Research studies

The Use of Dialect in Charles Dickens Novel ‘Oliver Twist’


Prepared by the researcher 

  • Abedelrahman Mohammdain Abdurrahman Ahmed , Associate Professor , El Imam El Mahdi University, Faculty of Arts and Humanity, Email
  • MohiEldeen Ahmed Abdelrahman Ahmed, Assistant Professor, White Nile University, Faculty of Arts, English language department, Sudan
  • Mustafa Hassan Musa, PhD Candidate, University of Bacht-er-Ruda , Faculty of postgraduate studies, English language Department
  • Wafa Alsir Ahmed Omer,D. Candidate, – Elimam Elmahdi, Faculty of postgraduate studies, English language Department

Democratic Arabic Center

Journal of cultural linguistic and artistic studies : Twenty-ninth Issue – September 2023

A Periodical International Journal published by the “Democratic Arab Center” Germany – Berlin

Nationales ISSN-Zentrum für Deutschland
 ISSN  2625-8943

Journal of cultural linguistic and artistic studies

:To download the pdf version of the research papers, please visit the following link


This study aimed to investigate the use of dialect in Charles Dickens’s novel ‘Oliver Twist ‘.The descriptive analytical method was adopted to conduct the study. The analytical method is used by adopting the techniques of interpretative qualitative method among the best of them are coding and Recursive abstraction. Therefore, the researchers find out the following results: Charles Dickens uses dialect in Oliver Twist to reflect realism, situation of the age, social facts, and historical facts. There are difficulties that face readers when reading a novel in which dialect is used .On the light of the results that has been found out, the researchers recommend the following: When studying Charles Dickens works, dialect should be considered to understand the work well.   Dialect that was used to reflect situation of the age in time of Charles dickens should be studied and focused, facts should be understood via understanding of dialect, historical facts about the authors age should be understood though the use of dialect and, Readers should know the dialect that was used in Oliver Twist to avoid difficulties in understanding Charles Dickens’s literary works.


This study concerns with English literature specifically the masterpiece of Charles Dickens novel ‘Oliver Twist’. It provides and reflects the use of dialect in Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist.

       This study is important because it investigates the importance of the use of dialect in Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist, that represents the common social literary approach in which the conflicts between classes i.e. high,mid, and low class in reviled. Dialects are used reflect the reality of the real situation in life, the life , and the ideology of the social classes. However , the study tells about the different dialects used in these classes.

            This study assume that the dialect which was used by Charles Dickens in his novel Oliver Twist reflects the social facts, historical facts and poverty and suffering effect in low class especially in their language , also the author reflects this for  reader .

  The writer expects that this study gives contribution to sociolinguistic studies, especially those related to varieties of dialects, use in the English fictional prose. In this study the researchers show that the sociolinguistic data can be obtained from written source. From character’s words of Charles Dickens’s novel Oliver Twist. Moreover the researcher hopes this study represents Charles Dickens’s works in creating the sense of experiencing the fictional autobiography

          This study contributes to the overall field of knowledge especially for those who concerned with English literature and more interested in literary words of Charles Dickens.

Statement of the problems

 This study aims to investigate  the use of dialect in Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist the author has used the dialect in his novel that may cause a problem in understanding but it has a great advantages in reflecting the real situation of the age . ; the researcher is interested in the dialects that is used by the characters in Oliver Twist is differing from his novel .

  The use of the dialect reflect the real aspects of life , social and historical facts about the age as has been demonstrated by Minna paukari (2015:6) any novelist , Dickens included , is creating an illusion of realness by imitating real- life , and as page suggests, the way in which speech is presented carries a distinct part in that Endeavour . By making the characters, dialects distinguishable from each other  or, in fact, by making the characters speak in the same dialect, the novelist is creating an illusion of real people.

Objectives of the study

The study aims of achieving the following objectives

  • To investigate the reason behind the use of dialect in Oliver Twist .
  • To discover whether the use of dialect reflect realism and situation of the age.
  • To know whether the use of dialect reflect the historical facts.

