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 character, 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 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?

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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 classic 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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