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How does Dickens create an atmosphere of violence around the characters of Sikes and Nancy?

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Introduction

How does Dickens create an atmosphere of violence around the characters of Sikes and Nancy? Oliver twist, a novel written by Dickens & set in the late 1830's, shows the story of a young boy "Oliver", an orphan whose mother dies at his birth. He goes on to work at the workhouse & not long after, he gets bought by the undertaker to work for him. He flees the undertakers workplace, to escape the brutal life he had faced; only to find himself mixing with criminals, but he soon gets rescued by Mr Brownlow. The whole story reflects the violence, children like Oliver; and adults like Nancy and Sikes faced, lived-with, overcame and were exposed to in Victorian England. Dickens displays a high level of violence in the Victorian era by creating characters like Sikes, who for instance, isn't even trusted by his right hand man, due to his ruthlessly violent & snappily aggressive ways. The way in which Dickens creates an atmosphere of violence is quite the brutal type. He portrays the violent manor in which Nancy is treated by outlining the controlling relationship she has with Sikes, displaying Sikes' incredibly violent ways, through this strong use of intensely, violent language. ...read more.

Middle

Mr Brownlow and his maid: Rose meet Nancy under the bridge on the poorer side of London, show Nancy is scared to be seen by Fagin or Sikes and is scared to approach the richer side, in fear of being picked out so very simply, but meeting under the bridge also outlines the fact that Mr Brownlow, being the richer, highly recognisable individual did not want to be seen mixing with the poor, this shows the fact the poor where treated as the inferior side of society. Following on from chapter 46 of Nancy's meeting Noah claypole informed Fagin of all the information is soon manipulated by Fagin and passed on to Sikes, whose vicious anger is set off like a flare. The readers are already led feel that Sikes is quite possibly the most brutal character in the whole novel, and at the scene of Nancy's death, the readers are exposed quickly and bluntly to the shocking reality of Sikes' barbaric characteristics. Sikes' anger drives him to the conclusion that he has to kill Nancy; he's prepared to do anything. ...read more.

Conclusion

He surprises the readers, again, a strategy to keep them enthralled sunshine after Nancy's death "the sun-the bright sun", showing that she's been released from her life of fear, and is now tormenting Sikes, showing him that she is most probably better off dead than, living in a life in the slums, in fear of her controlling acquaintances such as himself and Fagin. Readers of the Victorian ere would have been thrilled at the fact, Nancy finally re-paid Sikes for the unbearable way in which he treated her, an example of which, in chapter 50 Sikes is tortured mentally by the vision of Nancy's eyes "the eyes again! Staggering... the noose was at his neck" Justice was finally served "he fell" "there was a sudden jerk, a terrific convulsion of the limbs; and there he hung!", haunted by the mob and tortured by Nancy's eyes, he is repaid as he was driven to the death he was destined to receive. "the chimney quivered with shock, but stood bravely" Another way Dickens could be showing that at last something showed at least an ounce of bravery against Sikes as the chimney withstood the power of Sikes' fall which finally killed him. ...read more.

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