. Questions of the study

 This study aims to answer the following questions:

  • What is the reason behind using dialect in Oliver Twist?
  • To what extent does the use of dialect reflect realism situation of the age?
  • To what extent does the use of dialect reflect the historical facts?

Hypotheses of the study:

This study aims to verify the following hypotheses

  • Charles Dickens uses dialect in Oliver Twist to reflect realism and situation of the age.
  • Dialect was used to reflect social facts.
  • Dialect was used to reflect historical facts.

  Biography of Charles Dickens

According to Stephen Colbourn  (p,4, mar.4,2020)  Charles John Humffam Dickens, one of Britain’s greatest novelist,    was born on (February 7. 1812) in Portsmouth, on the southern coast of England. When his age was two years old the family was very poor  Charles’s mother , Elizabeth Barrow, aspired to be a teacher and school director. Despite his parents, best efforts, the family remained poor. Nevertheless 1816 , they moved to Chatham, Kent ,where young Dickens and his siblings where free to roam the countryside and explore the caste at Aochester. The family moved to Camden  town in 1822. And poor neighborhood in London, By then the family’s financial situation had grown dire as John Dickens had dangerous habit of living beyond the family’s mean. Eventually John was sent to prison for debt in 1824 when Charles was just 12 year old .

He following his father’s imprisonment. Dickens was forced to leave school to work at boot.- blacking factory .  At the rundown rodent-ridden factory.

Dickens earned six shillings a week labeling pots of “blacking “ a substance used to clean fireplace. It was the best he could do to help support his family. Looking back on the experience Dickens saw it as the moment he said goodbye to his youthful innocence, stating that he wondered how could be so easily cast away at such a young age. He felt a abandoned and betrayed by the a adults who were supposed to take care of him so , the  researcher thinks the experience of poverty make Dickens to use dialect and  , the language of low  class to make the picture more clear.

  These sentiments would later became a recurring theme in his writing much to his relief , Dickens was permitted to go back to school when his father received a family inheritance and used it to pay off his debts. But when Dickens was 15,his education was pulled out from under him once again, in 1827 he had to drop out of school and work as an office boy to contribute to his family’s income ,As it turned out , the job became a launching point for his writing career.

Dickens became freelance journalist. And  a few years  , he was reporting for two important  London newspapers .

In 1833 he began submitting sketches to various magazines and newspapers under the pseudonym “Boz” and in 1836 his clippings were published in his first book , sketches by Boz

In the same year Dickens started publishing the posthumous papers of the pickevick   club.

 Charles Dickens, literary works:

According to Dickens published a total of 15 novels. Well know are :

Oliver Twist (1837-1838Oliver Twist, Dickens first novel, follows the life of an orphan living in the streets. The book was inspired by how Dickens felt as impoverished child forced to get by on his wits and earn his own keep. As publisher of a magazine called Bentley’s miscellany, Dickens began published Oliver Twist in installments between February 1837 and April 1838, with the full book edition published in November 1838.

Dickens continued showcasing Oliver Twist in the magazines he later edited, including house hold words and all the year round. The novel was extremely well-received in both England and America.

Dedicated readers of 0liver Twist  eagerly anticipated the next monthly  installment. Dickens used  dialects to real and reflects reality.

A Christmas  Carol(1843)

On December 19, 1843, Dickens published A Christmas  Carol. The book features the timeless protagonist Ebenezer scrooge, a curmudgeonly old miser, who, with the help of ghosts, finds the Christmas spirit. Dickens penned the book in just six weeks beginning in October and finishing just in time for the holiday celebrations. The novel was intended as a social criticism, to bring attention to the hardships faced by England’s poorer classes.

   The book was a roaring success, selling more than 6,000 copies upon publication. Readers in England and American entrepreneur reportedly gave. His employees an extra day’s holiday after reading it. Despite literary criticism, the book remains one of Dickens, most well-known and beloved works.

Dealings with the first of Dombey and son,(1846-1848) From October 1846 to April 1848, Dickens published, monthly installments, Dealings with firm of Dombey and son .

