Ideas In Works Of Literature: Pride And Prejudice And Oliver Twist

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Ideas in works of literature remain relevant to a contemporary audience because they can be applied to any time period and still hold importance and relevance to society. Not only do they remain timeless, but they also hold merit eg. historically or academically. This can be clearly seen through Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. This novel is considered literature and remains relevant because of its valuable ideas on society and class which set out to expose and challenge. Similarly, Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens is another work of literature and is still studied today because of the importance of the context, themes, and ideas such as poverty.

Pride and Prejudice showcase how ideas in works of literature remain relevant by holding value and significance through many different time periods. It is shown that relationships were determined by wealth and social position in society. The quote “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife”, implies two key concepts. First, showing that Mr. Bingley was only considered a suitable husband due to his wealth, showing how a man’s personal status dictated how a community accepted him. Secondly, women in that time period were expected to marry someone of high status. “A single man of a large fortune; four or five thousand a year. What a fine thing for our girls” this portrays that Mr. Bingley’s worth was based on wealth rather than personal qualities. Although social circumstances have differed, the idea of social segregation is still relevant today. Today, people with lower salaries and lower education are ridiculed by the upper class leading to the wealthy thinking of themselves more highly than others. Therefore, ideas in works of literature remain relevant due to holding value and remaining significant despite the time period applied.

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The main idea of poverty in Oliver Twist remains relevant because of its historical importance that is still valued in today’s society. The novel exposes the living conditions for the poor and working-class of England. Essentially children like Oliver have few opportunities to enhance their low condition. The children who don’t die on the farms and are sent to workhouses, where they find themselves trapped in a cycle of hunger and deprivation. “What have paupers to do with soul or spirit? It’s quite enough that we let ‘em have live bodies.” Mr. Bumbles’ words highlight two crucial ideas about poverty. First, it supports the decision to put orphans and other poor people on farms and in workhouses. Second, the quote illustrates how people trapped in poverty are held in that condition for the remainder of their life without a chance to improve their position. Through the words “Oliver Twist and his companions suffered the tortures of slow starvation for three months” Dickens highlights the idea of poverty through the struggle for basic needs. It is insightful to the readers as they begin to visualize this suffering, becoming more educated. Poverty has relevance to modern-day times as it is still present now which is approximately 180 years later. It is still a major problem the world is facing. Therefore, ideas in works of literature remain relevant for contemporary audiences because they are historically insightful and still valuable to today’s society.

In conclusion, the ideas in literature continue to remain relevant to contemporary audiences as they hold great significance despite the time period it is applied to, as well as being historically insightful and valuable. This can be shown through the close study of Pride and Prejudice and Oliver Twist.  


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