what I discovered. But as a matter of fact, the ending makes it appear as if this could easily become a series. So the ending left you off with a bit of a cliffhanger in a way.

                                                      Proclamation of Ayrden 

Be it known to all-

The Sovereigns of Ayrden

Shall not be deemed worthy to rule

By birthright alone.

Each royal descendant of Ayrden

Shall embark upon a Journey

During that descendant’s sixteenth year

Or forever give up any claim in the Throne.

Each descendant shall Journey forth

Alone and unarmed,

Carrying one day’s provision Only.

Upon a Sovereign’s death,

The Thorne shall pass to the eldest descendant

Who from his or her Journey hath returned.

If there be not such a one,

The deceased Sovereign’s eldest sibling.

Requisite Journey complete,

Shall assume the Throne.

This is an edict in perpetuity decreed by the

First King of Ayrden

Adriana, the main character, was given the gifts of fidelity, kindness, and courage to have with her when she left for her journey. She actually ended up heading on each of the different paths. On the first path, she came across her uncle, Kelak and he tied her up so she had to figure out how to escape. This took place in the land of Chehalem.

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The next path she took is the path of gold and she came across Corrigan and it took her a while until she realized he was a slave trader and had to leave before Corrigan noticed she was gone. The path where this situation took place was in the land of Shahar.

The last path, the path of gemstones, did not many challenges, but the land of Beryillos had a problem with the dragon, Zimley. So each of the different lands had something challenging Adriana had to face. I thought it was cool how while Zimley was still waiting to attack, they managed to stay protected by having their kingdom be an underground kingdom. One of the clothes that I loved that they wore were called chimangas.

Of all the different characters, my favorite character is Adriana. She shows a lot of courage on her journey especially when she was in Chehalem because she faced the most challenges there. On her journey she stayed strong even if she was going into the unknown. In the land of Beryillos, I loved the characters of Elissa and Theo and they were some of the few people on Adriana’s journey that were nice to her was well and even Redbud from Chehalem. But I just really loved Theo and Elissa. In Beryillos, Theo and Elissa were the ones she spent the most time with and she realized that over time she was falling in love with Theo.

I cannot believe I read two books over the summer already. First Oliver Twist and that was the hardest book I read over the summer due to it being classic. Next, A Clearing in the Forest was read and was the easiest book so far and it was a fantasy. The next book I will read, which I will start today, it called The Hundred Story Home and that is a nonfiction book.

 

Parallels Between Charles Dickens and Victor Hugo

Charles Dickens and Victor Hugo are two of the most well-known authors. They have written some of my favorite classic books. But I cannot help, but see many parallels between their works, which might explain why I love both of these authors.

Dickens and Hugo tend to focus on the lower rungs of society. True, I read more Dickens books than Hugo, but it still is very obvious. The title, Les Misérables, means the downtrodden, the fugitives, and the outsiders. Les Misérables is home to the prostitute Fantine, the criminal Thenardiers, the impoverished Eponine, daughter of the Thenardiers, and orphan Cosette among others. Even though those are major characters, it does show impoverished citizens as well. Even in the case of the students, they fighting to stand up against the weak government since the government doesn’t care much about the poor.

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But in Dickens’, writing, two protagonists are actually poor. In Oliver Twist, Oliver is an orphan and was raised in poor conditions due to the poor conditions of the workhouses. And then later, after running away,  he comes across the two villains, Fagin and Bill Sikes, who hope to turn Oliver into a criminal. In Great Expectations as a matter of fact, Pip is also impoverished and he is the main character. While the main character in A Christmas Carol isn’t poor, the Cratchit family is very poor and that is difficult due to Tiny Tim being crippled. It is a bit hard to explain why Tale of Two Cities has the lower rungs of society.

So why do both authors tend to focus on criminals, the poor, prostitutes, orphans, and any person that would be on the lowest rungs of society? Well, when Dickens and Hugo wrote their books, both England and France were recovering from the most recent revolutions. England was recovering from the Revolutionary War and France was recovering from the French Revolution. In the time they wrote, they wrote in the style of Romanticism and one key aspect is the style liked to focus on the emotions. Both authors liked to focus on the them of redemption.

The reason why I am drawn to both Dickens and Hugo is because I have drawn to stories that focus on the lowest rungs of society due to a passion I have for helping that community. Dickens is much easier to read than Victor Hugo because Dickens doesn’t interrupt the plot with long history lessons. Hugo likes to constantly interrupt the plot with boring history lessons and that is the one downside to reading Victor Hugo. The next Hugo book I plan to read is Hunchback of Notre Dame and the next Dickens book I plan to read is Nicholas Nickleby.