The novel. Which was published in book form in 1848 centers on the theme of how business tactics affect a family’s personal finances. Taking a dark view of England, it is considered pivotal to dickens’s body of work in that it set the tone for this other novel.

  • David Copperfield(1849-1850)

David Copperfield was first work of it is kind: no one had ever written a novel that simply followed a character through his everyday life.

From May 1849 to November 1850, Dickens published the book in monthly installations, with the full novel form published in November 1850 . in writing it, Dickens tapped into his own personal experiences, from his difficult childhood to his work as a journalist. Although Dived Copperfield is not considered Dickens best work, it was personal favorite. It also helped define the public’s expectations of Dickens’ novel.

A Tale of two cities(1859) Coming out of his “dark novel” period 1859 Dickens published A Tale of Two Cities, a historical novel that takes place during the French revolution in Paris and London. Published it in a periodical he found, All the year round. The story focuses on themes of the need for sacrifice, the struggle between the evils inherent in oppression and revolution and the possibility of resurrection and rebirth.

Great expectations (1861)

  Great expectations, published in serial form between December 1860 to August 1861 and novel form in October 1861, is widely considered Dickens, second to be narrated in the first person, focuses on the life long journey of normal development for the novel’s protagonist, an orphan named pip with extreme imagery and colorful characters, the well-received novels themes include wealth and poverty ,love and rejection, and good versus evil.

Death of Dickens

 After suffering a stroke, Dickens died at age 58 on June 9,1870, at Gad’s Hill place, his country home in Kent England.

Five years earlier, Dickens had been in a train accident and never fully recovered. Despite his fragile condition, he continued to tour until shortly before his death.

Dickens was buried in poets corner at Westminster Abbey with thousands of mourners gathering at the beloved Author’s  gravesite.

Scottish satirical writer Thomas Carlyle described Dickens’ passing as “an event world wide” a unique of talents suddenly extinct At the time of his death his final novel, The mystery of Edwin Drood, was unfinished.

 The Victorian Era

The period of the Victorian era was a social change , many people change their religions and the social ideals , that had been the norm. this change effected of the culture and the accent from social class to others.

The Crystal Palace  was erected to display the exhibits of modern industry and science at the 1851 Great Exhibition . It was one of the first buildings constructed according to modern architectural principles. It was  symbolized the triumphs of Victorian industry.

 The British Empire in Victorian era  1853 and 1880, large scale immigration to British colonies.  In 1857, Parliament took over the government of India and Queen Victoria became empress of India.  Many British people saw the expansion of empire as a moral responsibility. Missionaries spread Christianity in India, Asia, and Africa.

The Religious Debate in Victorian period  represented the evangelical movement emphasized spiritual transformation of the individual by conversion and a moral Christian life. Their view of life was identical with Dissenters. The High Church emphasized the importance of tradition, ritual, and authority.  The Oxford Movement led by Newman.  The Broad Church was open to modern ideas.

The Utilitarianism that was  derived from the ideas of Jeremy Bentham and his disciple James Mill, the father of John Stuart Mill. There were  rationalist test of value,  the greatest good for the greatest number, and the Utilitarianism failed to recognize people’s spiritual needs. There was  challenges to Religious Belief specially in  science,     Huxley, Darwin- the Origin of Species and The Descent of Man, Higher Criticism in many aspects of life .  There was examination of the bble as a mere text of history

The Late Victorian Period between 1870-1901. There was  decay of Victorian values,  British imperialism, Boer War, Irish question,Bismarck’s Germany became a rival power,United States became a rival power, Economic depression led to mass immigration, Socialism.

In 1890  that represented Breakdown of Victorian values. It witnessed the  Mood of melancholy, Aesthetic movement, The beginning of the modern movement in literature, Aubrey Beardsley’s drawings, Prose of George Moore and Max Beerbohm, Poetry of Ernest Dowson

The Role of Women in the age was raised. The Woman Question also was in focus.  Changing conditions of women’s work created by the Industrial Revolution. The Factory Acts (1802-78) – regulations of the conditions of labor in mines and factories The Custody Act (1839) – gave a mother the right to petition the court for access to her minor children and custody of children under seven and later sixteen.

