Dickens: compare and contrast
Charles Dickens is unusual among writers in that so many of his heroes and heroines are children, or are described in ways that associate them with childhood. And because nearly all these children are predestined to belong to the congenial society, they can only be hurt, not corrupted, by the obstructing society.
Oliver and Pip have both gone through a rough childhood. In the novel of Oliver Twist, ever since Oliver is born, he lives in the orphanage and lives with the discrimination from the adult. “Please Sir, I want some more.” (Chapter 2), orphans at the orphanage would never have enough to eat. This quote has changed Oliver’s destiny once and for all, troubles comes forth at the beginning, however it has brought fortune for him at the end when he eventually reunited with Mr. Brownlow. In Great Expectations, Pip has been abused mentally and physically by his sister. Pip is mentally scared of his sister when his sister beats him up physically with a tickler, which is a wax-ended piece of cane.
“Mrs. Joe has been out a dozen times, looking for you, Pip. And she’s out now, making it a
baker’s dozen”
“Is she?”
“Yes Pip,” said Joe; “and what’s worse, she’s got a Tickler with her.”
At this dismal intelligence, I twisted the only button on my waistcoat round and round, and looked in great depression at the fire. (Chapter II)
Pip is brought up by his sister “by hand”, and that has become a perfect reason for his sister to abuse him. When he starts to see Miss Havisham, he is looked down by Estella, who would abuse him mentally by saying the meanest words.
She came back, with some bread and meat and little mug of beer. She put he mug down on the stones of the yard, and gave me the bread and meat without looking at me, as insolently as if I were a dog in disgrace. I was humiliated, hurt, spurned, offended, angry, sorry….(Chapter VIII)
However, all the ill treatment from Estella has triggered Pip into becoming a gentleman so Estella would look up to him.
Although Oliver and Pip have had a rough childhood, but at the end, they both remained pure and innocent. Oliver is first at the orphanage, after been kicked out, he has dwelled with Fagin and the other thieves. However, that did not take the goodness away from him. Deep inside his heart, he could distinguish between right and wrong. Mr. Sikes asks Pip to be his partner, lures him with money. Pip at first refused, but after Mr. Sikes forced him with a gun, it is not up to his choice.