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Character study of Nancy, from Oliver Twist.

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Introduction

OLIVER TWIST The novel Oliver Twist was written by Charles Dickens in 1837-39, it was published as a serial form. That era was known as the Victorian era, the Victorian society was a much-divided society; a small wealthy minority lived in luxury where as the rest lived in very poor conditions. The Victorians showed themselves as very religious people but - covertly - they were not at all religious. In 1834 the poor law Amendment act was passed which meant that the poor people who could not feed themselves had to live in the workhouse. The novel centres on a little boy known as Oliver Twist, who was born in the workhouse and got involved with the underground criminal world. This coursework is about Nancy, who is a young lady involved in the criminal world. She was very small when she was forced into the criminal world. Nancy was first introduced through Oliver's eyes, in chapter 9, rather than the narrators. This is opposite to the way Fagin and Bill Sikes were introduced to the reader. Fagin and Bill were introduced to the reader through the narrator. ...read more.

Middle

Speak out! Don't you know it?" This is what Nancy said when Fagin asked bill to stay calm and have civil words with Nancy. "It is my living; and the cold, wet, dirty streets are my home; and you're the wretch that drove me to them long ago, and that'll keep me there, day and night, day and night, till I die!" These quotations tell us why and how Nancy got involved with the under ground world. It tells us that Nancy was also forced into this gang; she was a little kid when she was forced into the business of thieving and hooking by Fagin. This quotation also gives us the hint that Nancy will die soon. Later on in the novel Nancy tries to get Mr Brownlow and Rose (Oliver's aunt but they don't know that yet) to help Oliver by getting Fagin caught. She goes to have a meeting with Rose, because Nancy is not like normal characters and is a two dimensional character she feels ashamed of what she is as she goes to talk to Rose, 'she felt burdened with the sense of her own deep shame, and shrunk as though she could scarcely bear the presence of her with whom she had sought this interview.' ...read more.

Conclusion

Next time Nancy meets Mr Brownlow at London Bridge, to tell him about the same thing as what she met Rose for. As Nancy goes to the bridge, Dickens describes the surrounding as, "It was a very dark night. The day had been unfavourable, and at that hour and place there were few people stirring. Such as there were, hurried quickly past: very possibly without seeing," This quotation shows that there are a lot more people like Nancy around in London, While describing the surroundings Dickens uses dark and gloomy quotes like, 'mist hung over the river', 'deepening the red glare of the fires' to create suspense. The surroundings are also quite prefigurative, they give us a clue as to what might happen next. When Mr Brownlow came Nancy took him to a different location, to keep out of the public's eye, she didn't want any one to see her with Mr Brownlow because that would influence his reputation as well. Nancy tells Mr Brownlow all about Fagin and Monks, but nothing about Bill Sikes. Mr Brownlow also tells her that he will keep her and help her live a better life, but she said that she has to go back for some one. Again we find out about the tragic flaw that she has for Bill, she really loves him. ...read more.

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