The Divorce and Matrimonial Causes Act – established a civil divorce court. Married Women’s Property Acts was established.  Educational Opportunities for Women .First women’s college established in 1848 in London. By the end of Victoria’s reign, women could take degrees at twelve university colleges.

Working Conditions for Women was bad  underemployment drove thousands of women into prostitution. The only occupation at which an unmarried middle-class woman could earn a living and maintain some claim to gentility was that of a governess.

The Victorian society was preoccupied with the very nature of women. Protected and enshrined within the home, her role was to create a place of peace where man could take refuge from the difficulties of modern life

By the end of the century, literacy was almost universal. Compulsory national education  required to the age of ten. Due to technological advances, an  explosion of things to read, including newspapers, periodicals, and books. Growth of the periodical Novels and short fiction were published in serial form. The reading public expected literature to illuminate social problems

-The Victorian  novel was the dominant form in Victorian literature. It  seek to represent a large and comprehensive social world, with a variety of classes and was realistic . the major theme is the place of the individual in society, the aspiration of the hero or heroine for love or social position. The protagonist’s search for fulfillment is emblematic of the human condition. For the first time, women were major writers: the Brontes. Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot. The Victorian novel was a principal form of entertainment

In the Victorian period ,  drama and  theater were  a flourishing and popular institution during the Victorian period. The popularity of theater influenced other genres. Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde transformed British theater with their comic masterpieces.

2.5 Charles Dickens on the Yes of Critics

According to Koblenz-Landau (2013:p.58-60)  Many of the reforms which came about in the mid  century were helped by a new type of novel enjoying  much popularity – the novel of social criticism. There was a much wider market for literature: a lower-middle class public who could afford to buy cheap magazines  containing serialized novels, or who borrowed books  from the newly established penny lending libraries.

CHARLES DICKENS (1812-70) made his name as a  novelist in writing for this public. His own experiences  in early youth formed him as a writer. He had had a hard  childhood with little formal education; his father was  imprisoned for debt and the 12-year old had to work in  a boot-polish factory, a traumatic experience which formed the basis for the indictments  in his works of cruelty to children and exploitation. He became a reporter, and began  writing sketches, which were illustrated by the caricaturist GEORGE CRUIKSHANK (1792 1878) and by “Phiz”. His first work The Pickwick Papers is not a social novel, but  belongs to the picaresque genre. It was produced in 20 installments for a sports club  journal beginning in 1836, and was at once highly successful. It recounts various  adventures of Mr. Pickwick and his friends during their travels around England: these  include a manipulated election, an unfortunate incident in which Mr. Pickwick is thought  by a lady of rather advanced years to have proposed marriage, a court case brought by  her for breach of promise of marriage, a period in a debtor’s prison when Mr. Pickwick  refuses to pay the damages she was awarded, and many other developments concerning  people from a variety of walks of life. The structure of the novel is determined by its  mode of publication: it had to be written to a monthly deadline; each episode had to  form a unit and to build up to a climax likely to induce the reader to purchase the next  installment. Under such conditions planning and composition suffered; sentimentality,  pathos and melodrama could get out of hand. However, Dickens’ great gift for

memorable characterization, for caricature, for dialogue flourished, and Pickwick and its  characters soon became a household word across Britain.

The next of the 15 novels was Oliver Twist. This takes up the issue of workhouses  and the treatment of the poor. It is the story of an orphan boy sent after the death of his  destitute young mother to the workhouse, where he is nearly starved to death. The  famous scene in which Oliver commits the crime of asking for more food is a masterly  satire tearing away the mask of respectability behind which tyrannical authorities hide  heartlessness, greed and cruelty. However, the nature of the story changes after the  impassioned exposure of the condition of  paupers and exploitation of apprentices: the  second half is pure melodrama. Oliver has  fallen into the hands of a gang of thieves, is  pursued by an evil character intent on his  downfall, who turns out to be his hal brother. So the hero’s mother was not after  all a “fallen woman” but a respectable  married lady of good family; the tale ends  with Oliver being adopted by a kindly  wealthy gentleman: a happy personal ending obliterates the wider perspective with  which the novel begins but leaves unresolved. This is a recurring pattern in Dickens’

work; the Swiftian satire, for instance, of the legal system at the beginning of Bleak  House drifts off into a sensational tale of secret guilt, rediscovered children, and virtue  rewarded. Unforgettable accounts of tyranny endured by children in the family and at  school are to be found in Nicholas Nickleby, in David Copperfield, a partly  autobiographical novel, in Hard Times, in which the harshness of the industrial world is  contrasted with the free and imaginative world of the circus.

