In this essay, I will be talking about how the children are used as a literary device in novels in the 19th century. I will be comparing two stories; they are “Oliver Twist” published in 1838 and “Le Papa de Simon” published. Both of the stories illustrate a boy, around a young age who is not accepted in the society or maltreated by it. The setting of the stories takes place in a social context of the middle or lower class environment. The relation between the reader and the main character is a big literary device to convince the reader that the repulse of these children insides of the society is not adequate.
The authors of the novels use a similar type of character as in physically and mentality. Both protagonists in the novels are boys around the age of eight to nine. They are described as “timid and have an almost awkward manner.” Directly at the beginning of “Le Papa de Simon”, Simon gets beat up because he has no papa being doing that the author creates weak characters physically as a literary device so that the readers have empathy towards him. Charles Dickens creates Oliver Twist with weak physical qualities and a quiet character. So that all decisions are taken by the antagonist Oliver just follows them without any resistance. The author makes Oliver like a visitor in Fagan house and life to afterwards project the abuse of the children and their use in lower victorian class or the whole society in itself. The empathy is a literary device here used to get the message and the thought of the author to the readers in the 19th century who were usually the aristocracy and the bourgeois.
What causes them to not be accepted in society was because they have no dad to protect them and give them a certain social status. They are constantly brought down, used and mocked by society. In “Le Papa de Simon”, Simon is being attacked by kids from his class. They mock him about having no dad. “He felt a great sinking in his heart” is one of the many lines where the other describes Simon’s feeling about having no dad. The Victorian society was a hierarchy based so the poor class was used and had no real representation inside the government. Therefore the society hierarchical based respect was also reflected inside the classes themselves. Orphans were the lowest in term of respect and importance to the country; they were only seen has workers or slaves.
As result writers became the lawyer of these kids and by using those kids. They expressed themselves, told the society that it needs to change and evolve through their novels. The use of no dad was very important especially a boy because the dad was supposed to raise him, to make tough and to introduce him to the business world. At the time the Industrial Revolution was happening, and everything became business related. As a result, the dad became the bridges between the childhood and the business life.