Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens—Retold by Richard Rogers

            This was the assigned reading for one of the upper-level English classes at my school.
            I’ve never actually read Oliver Twist before.  Partly because, like a lot of people, I’ve been so influenced by the movie versions I’ve never really found a need to read the actual novel.  (The 1968 musical version Oliver! (W) was re-run on the Disney channel a lot during the 1980s when I was a kid.)
            I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Charles Dickens, but at some point I really should go and read the full version of Oliver Twist just for the sake of it.  But for now the graded reader version is too fresh in my memory, so I’ll probably wait a few years.

            I was slightly surprised to learn that the movie was somewhat different than the original story.  The original story had a lot more plot, and a much more complex backstory for Oliver’s family tree (including the character Monk, who wasn’t in the movie at all).  All of which make me even more curious to check out the original book someday.

Teaching Materials
[This is just a cheat sheet I made for myself for some of the comprehensions questions in the back. The students had to identify which character said which quote, and I wrote up the answers and the page number for myself on a paper I could hold up at the front of the class.]

1. Let me see the child and die
--Mother, p. 1

2.  The old story
--Doctor, p. 2

3.  I don’t like to see them suffer
--Mrs. Mann, p.3

4  Please, sir, I want some more
--Oliver Twist p.5

5. You see if I’m not right
--man on the board at the workhouse p. 6

6.  Why shouldn’t I be able to make use of them in my work?
--Mr. Sowerberry  p.7

7.  Everybody hates me
--Oliver Twist p. 7

8.  You’ll sleep here, among the coffins!
--Mrs. Sowerberry p.8

9.  She was so bad it was lucky she died
--Noah Claypole p. 12

10.  It’s the meat that’s caused this, you know
--Mr. Bumble, p.14

11.  We’ve just taken them all out to wash them, that’s all!
--Fagin p. 20

12.  What fine men they were! Loyal to the end!
--Fagin p. 20

13.  Do you see that old man outside the bookshop?  He’s the one.
--the Artful Dodge, p. 24

14.  I’m afraid he’s hurt himself

--Mr. Brownlow (the old Gentleman) p. 26

Link of the Day
Noam Chomsky Vs Phil Donahue (FULL) Debate
And from American Head of Christian NGO Arrested for Rape

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