Dickens’ historical novel A Tale of Two Cities contrasts London and Paris in 1789. Its brilliant portrayal of the cruelty of French aristocrats is balanced by accounts of the  macabre cruelty of the revolutionary guillotine women; the novel has formed  generations of British people’s impressions of the French revolution, and provided a  vivid illustration of the theories of the conservative writers Thomas Carlyle and  Edmund Burke on the subject. As in Hard Times, so long as the poor are helpless

victims, they are defended with a flaming sword; if they organise, for example, in a  trade union or resort to physical force against their oppressors, then they are seen as  sinister conspirators driven by base motives and foreign agents.

Dickens’ novels have many weaknesses, but they provide an fascinating vista of  middle-class Victorian England and a panorama of memorable characters, who if  encountered in youth, people one’s mind forever.

Dialect in Dickens’ Works 

Foremost it is necessary to define what is meant by dialect. According to George Yule ( January. p. 195 .2006 ) which is used to describe features of grammar and vocabulary as well as aspects of pronunciation.

 According to Suzanne Pickles(July . p.    2018 )  However socio-linguists have come to view dialect as an ideological construct,18 the popular understanding of the term consider  it as indicate  any grammatical constructions or lexical items which are not found in Standard English but are typically associated with a specific geographical area. Dialect in literature is more in line with these ideas from folk linguistics than with recent sociolinguistic studies, and I use the term dialect, along with nonstandard English, to refer to any form of language which differs from the national standard in terms of grammar, lexis or phonology. It would  be known , however, that, in the ‘real world’, Standard English, the grammatical and lexical form taught in schools and used in writing, can be spoken with regional accents. The accent most associated with Standard English in Britain is Received Pronunciation, known as RP, an accent which became prestigious partly because of its link with the public school system. In the ‘real world’ a person who speaks with a local accent whilst using standard grammar and lexis would not be considered a dialect speaker. However, pronunciation is included within literary  dialect

2.7. Literary Dialect in Victorian Literature

 The Victorian Period was filled with many different thoughts and ideas. The literature of the time rose ideas that have never been heard of. Since the era was in the midst of the Industrial Revolution, it changed the way people thought from all of the new discoveries and inventions. Some of the literature and discoveries had the Victorian people question their beliefs, which created religious struggle. The difference types of literature and countless numbers of technological and scientific advances made the Victorian era a truly unique period in that time.

Previously dialect was used in literature for  specific purposes like comedy or laughter  by low characters generally , uneducated, miser, drunkard, or any other status that makes them in a comic and eccentric effect “for the most part, the conspicuous vulgarity of dialect even its funny look on the printed page-disqualified it as a serious language for the representation of personality in the nineteenth-century English novel.”  (Sabin, 1987). During the Victorian age, writers have become more and more aware in presenting skillfully the registers and the different varieties of speech in a standard text; accordingly the function of dialect has been thoroughly investigated and applied by novelists of the nineteenth century in the novel designed for its “artistically organized systems for bringing different languages in contact with one another” (Bakhtin, 1981). Though dialect use in Victorian literature will be thoroughly illustrated all along the coming chapters since the core of the research is the use of dialect in Victorian era by Dickens and Eliot we would like to introduce other novelists for the reason that the dialect was extensively used marking the epoch by a festival of language diversity in the literary text represented in an array of noteworthy novels. Numerous scholars, among them, Chapman and Page, remarked so heavy use of dialect in standard novels that they submitted it as a Victorian convention1 which enables literary dialect to know its zenith in the 19th century. Victorian novelists differed in their use either to fit with the sociolinguistic patterns as age, gender, style, social context, and cultural background; or to depict various provincial and rustic characters supporting the movement of the 19th century era which was realism.

