A Christmas Carol Background

Poverty in Victorian England

Main Focus of the Article

The main focus of this article was poverty in England during the Victorian Era. The author expresses this by mentioning Charles Dickens' book, Oliver Twist. Oliver Twist was a book that was written in the point of view of a poor orphan boy who lived in England during the Victorian Era.

Living Conditions in Slums

Slums were areas with big run down houses where 30 or more people lived together in one room. People slept and squatted on top of straw on the ground. The slums had rotting dead bodies laying everywhere and people had to make sure that the rats didn't attack the babies.


Workhouses were places poor people went to work for shelter, food, and clothes. The workhouses barely provided people enough food to survive. The people there were treated like slaves. The workhouses separated families into groups of children, men, and women. Workhouses were a last resort to some people and many would rather have suffered outside on their own than go to workhouses.

Child Labor

Many children had to work along with their parents to support their family's needs. Some jobs children had were pulling carts in coal mines, street peddling, chimney sweeping, and working in factories/mills. Some of these jobs were very dangerous and the children could die. Some children were recruited to become thieves or pickpockets.