Tag Archives: Oliver Twist

The Magic Spell Cast by Stories

In “1Q84” Murakami describes novels as holding out the promise to solve our problems only we can’t quite make them out.

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Savaging the Poor Left and Right

Supply-side economics has been ravaging the economies of such states as Kansas, Louisiana, and, to a lesser extent, Wisconsin. The GOP governors sound like the poor house’s Board of Directors in “Oliver Twist.”

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Dickens Improved the Lives of the Poor

Charles Dickens had a tangible impact on how the poor were treated. “Oliver Twist,” “Nicholas Nickleby,” and “Christmas Carol” literally changed public policy. Few other authors can boast so much.

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Speaker Paul Ryan in Literature

I’ve written a lot about Paul Ryan and his aspiration to be a John Galt figure. Now that he is Speaker of the House, I review other literary parallels I’ve drawn over the years.

Posted in Achebe (Chinua), Carroll (Lewis), Conrad (Joseph), Dickens (Charles), Hardy (Thomas), Milton (John), Rand (Ayn) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cruz as Beowulf? Try Grendel

Thursday Normally I would be delighted with a New York Times article that matched up presidential candidates with works of literature, such as Ted Cruz with Beowulf, Hillary Clinton with Persuasion, and Bernie Sanders with Around the World in 80 Days. This piece, however, strikes me as so uninformative that it’s all but useless. I’ve tried […]

Posted in Austen (Jane), Beowulf Poet, Dickens (Charles), Hardy (Thomas), Twain (Mark), Verne (Jules) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Dickensian Horror of the Death Penalty

The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of problematic drugs for lethal injection. The Charles Dickens of “Oliver Twist” would be appalled.

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GOP Budget Proposes Gruel Cuts

Mean-spirited legislators who seek to cut food stamps and other programs for the poor bear more than a little resemblance to the workhouse authorities in “Oliver Twist.”

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Will Oliver Finally Get Health Care?

Oliver Twist experiences the same ups and downs as Obamacare has. But there’s a happy ending.

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Gingrich Auditions for a Dickens Villain

Newt Gingrich’s proposal that poor children be allowed to serve as janitors in their schools calls for a Dickensian response.

Posted in Dickens (Charles) | Also tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Warren Buffett, Dickensian Philanthropist

Warren Buffett’s op-ed article that the wealthy should pay more taxes is reminding me of Charles Dickens’ benevolent philanthropists, especially Mr. Brownlow in “Oliver Twist.”

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Fighting Crime through the Classics

Reader Farida Bag sent me a link to an article from the London Guardian about literature being used to rehabilitate prisoners in Texas. The program, called Changing Lives through Literature (here’s the link to their website) has been racking up impressive results: Of the 597 who have completed the course in Brazoria County, Texas, between 1997 […]

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Is Father-Son Conflict Inevitable?

I had an interesting conversation with my two sons yesterday as we drove them and my daughter-in-law to the Portland airport, marking the beginning of the end of our summer vacation.  The conversation began with me wondering why there weren’t works of literature that accurately capture the kind of father-son relationship that I feel that […]

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