 Literary Dialect and Realism

Definition of Realism

Foremost it is necessary to define what is meant byrealism’ it deals frankly with social issues and contemporary .according to Suzanne Pickles(July . p. 26-27.   2018 )    In the Middle Ages, scholars held the view that ‘universals, classes or abstractions, and not the particular concrete objects of sense perception’ were the true realities.38 Thus the individual and his or her experience of the external world was unimportant as all lives were believed to be governed by these universals. In the modern period, realism is associated with the French school of realists, and literary realism has its foundations in the work of Descartes and Locke as a rejection of such universals for a belief that ‘truth can be discovered by the individual through his senses’.39 Thus there has been a shift of focus to the individual’s experience and perception of the world, an ‘affirmation of the real world’,40 which is at the heart of the realist novel.

Erich Auerbach’s Mimesis (1946) and Ian Watt’s The Rise of the Novel (1957) are two key works on literary realism. Auerbach’s work is significant in its study of how aspects of ordinary life which once featured in literary texts only as part of the characterisation of ‘low’, comedic characters became the main focus of the novel.  He points out that there has always been the ‘real’ in literature, even before the existence of the novel form.  He cites Shakespeare’s inclusion of ‘earthly reality’ such as ‘mentioning everyday utensils’ and the ‘everyday processes of life’ in plays such as Henry IV Part One; but he adds that Shakespeare ‘does not take ordinary everyday reality seriously or tragically. He treats only noblemen, princes and kings, statesmen, commanders, and antique heroes tragically’.41 Auerbach argues that there were distinct ‘levels of style’ (489) with stories of ordinary people and everyday life being reserved for the ‘low’ style whilst tales of heroes and statesmen were the concern of ‘serious’ literature. He documents the mixing of styles that began in the work of the novelists Stendhal and Balzac, concluding as follows: When Stendhal and Balzac took random individuals from daily life in their dependence upon current historical circumstances and made them the subjects of serious, problematic, even tragic representation, they broke the classical rule of distinct levels of style, for according to this rule, everyday practical reality could find a place in literature only within the frame of a low or intermediate kind of style, that is to say, as either grotesquely comic or pleasant, light, colourful, and elegant entertainment. They thus completed a development which had long been in preparation[…]And they opened the way for modern realism, which has ever since developed in increasingly rich forms, in keeping with the constantly changing and expanding reality of modern life (489).  Thus Auerbach’s book is significant in detailing the origins of literary realism, and his work is developed by Watt. Watt echoes the views above and then considers more specifically the ‘technical characteristics’ of ‘formal realism’ (28, 33): the plot became non-traditional so that it could accommodate the actions of the protagonist and therefore focus on ‘the primacy of individual experience’ (15); the plot had to be acted in particular circumstances (time and place) by particular people rather than general human types; and this, in turn led to the inclusion of detailed descriptions of character and environment (16, 18). Although it has been superseded (as I detail below), Watt’s work with its focus on a series of ‘technical characteristics’ of realism remains highly influential and is still required reading for those studying the novel today.

In terms of providing a clear, succinct definition of literary realism, whilst Dennis Walder and Richard Allen warn that ‘it would be a mistake to look for any hard-andfast definition of the realist novel’,42 George Levine, in his influential The Realistic Imagination (1981), offers the following helpful explanation:

Realism, as a literary method, can be defined as a self-conscious effort, usually in the name of some moral enterprise of truth-telling and extending the limits of human sympathy, to make literature appear to be describing directly not some other language but reality itself.    Of course, the notion of ‘reality itself’ and ‘the real world’ is a highly complex philosophical one bound to the idea of perception; but the explanation above can still be seen as valid and is the one I adopt here when I use the term ‘realism.

