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To show how Charles Dickens presents Good and Evil characters

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Introduction

To show how Charles Dickens presents Good and Evil characters In the beginning of the Victorian period many children (orphans) were forced to turn to crime mainly because the children in the workhouse were mistreated and abused. Another reason is many people were migrating, which resulted to a growth in the population, which left many children homeless. Charles Dickens has based his novel, 'Oliver Twist' on this. He compares Oliver with what life was like for boys in the 18th Century. Throughout the story Oliver encounters many evil characters and a few virtuous characters. The evil characters try to persuade him to lead the life of crime while as the good characters save him and enable Oliver and the reader to learn that a life of crime does not pay. Charles Dickens uses the novel to criticise how children during Victorian times were forced to turn to crime when laws did not protect them. Dickens main character, Oliver, is presented as the 'hero' of the story; he learns that goodness triumphs over evil. The incident in the story where Oliver's goodness is shown is when Bill Sikes forces him to rob Rose Maylie's house: "Despite the threat, Oliver decided to warn the ...read more.

Middle

This shows Mr Sowerberry is just as much an evil character as Mr Brownlow. Dickens shows Mr Sowerberry is a bad character through his behaviour, personality and job. Charles Dickens presents the Artful Dodger as a bad character, who is an orphan. Like Oliver, he is faced with a choice to be a child in the workhouse or pursue the life of crime. But unlike Oliver he chooses the bad life. As he has grown-up with this, he no longer knows the difference between right and wrong, but soon learns that crime doesn't pay. The place in which Artful Dodgers evilness was shown was when he meets Oliver sitting wearily on a doorstep and offers him a place to sleep: "I know a nice old gent in London who'll give you a bed for nothing - he knows me very well!" This may seem he is very kind, offering a poor boy a place to stay, but he is actually just using him; for Oliver is a good source of energy to him, someone who he think will help do his nasty deeds. ...read more.

Conclusion

Her decision is obviously to live the criminal life. But unlike the others she has a heart of gold. (You could almost say she was forced in the gang). Nancy's goodness is shown when she explains to Rose (the owner of the house Oliver was forced to rob) what Monks was going to do to Oliver (Monks was another member of the gang) and began to weep saying: 'Please miss, don't come to any harm! I'd give my own life to save him. Honest I would!' Dickens has tried to emphasise the fact that in the Victorian Times there weren't very strict laws, which meant there were a lot of very bad people round at that time, but still some good left, and even though Nancy was around very dangerous people she was a good person at heart (that's why you have the proverb, 'don't judge a book by its cover!). It also illustrates how good Nancy was, for her to tell Rose everything, she must have been a very brave soul and must have loved Oliver dearly to do such a kind thing. She knew Oliver didn't deserved a better life ad didn't need to be pulled into a life as insecure as her own. Dickens presents Nancy as a good person through her emotions and actions. ...read more.

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