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

How Is the Character of Fagin Presented in

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How Is the Character of Fagin Presented in "Oliver Twist"? Fagin is the ringleader of a small group of thieves and pickpockets, and is introduced in the novel when the Artful Dodger aids Oliver, when he escapes to the city, and introduces him to Fagin. Fagin seems to have quite a responsible attitude towards his band, being the leader. He possesses a very charismatic manner and uses terms of endearment (e.g. "my dear") towards everyone. However, he is not a person to anger, as he is also shown to have an intense rage when he is betrayed by Nancy. The reader's first impression come from chapter 7, where Oliver accompanies the Artful Dodger into a murky and run-down house, where the Dodger presents Oliver to Fagin. The way Dickens describes Fagin, gives the reader the impression that Fagin is evil, and possibly the focal villain of the story. The portrayal of Fagin is an almost exact replica of the devil himself. He is described as having "matted red hair", which is associated with the devil's red fur; he also was cooking sausages, but Dickens depicted him doing so with a toasting fork, subtly connoting it with the devil's pitchfork. In chapter 16, Dickens illustrates the scene and weather, and describes the Jew as "shrivelled", which was one of the adjectives he used to label his villains in his books. Dickens uses language very effectively to clarify the shadiness of Fagin's character. ...read more.

Middle

These moments were Fagin showing his true personality, that which he had hidden from the rest of the group. The real viciousness is shown when Fagin regains his composure in his voice, and tells Bill not to "be - too - violent". This coolness in his tone gives the reader the impression that is perfectly ok to be violent, and that Fagin deals with these immoral decisions frequently. Fagin has many different relationships, with varying characters, and he holds different opinions on each of them. Firstly, he had a very trusting relationship with Nancy. He praised her on numerous occasions, and called her "my dear" several times. For example, at the end of chapter 11, he says to the others, "Ah! She's a clever girl, my dears!" and once he hears that Oliver has been taken in by someone, he says to Nancy, "Nancy, my dear, I must have him found. I trust to you, my dear...for everything!" Due to the fact that he had such a trusting relationship, he was most enraged by Nancy's betrayal, and was willing to perform or spur on others such extreme measures. These facts tell the readers that Fagin is a very trusting character, once he allows someone within his inner circle. However, if he is betrayed, he becomes very animal, and can definitely be described as vengeful. Secondly his relationship with Bill Sikes is quite odd. He subtly manipulates Bill, when he speaks to him, and has the ability to frustrate him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another time where Fagin's character has been portrayed by his subtle actions is when he urged Sikes to kill Nancy subliminally. When Fagin told Bill not to be too violent, they exchanged a glance at each other, and both had a "fire in the eyes". It was only after this confirmation of rage within Sikes, did he unlock the door, and let him out, like a rabid dog. At the end of the novel, Fagin is captured by the authorities, because in chapter 37, Toby Crackit asks Chitling, "when was Fagin took then?". Noah was also captured. However, another piece of evidence that Fagin had been arrested was that Noah was pardoned of his crimes because he testified against Fagin. It is also quite safe to conclude that Fagin was hung. For one, such as Fagin, in contemporary London, with the many crimes he has committed, would be executed, almost definitely by hanging. Dickens portrayal of Fagin as a Jew, tells me that contemporary prejudices were against Jews. In the eyes of Dickens and the contemporary readers and audiences, Jews were the quintessence of evil and avariciousness. The persistent reference to Fagin as "the Jew" can be seen as his negative qualities are linked to his ethnicity. Oliver Twist is a book where there is good and evil. Oliver encounters many confrontations with evil, but none so large an evil as Fagin. Dickens has made sure, through the use of language, Fagin's mannerisms, irony and contemporary prejudices, to create a character so grotesque, manipulative and immoral, that Fagin has become the epitome of sin. ...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. Analysis of the Character Fagin, in Charles Dickens's 'Oliver Twist'

    only move at night, in grotesque, disgusting places, doing dark, horrible deeds. To accentuate this, Dickens uses vocabulary to describe Fagin's movements as 'slunk, glided, creeping, and crawling' Finally, to emphasize the readers mounting dislike for Fagin he finishes off with the final sentence 'A dog growled as he touched the handle of a room door...'

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

    Dickens repeats the word 'dirty', which shows us that this boy has something to do with the dark and dismal surroundings we are told about. Later we are even told that, 'he was short of his age, with rather bowlegs, and little, sharp, ugly eyes.'

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

    is seen as a perfectly good person with only good intentions at heart but as we know he is putting on an act to fool others. His true motive is one very close to Sir Percival's. He is also after Laura's inheritance, and he knows that if he stays with

  2. Examine the portrayal of Life On The Streets in Dickens’ “Oliver Twist” and Swindells’ ...

    I wish he could have witnessed the avidity with which Oliver tore the bits asunder with all the ferocity of famine. There is only one thing I should like better; and that would be to see the Philosopher making the same sort of meal himself with the same relish.' Mr.

  1. How does Dickens portray his attitude to charity in the

    Although this was not the case. The workhouses made to look uninviting. The unions paid for the cheapest labour o help the poor, these people did not care about the welfares of the people in the workhouses. "A benevolent goodwill towards, or a love of humanity" The nurses, the Doctors

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

    Mr Limbkins, a gentleman of the board, Mr Bumble and the man in the white waistcoat tried to convince the magistrates otherwise but it was of no succession. The final decision had been made. Oliver doesn't end up becoming an apprentice with Mr Gamfield but Dickens puts him into the story.

  1. Comparing the setting and atmosphere of Sikes and Nancy written by CHARLES DICKENS in ...

    The upper class were "gods among ants" (the paupers) the most richest and powerful people were admired and envied by the lesser. Victorians believed that paupers and criminals were evil at birth. Criminals may have an element of evil in there genes but they are not born evil.

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

    Dickens scathing mockery is evident here as the children were completely uncared for. Perhaps during their entire infancy they were never once cuddled or even handled by a caring adult. Their helplessness and the fact that they are completely at the mercy of that surround is evident through the line - "Rolled about the floor all day."

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