Why do you think there are parallels between the two authors.

Review of Oliver Twist

I am happy to say that I finished Oliver Twist yesterday. I started reading it on the 13th of May. Of all the classics I have read into between semesters, this book has taken me the shortest amount of time to read. On this post, I will try to review this book even thought it is difficult to come up with many reasons why I loved the book.

Spoilers ahead:

In this book, Dickens does a good job in grabbing you in just about three pages. Once I only read like that many pages, I started to fall in love with the story and Oliver. The entire book I was very fond of Oliver. He was actually my favorite character in the entire book. In my opinion, it is important to love the protagonist in order to get the most out of any piece of literature. Oliver was born an orphan and raised in a workhouse, which has poor conditions.

I love the spirit and goodness and innocence that Oliver shows even when people mistreat him at times, he always stays a good person. Even when he is in the hands of Fagin and Sikes, he does not turn to their criminal ways because of the goodness he has. I do love some of the characters that treat Oliver fairly such as Mr. Brownlow and Rose Maylie.

When it comes to the book, I just didn’t like Fagin or Sikes. They are two of the villains in the piece. While I don’t like the two characters, they provide conflict to Oliver’s journey and that is important. Oliver encounters Fagin first and did not understand he was training kids to be pickpockets at first. He did not figure that out until he saw the Artful Dodger and Charley Bates steal a handkerchief from a gentleman, who turns out to be Mr. Brownlow. Oliver just wouldn’t let Fagin or Sikes corrupt him at all.

I find Sikes to even be more evil than Fagin is. True he is also a villain like Fagin, but he is quite abusive. He does work for Fagin and later hated the fact that he killed Nancy. He only did that because Nancy gave away Fagin and Sike’s latest scheme of trying to recapture Oliver for the second time. The first round, Oliver was staying with Mr. Brownlow. It was Fagin’s goal to recapture him the first time. But the second time was when Oliver was staying with Rose Maylie and her family. When Oliver was staying with both of him, he was recovering from sickness and just did not want to be sent back to both Fagin and Sikes. Later in the story, there is another villain involved, who is Monks, who did plan with both Fagin and Sikes to recapture Oliver the second time.

I actually enjoyed Nancy more than both Fagin and Sikes. I found it hard to like her at first. But when she gave away Monks, Fagin, and Sike’s schemes to recapture Oliver, I loved her at that moment even though she knows that if she gave them away, she could possibly be killed and that was an act of courage right there.

This has to be the easiest Dickens book I ever read. He always makes you want to know what it going to happen next. Whenever he was with Mr. Brownlow and Rose, I always hoped that he wouldn’t be sent back to misery. I am so glad at the end that both Sikes and Fagin did die. I also am glad that Oliver got adopted by Mr. Brownlow, so Oliver’s journey did lead him to salvation. Now I am wondering should I watch the musical adaption? I honestly watched the musical live in middle school, but I have no recollections of seeing it.

If you like Oliver Twist, why did you love it?

Survive

What Caused Me to Love Classical Literature?

Well, as some may know that this summer I am reading Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. But what exactly is about the classics that makes me love them so much. I feel like part of the answer starts from how I was raised.

Well, I was raised watching A Christmas Carol every Christmas Break. So I was already exposed to at least one classic as a child. I learned to fall in love with the story early on so I think that is a big reason why I love the classics now.

But I honestly think a big reason why I love the classics might mostly have to do with Les Misérables. Yes, this list is talking about classical literature, but it is important to talk about the musical of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables. Well, in December of 2012 my parents took me to the movie adaptation and little did I know that the musical was about to really change and impact my life in such a positive way.  The first time I saw the movie, I had no clue how to respond. I was confused and shocked when I realized it was a tragedy, which was figured out after the first death. As a result, I did not how to respond so due to that I had no clue if I liked the movie or not.

Despite that, I still started researching information about Victor Hugo and the musical. I soon decided that I just had to see the movie a second time. That was how I realized there was something special about the tragedy. I really wanted to know why it uplifts me in such a positive way despite all of the heartbreak I just felt. So I dug even deeper into the musical. I realized that it was a story of hope, love, compassion, forgiveness, humanity, sacrifice, and redemption.