     Methodology of study

     There are three types of the  research designs in the field of research methodology. These are qualitative methods, quantitative methods, mixed methods. The  researcher  adopted the qualitative methods  that is  suitable to be  adopted to conduct the study in the literary fields. for Des1gn1ng

The researcher  adopted coding  technique as basic techniques  have been used to collect the data and analyse it. The codes have been developed to form a description or to identify themes of the study then to relate or verify it to the main objectives  of the study  . The themes  were interrelated to show a higher level of analysis and abstraction. The bases for interpreting the analysis had been specified (personal experiences), .The researcher mentioned the outcome of the study by providing a complex and different  picture of themes what was different from the famous one that were known by people.

The descriptive analytical method was  used conduct the study. The data was collected through authentic text of ‘Oliver Twist’ which written by Charles Dickens publish in 1861. The researches have  read the text careful to answer the questions of the study and to verify the hypothesis and to a chive the objectives of the study . while the researches r read the novel. They took notes and quotes to match them to the main variable of the study .this  section that will be under the researchers focus are these who belong to low class in the novel to investigate why and how these characters use the dialect in the novel , the analysis of the data will be through two instrument coding and recursive abstraction.

Data Analysis and Discussion of the Results

The current study probe the use if dialect in  Charles Dickens’s novel ‘Oliver Twist’  .  The analysis of the study  novel i.e. Oliver Twist, is going to be via interpretative techniques, among the best of them is  coding that is essential in analysis of any literary works especially novels

 The analysis focused on the  use of dialect in  Oliver Twist . The researcher  examined what role is played  by the language to reflect the reality

 Oliver Twist Themes

 Theme Charity Failure: Many of the first parts of Oliver Twist challenge charities run by churches and governments during Dickens’ time. The system described by Dickens  was introduced by the Poor Laws of 1834. The law stipulates that  poor people can only receive government support if they move to a government poorhouse. Residents of these poorhouses were  inmates in nature, and their rights were severely restricted by various pesky regulations. Labor was needed, families were almost always separated, and  food and clothing rations were small. Poorhouses operated on the principle that poverty is the result of laziness and that the horrific situation of the Poorhouse encourages the poor to improve their situation. However, the economic turmoil of the Industrial Revolution made this impossible for many, and the Poorhouse did not provide a means of social or economic improvement. Moreover, as Dickens points out, the officials running the Poorhouse were blatantly violating the values ​​they preached to the poor. Dickens ironically describes  the greed, laziness and arrogance of charitable workers like Mr. Bumble and Mrs. Mann. In general, charities only recreated the terrible situation in which  poor people would live anyway. As Dickens says, poor people have the option of being “hungry by a step-by-step process in the house or by rapid hunger.”

Theme-The Stupidity of Individualism: With the rise of capitalism during the Industrial Revolution, individualism as a philosophy was very popular. Victorian capitalists believed that society would function most smoothly if individuals were aware of their  interests. Ironically, the clearest expression of this philosophy does not come from  legitimate businessmen, but from Fagin, who is engaged in the illegal business of theft and prostitution. In other words, the benefits of the group are best provided when each individual protects himself. The stupidity of this philosophy is shown at the end of the novel when Nancy takes on the monk, Charlie Bates takes on the Sykes, and the monk takes on her wife. Corney. Fagin’s volatile family, united solely by the self-interest of its members, is in contrast to the small company formed by Oliver, Brownlow, Rose Mayley and many of their  friends. This second group is organized by “strong affection and humanity” rather than self-interest. This is a selfless dedication to each other, which Dickens considers to be a prerequisite for “perfect

Corrupt City Purity Theme: Throughout the novel, Dickens wonders if his terrifying environment has the power to “blacken [soul] and change its hue forever.” Examining the fate of most  characters, one can guess that his answer is  not. Indeed, characters like Likes and Fagin seem to have done permanent damage to their moral sense. But even Sykes has a conscience, which is manifested in Nancy’s appearance in her eyes, which is annoying him after Nancy killed her. Charlie Bates is good enough  to catch Sykes. Of course,  the novel takes him out of an unhealthy environment relatively early in his life, but Oliver goes beyond corruption. The easiest to understand is Nancy. She ends up making the ultimate sacrifice for her child, who she knows little about, even though Nancy thinks she has “almost irreparably lost” herself. increase. In contrast, the monk, perhaps the  most inhuman villain of the novel, grew up

