Re: “Violence against women in Oliver! disturbing”, (Citizen, Feb. 3)
I must agree with the writer that the violence against women, sexual aggression etc. is indeed disturbing, but the whole story must be put into its historical context.
Charles Dickens wrote Oliver Twist in 1837, and it was first published as a serial in a newspaper. The book opened the eyes of the population of England to the dreadful treatment of the poor in the workhouses of the day, where they barely survived, and the treatment of children was particularly shocking.
The book sparked a number of social reforms to better their lot. In addition to this, it must be said that at that time, most women were in co-dependent relationships, like Nancy, as they usually had no say about their lives at that time.
Thus, this musical, based on Dickens’s story shows honestly how it was in those days, and is indeed a perfect opportunity to talk with children about how wrong that situation was, and to realize how much things have changed, and are still changing. I have a number of friends who did just that with their children. Cosy musicals are fun, but I believe that it is also a positive thing to expose the workings of history, and to meet situations which makes one think.