Oliver Twist Readalong, hosted by Allie at A Literary Odyssey
I'm actually quite familiar with the basics of Oliver Twist thanks to the films Oliver!, Oliver and Company, Oliver Twist, and Oliver Twist. But obviously they truncate and change parts wholesale so it's always good to return to the text itself.
However I have found those adaptations to be fairly faithful to the text so far; while there were some changes, from what I can remember most plot points and characters remain the same. I only have a couple of immediate thoughts:
- The "Please sir I want some more" scene. This seems to translate wholesale on screen. Of course there's the irony of the fat wealthy men and their presumed "goodness" in maintaining Oliver and the orphans in such style. I really like the confrontation scene between the men and Oliver on screen because the visual irony is fantastic. These plump men surrounded by mountains of food and poor Oliver who only wants a bit more gruel. The inequities are depressing.
- I'm also struck by Oliver's innocence and basic goodness; he wants to do right and would probably be content earning a simple honest day's wage if he could only have the opportunity. Instead he's forced in with a band of criminals and away from good people who worried about him.
- I've always heard of this book as particularly anti-Semitic and Fagin is almost constantly mentioned as "the Jew" rather than by his name. I'm not entirely sure why that decision was made; this is something I'd like to know more about and to discuss later.