• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Analysis of the Character Fagin, in Charles Dickens's 'Oliver Twist'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Analysis of the Character Fagin, in Charles Dickens's 'Oliver Twist' This essay depicts the characteristics of Fagin, a key character in Charles Dickens's legendary novel 'Oliver Twist'. Dickens wrote this book in the eighteen hundreds and gives a clear portrayal of life in the Victorian era, and how many people struggled to cope with poverty, desperation and crime. The story revolves around a small boy, who from his first day alive has experienced terrible hardships and how he tries to make his way in the brutal world, that was London. After escaping from the extreme cruelty he had been subject to when staying at the undertakers, Oliver fled to London, which greeted him in a way that made him feel small and insignificant. After being picked up by the Artful Dodger, he is brought to the grimy hideaway of Fagin- otherwise known as 'the Jew' Charles Dickens ensures that the readers' first impression of Fagin would be negative and unpleasant. Fagin is evidently extremely poor and is trying, through any means possible, to avoid sinking into deeper poverty. Dickens implies this through his graphic description of Fagin and the complicated route in which Oliver has to for take to get to the grotty, grim and dirty hideaway where Fagin and the boys live. ...read more.

Middle

the children. On the whole, Fagin in fact, is an absolute bully to the children, as he uses his advantage of being bigger and cleverer than them as means to bully them. He picks on children such as Oliver by flattering and involving the boys in his antagonising, so that the boys feel Fagin is on their side, therefore they trust him. In the description of Fagin in chapter XIX, Charles Dickens hits home with the sheer repulsiveness of Fagin, through his evocative and dramatic vocabulary. '...emerged from his den' The use of the word 'den' implies that Fagin is an animal, similar to a fox in the way that he moves at night. However, as the passage continues, Dickens is determined that the reader must not think of Fagin as anything more than a satanic demon, a person who deserves no such comparison to a fox or anything remotely complimentary. 'It seemed just the night when it befitted such a being as the Jew to be abroad.' After depicting the ghastly night in which all this was occuring (describing the rain as 'sluggish' and objects 'cold and clammy') this quote shows that Fagin is the sort of person who fits well with this weather, as if he is suited to it. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, Dickens's implies through his language and tone that there is a much sneakier and cunning reason for this sudden act of kindness. Fagin feels that if he tries to make Oliver believe that he is on his side and is his friend, he can somehow, even now, manipulate him into helping him escape. Once again, the readers hopes are completely destroyed as one realizes there is, in truth no hope for Fagin- he will always be relentlessly evil and that there can be no saving him. It also emphasizes how utterly desperate and pathetic he has become, trying to plot an escape even when there is a guard standing only about 3 metres away from him. Dickens sees to this last reference of Fagin, that it rids him of every fragment of dignity possible. "He struggles with the power of desperation, for an instant: and then set up a cry upon cry that penetrated even those massive walls..." This leaves the reader with the lasting thought that Fagin really is as pathetic, cowardly and pitiful as we think. Dickens's obvious dislike for the character ensures that he purges Fagin of all his dignity, respect and self-esteem. Camilla Arana 10GK ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Oliver Twist section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Oliver Twist essays

  1. After studying 'Oliver Twist' the reader gains understanding of the true horrors that exist ...

    Overall these mental pictures developed from Dickens' descriptions of setting have made it apparent to the reader the very real dangers and horrors that haunt London's streets. He has succeeded to show his readers what a terrible life it was to be poor and forced to subsist in these harsh circumstances.

  2. Woman in White - Who is more of a villain, Fosco or Glyde? How ...

    Fosco knows that he can gain the control of anyone around him with relative ease and is not even put off by the thought of having to murder somebody in order to receive his prize. This in total makes Count Fosco a villain to reckon with.

  1. How Is the Character of Fagin Presented in

    In the next paragraph, Dickens portrayed Fagin's subtle actions as devious demeanour, as Fagin is shown to be wondering, but biting his "long, black nails" and revealing "fangs as should have been a dog's or a rat's". Thus, showing that Fagin is not human, but more of a creature.

  2. How effectively does Dickens use language to portray the misery of orphans in the ...

    Only Oliver was the one to ask for more because he was the only one who was courageous and his courage was born out of desperation for food. Oliver grew up in harsh, unsympathetic conditions this did not affect his character as he naturally had a humble and gentle character.

  1. How suitably does Charles Dickens portray society's attitude towards under privileged children in the ...

    " he won't come up to you tomorrow morning. I saw him hesitate. He is deceiving you, my good friend." Wishing to prove Mr.Grimwig wrong, Brownlow sends Oliver on the errand. It grows dark and Oliver does not return. Mr. Grimwig represented the higher class of society that did not trust orphans at all.

  2. charles dickens essay - oliver twist

    This shows us how injustice can be so cruel towards even children, Oliver had just asked for more food because he was hungry, but instead of more food the man predicted that he would be hung, this could make readers question the cruelty towards children. He was apprenticed to Mr.

  1. Read chapters 8-11 of Oliver Twist describing Oliver's arrival in Londonand his early adventures ...

    mind, the words he uses sets the scene as dull and ugly and not a very nice place. Also he uses the sense of smell e.g. '...and the air was impregnated with filthy odours.' Dickens uses this to make an impression that the air is filled with horrible smells such as rotting and decay and pollution.

  2. How does Charles Dickens expose Victorian society's awful treatment of the poor?

    What this means is that the gruel is very watered down and by crying (adding extra water) the gruel is becoming even weaker. Five pounds is offered to the person who can take Oliver as an apprentice. Mr Gamfield; a chimney sweep thinks that the money will help pay his rent so he tries to take Oliver.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work