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So I eventually decided that I just had to read the novel. I started with the abridged version. I enjoyed it that round, but felt like something was absolutely missing.  So I told myself that I needed to read the book again, but in the unabridged version. So when I read the unabridged version summer of 2015, I read the unabridged version and I did not skip over anything. The book truly felt like a masterpiece and the spirituality of the story was clearly shown. If it wasn’t for the spirituality of the story, I feel like I would be sick and tried of it by now. What was helpful in reading this book was my knowledge of the musical. Due to that, I could mark up major character and write in songs.

Due to loving Les Mis, my dad recommended me to read Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. So Les Mis led me to having the interest to read another classic. I read it and really enjoyed it. It was confusing at times because it was hard to tell if you were in France or in England. I enjoyed it, but couldn’t think of the reason why. It takes place during the French Revolution, which happens right before the events before Les Mis.

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Since Les Mis led to Tale of Two Cities, it also in a way led to Great Expectation. Because I learned to love Tale of Two Cities, the second Dickens story I fell in love with, I was recommended to read Great Expectations. I loved the character of Pip in Great Expectations and never could understand why I loved him. So Les Mis was essential to my love of the classics. If it wasn’t for Les Mis, I wouldn’t have wanted to read other Dickens books. I read Great Expectations Christmas of 2016. I wanted to review it on this blog, but couldn’t figure out why I enjoyed that book. The last Dickens book I was recommend is Nicholas Nickleby.

My dad also recommend me to check out Don Quixote. Les Mis did not lead me to Don Quixote, but led me to wanting to explore other classics. For a Spanish project at school, I choose Don Quixote to research since my dad recommended it to me. The moment I saw that Don Quixote was a tragicomic character, I knew I had to read the book. I loved the story of the knight errant righting all wrongs and the relationship to his squire. Well the school project did lead me to watching Man of La Mancha, the musical based off of Don Quixote. I actually read the book Summer of 2016 and I actually found it harder to read than Les Mis even though it was much shorter. That is due to hardly knowing Don Quixote at the time.

Now I am currently reading Oliver Twist, which I started last Saturday. I currently read close to 200 pages. I am loving the book as a matter of fact. I am especially fond of the character of Oliver. Last Christmas, I was going to read what classic I got. I asked for Oliver Twist or Hunchback of Notre Dame. What book I got would be the book I would read this summer and the other one would wait until Christmas. Dickens and Hugo have incredible parallels in their storylines, which I will talk about in another upcoming post of mine. After I finish Oliver Twist if I can come up with enough reasons why I loved it, I will review it.

So in a nutshell, A Christmas Carol did in a way shape my love for the classics since it was the first one I was exposed to. But Les Mis really brought out my love for the classics. I feel like I love the classics due to how challenging they are. All of them also seem to be well written. I read the classics in between semesters because I am able to find time to read them and focus on them. I feel like I might need to read some of the classics one more time, but in a longer amount of time. Les Mis and Christmas Carol were essential to falling in love with the classics.

What are your feelings on the classics?

Classic Book Challenge

This week was finals week and I got to go back to my hometown yesterday. Today starts the beginning of summer break. Every summer break, I enjoyed spending time with my family.

I like to read as well. In between semesters, I always do a challenge with books that are classic. I attempt to start and finish them by the end of the semester. This summer break’s book is Oliver Twist. Some of the classic books I read were books that were recommended by others and some were not.

The ones that were never recommended were Les Misérables and Oliver Twist. I actually read the entire Les Misérables in less than one summer. It was my love for the musical that gave me the courage to read the unabridged book. I honestly have no idea what me decide to read Oliver Twist at some point. I think it might have something to do with Les Misérables because the musical of Oliver inspired the lyricist to make a musical of the book.

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My dad recommend Don Quixote, Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations. He recommended me to read Tale of Two Cities due to my love for Les Mis because the book takes place during the French Revolution and that event happened before the events in Les Mis took place. He even knew that I should read Great Expectations as well because I love Charles Dickens. My dad told me some about Don Quixote and I think he told me about the nature him being a knight errant and told me about his squire. I eventually did a project in school about Don Quixote and was fascinated in reading the book after discovering that Don quixote is a tragicomic character, a type of character I never discovered before.

So why do I attempt to read the classics in a short period of time? Well during the school year, it is too hard to read a classic due to how challenging they are. So the only time I can actually read them is in between semesters. Also giving me a goal of when to finish them gives the motivation to continue reading. Look at Don Quixote and Les Misérables: they were the longest classic I read and finished them in one summer. There are days while reading these classics that made it much harder to read them.

So this summer’s challenge belongs to Oliver Twist.

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