Theme Idealized Landscape: All the injustices and hardships that Oliver Twist’s poor endured occur in either the big cities of London or the provincial towns where Oliver was born. When Marys brings Oliver to the country, he discovers a “new being.” Dickens argues that even those who have spent their  lives in “nearby noisy places” are likely to find comfort in the last moments in the mid-imagined memories of “heaven, hills, and plains.” .. In addition, rural landscapes can “purify our minds” and eliminate some of the vices that occur in the city. Therefore, “the poor people of the country are very neat and clean” and lead a clean life that plagues urban people. At the end of the novel, Oliver and his new family settled in a small village, as if a happy ending was impossible in the city. The portrayal of Dickens’ country life in Oliver Twist is more positive than his portrayal of urban life, but far less realistic. This fact is consistent, but it supports Dickens’ general reputation as a great urban writer. It is exactly the distance from the Dickens landscape that allows him to idealize it.

 The style of writing

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens compiles an array of different writing styles. These combined styles are unique to their author and give the book its literary merit.

 Dickens uses sharp irony in Oliver Twist to mock the various institutions within the book, such as the parish house, the justice system, and the unfair laws, that he thought to be inexorable. For example, in chapter five, the narrator burlesques Mr. Bumble by calling himself “a humble author”, in juxtaposition to “so mighty a personage as a beadle”. However, a beadle was not that crucial to the story. This satire is meant to point out how self-important, vainglorious, and arrogant officials like Mr. Bumble can be.

 Another way to describe Dickens` writing in Oliver Twist is periphrastic, or over explained. The narrator tends to talk around the point and describe things in gory detail. For example, Dodger and Charley`s theft of Mr. Brownlow`s wallet is described as “an illegal conveyance of Mr. Brownlow`s personal property”. Part of this effect is to show that cant can be used to vindicate injustices, which can be dangerous in and of itself. Dickens seems to convey that a thief should be viewed and limned as such.

 The large number of colons, semicolons, and parentheses can make the sentence structure long and daunting. Dickens’ words were often sentimental. For example, the love scene between Rose and Harry and Oliver’s early childhood portrayal. Dickens intended to explain the event realistically, but the language did not necessarily convey the language used by the lower classes of British society at the time. This is true, but Dickens uses street slang, especially the thief’s slang, which is represented by the Dodgers’ way of speaking.

 Dickens wanted Oliver Twist to be a book that virtually anyone could read. Sharp irony, euphemistic elements, sentence structure, and language all contribute to Oliver Twist’s literary benefits. All of these attributes make the reader  think about writing a book, give the book  timeless humor, and  make the book truly readable for everyone.


The analysis of data that has been revealed by the researcher found out the following results.

  • Charles Dickens uses dialect in Oliver Twist to reflect realism.
  • Dialect was used to reflect situation of the age .
  • Dialect was used to reflect social facts.
  • Dialect was used to reflect historical facts.
  • There is difficulties that face readers when reading a novel in which dialect is used .

On the light of the results that has been found out , the researcher recommends the following :

  • When studying Charles Dickens works , dialect should be considered to understand the work well.
  • Dialect that was used to reflect situation of the age in time of Charles dickens should be studied and focused. .
  • social facts should be understood via understanding of dialect.
  • historical facts about the authors age should be understood though the use of dialect .
  • Readers should know the dialect that was used in Oliver twist to avoid difficulties in understanding.


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Welder, Dennis and Richard Allen, Can Realist Novels survive ?in the Realist Novel

Minna  Pukari ( 2015) The purpose of Dialect in Charles               Dickens’s Novel Great Exceptions    Bachelor’s seminar and thesis ( 682285A) , English philology, faculty of Humanities, University of Oulu .

Suzanne  Pickles (2018) post – Authenticity:  Literary Dialect  and Realism in Victorian and Neo- Victorian Social Novels , A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of t requirements for the degree of , Doctor of philosophy , the University of Sheffield faculty of Arts and Humanities , school of English

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