• 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. How Is the Character of Fagin Presented in

    Fagin also demonstrated a hint of suspicion, when Noah Claypole was sleeping on the floor, as he "sometimes directed his eyes for an instant" towards him. This shows that he does not trust anyone, and if Noah saw Fagin like this, then Noah may lose respect for Fagin, as he

  1. How effectively does Charles Dickens use language to portray 19th century London society in ...

    When the Artful Dodger takes Oliver to Fain's den, the opinion Oliver forms of the place is quite rightly linked with the activities that take place around it. 'A dirtier or more wretched place he had never seen. The street was narrow and muddy, and the air was impregnated with filthy odours.'

  2. THROUGH AN EXPLORATION OF THE WAYS THAT DICKENS PRESENTS OLIVER TWIST, DISCUSS WHAT DICKENS ...

    Mr Gamfield had been interpreted as a kind and generous man, and as the magistrates were old and frail men pretty much everything got passed them. When Oliver first entered the room the old men were not formal and professional, as you would have imagined.

  1. Consider the presentation of bullying within the novel, Oliver Twist, and how Dickens emphasises ...

    Noah is a charity boy and he gets called names like 'leathers' and 'charity'. He felt that Oliver was lower in status and therefore felt he had the right to bully him. This highlighted a hieratical situation with Oliver being at the bottom, as Noah stated that 'you're under me'.

  2. In Oliver Twist Dickens Uses Environment to Reflect Feelings, In The Lord of The ...

    (The beast exemplifies this.) The fire is the first real example, as it is the boys who introduce this destructive element to the isolated world. This event seems to overtly contradict the title statement. In Oliver Twist, the first key moment in the story is where Oliver 'asks for more.'

  1. Analyse the presentation of Bill Sykes in the novel `Oliver Twist`. You should refer ...

    hulking and broad, the sort of person you would not want to meet down a dark alley. Depicting this man as having a "beard of three days growth" creates a mental vision of an unkempt barbarian, subhuman and unhygienic. Then we must examine the fence...

  2. How suitably does Charles Dickens portrays the misery of the 19th century orphans in ...

    The use of sarcasm has been repeated through out the novel "Oliver Twist" "what a noble illustration of the tender laws of England ! They let paupers go to sleep" "They contracted with the water works to lay on an unlimited supply of water : and with the corn factor

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