Every class spectrum are forced to endure

Every single human being is born into a cultural and social label that defines who they
are as a person in society. This label includes family, religion, language, social class, and
community as well as numberless other factors. Throughout history many people live and die in
the very same social class they were born into, no matter how unfortunate it may be. The two
novels, Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell and Oliver Twist by Charles
Dickens are focused on the plights and undue hardships those born into the lower end of the
social class spectrum are forced to endure with no help from those above. The protagonists of
both Oliver Twist as well as Down and Out in Paris and London are both working class, and this
strongly affects the portrayal of the story and protagonists themselves. These protagonists are
portrayed as working class in a way that aligns the reader’s sympathies with them. In Oliver
Twist, the working-class Oliver is forced to make a life for himself among a society of liars and
thieves, ultimately finding out that it is his destiny to live among those who are of a higher class
of society. In contrast, Down and Out in Paris and London is a memoir, but the perspective
used, especially in the latter city, is that of the person who is impoverished and who is forced to
rely on benevolence and camaraderie among the working class. Although the ultimate message
of Oliver Twist is one of class uplift, meaning that the person whose perspective is offered
receives absolution only because he is ultimately positioned as a rightful member of the
aristocracy, the ultimate message of Down and Out in Paris and London is more complex. In
this work, the sympathy garnered for the protagonist is viewed through the perspective of the
upper-middle class or the upper class, meaning that the sympathy is seemingly only justified
because its given by the upper classes.. Ultimately, both works offer a view of the protagonists
in which the reader’s sympathy is contingent upon representation that occurs through the view
of the upper class.

In Oliver Twist, the titular character is a lovable waif. He is an innocent who, against the
odds, tries to promote a positive approach to the world and to his attitude. The book itself tries
to promote a view in which the working-class hero becomes worthy of his ultimate fate because
of his very acceptance of that fate. For example, the narrator implores the reader that he or she
has the power to think positively and therefore change his or her own circumstances. “Such is
the influence which the condition of our own thoughts, exercises, even over the appearance of
external objects. Men who look on nature, and their fellow-men, and cry that all is dark and
gloomy, are in the right; but the sombre colours are reflections from their own jaundiced eyes
and hearts. The real hues are delicate, and need a clearer vision” (Dickens, 367). This passage
may not be pivotal to the entire story of Oliver Twist, but it nonetheless offers an angle into
which one can begin to understand a Marxist approach to this book. The idea that the individual
is superior to the community seems to overcome the fundamental dynamics of the story.
Instead of relying on the group to band together and fight for its own betterment, as the Marxist
philosophy would presume, the passage indicates that everything boils down to the individual’s
superior ability to reframe their circumstances. The ideology of the book is reinforced with this
passage, which focuses on the individual. The passage shows that the story is promoting a view  

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