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Highlight what the character of Bill Sikes brings to the novel 'Oliver Twist'.

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Introduction

Nineteenth century London was a city brimming with life .The largest city in Europe, it housed an ever-increasing population, many of whom had come to London from the poorer rural areas of England and Ireland. Large groups of poor people would live together trying to make ends meet and often turning to a life of crime in order to survive. The respectable classes were often completely oblivious to the plight of these people, who lived in a hidden world of squalor. Dickens wrote 'Oliver Twist' to bring to people's attention the suffering of the poor. His writing was considered controversial and was full of irony and sarcasm. He showed a great sympathy and understanding for the poor people of London. The book is written in the third person because Dickens is not involved in the story, he is writing about the lives of many other people. The focus of my essay is to highlight what the character of Bill Sikes brings to the novel 'Oliver Twist'. Bill Sikes is a very cruel and violent man with a short temper, but he does have a sensitive side as well which he occasionally shows to his girlfriend Nancy, and his dog Bullseye. He makes many of the characters in the novel feel very uneasy and scared around him. This terrorisation is just one of the feelings he brings to the novel. ...read more.

Middle

Fagin was always in a position where he could not say no nor say how much money because of the tension between them. He was fearful of Sikes. **Quotation** Sikes brings out many of the other character's real sides, which makes them appear more complex. Although Fagin acts the boss around his boys and makes out that he is not afraid of anyone he is, and has always been, scared of Sikes. Sikes brings out the real Fagin and shows everyone that Fagin is not as confident as he makes himself out to be, and that he is scared of others, especially Sikes. " "Only me Bill, only me my dear," said the Jew looking in." Pg.168 This quote demonstrates that Fagin does not feel comfortable enough with Sikes. He can't even walk into his house without having to tell Sikes who it is and poke his head around the door. He feels worried that Sikes may even attack him if he does not identify himself. This only goes to show Sikes' unpredictability and the violence he is capable of. Moreover, additional information about Sikes is provided through his reaction to Nancy. Sikes shows a sensitive and loving side to Nancy when he is at his weakest point. Sikes is also revealed as being very insecure and vulnerable. ...read more.

Conclusion

His life of crime and violence, which ultimately led to Nancy's murder and Sikes' death, is proof of this. After careful consideration, I have concluded that Bill Sikes brings violence, horror and drama to the novel. He is the reason that nearly every character that he interacts with has a terrible life, but by the end of the story he also invokes the reader to be sympathetic and understanding of the situation he is in. Bill Sikes is capable of a huge amount of violence, which has always forced other characters to back down, and this has therefore made their lives worse. This violence eventually leads to the death of Nancy and ultimately Sikes' own death. Sikes could also be seen as the anti-hero. He ruins every aspect of Oliver's life that is good for him. When Oliver goes to live with Mr Brownlow, and is happy, Bill Sikes takes him away. Sikes murders Nancy the one person Oliver loves most in the world. In conclusion, the character of Bill Sikes brings gloom to this novel. His character is the reason for many parts of the novel being emotional and depressing. Even his death upsets the reader, as at that point the reader can finally see how defenceless he is. Sikes is a victim of circumstance and the reader finally begins to sympathise with him. Bill Sikes brings negative emotion, violence, horror and depression to this novel. ...read more.

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