To Regain the Nature of Goodness —— Review of ‘Oliver Twist’
Oliver Twist, one of the most famous works of Charles Dickens’, is a novel reflecting the tragic fact of the life in Britain in 18th century.
The author who himself was born in a poor family wrote this novel in his twenties with a view to reveal the ugly masks of those cruel criminals and to expose the horror and violence hidden underneath the narrow and dirty streets in London.
The hero of this novel was Oliver Twist, an orphan, who was thrown into a world full of poverty and crime. He suffered enormous pain, such as hunger, thirst, beating and abuse. While reading the tragic experiences of the little Oliver, I was shocked by his sufferings. I felt for the poor boy, but at the same time I detested the evil Fagin and the brutal Bill. To my relief, as was written in all the best stories, the goodness eventually conquered devil and Oliver lived a happy life in the end. One of the plots that attracted me most is that after the theft, little Oliver was allowed to recover in the kind care of Mrs. Maylie and Rose and began a new life. He went for walks with them, or Rose read to him, and he worked hard at his lessons. He felt as if he had left behind forever the world of crime and hardship and poverty.
How can such a little boy who had already suffered oppressive affliction remain pure in body and mind? The reason is the nature of goodness. I think it is the most important information implied in the novel by Dickens—he believed that goodness could conquer every difficulty. Although I don’t think goodness is omnipotent, yet I do believe that those who are kind-hearted live more happily than those who are evil-minded.
For me, the nature of goodness is one of the most necessary character for a person. Goodness is to humans what water is to fish. He who is without goodness is an utterly worthless person. On the contrary, as the famous saying goes, ‘The fragrance always stays in the hand that gives the rose’, he who is with goodness undoubtedly is a happy and useful person. People receiving his help are grateful to him and he also gets gratified from what he has done, and thus he can do good to both the people he has helped and himself.
To my disappointment, nowadays some people seem to doubt the existence of the goodness in humanity. They look down on people’s honesty and kindness, thinking it foolish of people to be warm-hearted. As a result, they show no sympathy to those who are in trouble and seldom offer to help others. On the other hand, they attach importance to money and benefit. In their opinion, money is the only real object while emotions and morality are nihility. If they cannot get profit from showing their ‘kindness’, they draw back when others are faced with trouble and even hit a man when he is down. They are one of the sorts that I really detest.
Francis Bacon said in his essay, ‘Goodness, of all virtues and dignities of the mind, is the greatest, being the character of the Deity, and without it, man is a busy, mischievous, wretched thing, no better than a kind of vermin.’
That is to say a person without goodness is destined to lose everything. Therefore, I, a kind person, want to tell those ‘vermin-to-be’ to learn from the kind Oliver and regain the nature of goodness.