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Oliver Twist: Nancy

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Oliver Twist Charles Dickens: Charles Dickens was a famous novelist who was born on February 7th, 1812, Portsmouth England. His novel Oliver Twist was greatly successful and was seen as a protest against the poor law of 1834. The novel revolves around a boy called Oliver Twist; the plot is about how Oliver goes from the work house to being an aristocrat. The novel exposes a lot of Victorian attitudes which Dickens experienced as he was in poverty himself. In Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens shows us many of the social injustices of those historic times. He was outraged by the way the poor and the young people in particular were treated. He thought that this description would move the government to bring about a change in the laws to ease the sufferings of the poor. Nancy is first introduced to us through Oliver's eyes in chapter 9. We are told a description of a prostitute and not of the usual posh Victorian lady when dickens describes her as, `'they wore a good deal of hair, not very neatly turned up behind, and were rather untidy about the shoes and stockings. They were not exactly pretty.'' To read this, it wouldn't really promote a nice image of Nancy in addition to this you would end up thinking that she wasn't a clean or much respected women. The image of Nancy is further strengthened when Dickens goes further into the description, `'but they had a great deal of color in their faces, and looked quite stout and hearty. ...read more.


Characters: Charles Dickens has used many Characters throughout the novel. He describes the characters in depth to make the reader aware of the motivation of the characters actions. The characters can be been viewed as falling into 2 camps. The first camp is all good (saintly) Oliver, Rose and Brownlow. The second camp is all bad (evil), like Fagin, Sikes and Monks. Good Characters: Oliver Twist: Oliver Twist is the main character. His birth takes place in a workhouse and he is orphaned at birth. Those around him often treat him cruelly and make decisions for him apart from the one time when Noah Claypole makes some nasty remarks about his mother. He comes across as an innocent and pious child whose charms draw the attention of some wealthy benefactors. Charles Dickens uses his main character to criticize the public policy towards the poor in 1830's England. In the book Oliver Twist's first impression of Nancy is that she is a nice young lady. Mr Brownlow: is a wealthy gentleman who helps Oliver in the first instance. He has a portrait of Oliver's mother, Agnes Fleming and was engaged to his father's sister before she died. In the story he comes across as a man of passion, common sense and as a natural leader. Rose: Oliver's aunt (Agnes Fleming sister) is a beautiful compassionate and forgiving young woman. Mrs Maylies has brought her up since the death of Rose's father. Rose is shown as a model of female virtue. She develops a loving relationship with Oliver. ...read more.


The issue of Victorian double standards is also talked about when Dickens write, `'Your haughty religious people would have held their heads up to see me as I am to-night, and preached of flames and vengeance," cried the girl. "Oh, dear lady, why aren't those who claim to be God's own folks as gentle and as kind to us poor wretches as you, who, having youth, and beauty, and all that they have lost, might be a little proud instead of so much humbler?" This makes us understand how Victorian people used to double standards and how she is thankful for him not being like one of them. Nancy's love for Sikes reflects the moral ambiguity of her character. As she herself points out to Rose, devotion to a man can be ''a comfort and a pride'' under the right circumstances. But for Nancy, such devotion is ''a new means of violence and suffering''-indeed, her relationship with Sikes leads her to criminal acts for his sake and eventually to her relationship with Sikes leads her to criminal acts for his sake and eventually to her own demise. CONCLUSION: In my opinion Nancy is the most important character in Oliver Twist because she laid down her life for Oliver. She did not wanted Oliver to live the same life that she had lived. She paid the ultimate price by giving away her life to Oliver and that to by the hands of her own lover Sikes. ...read more.

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