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'Why is Nancy such an important character in the novel Oliver Twist?'

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Introduction

Balawal Rehman English / English Literature coursework 15/2/05 'Why is Nancy such an important character in the novel Oliver Twist?' There are many reasons Nancy's character is such an important one in the novel. One of these reasons is that when you first see her you are told that she wears a lot of make up and that she has a great deal of hair and she is 'not very tidy about her shoes and stockings'. At that time this was not a respectable way to dress for a young, respectable woman, so it gives you the idea that she is a prostitute .At this moment you think that she is just a low- life woman trying to make a living. Even though most people would recognise Nancy for what she is, Oliver does not and thinks of her as a nice lady. This tells you that Oliver is meant to be innocent and does not have a clue on what is going on around him. ...read more.

Middle

This tells you that the anti-Semitic nature of the British does not change until after world war two. The play 'Merchant of Venice' was written approximately 250 years before and that also had a very anti - Semitic nature to it. In approximately 250 years, there is no difference in their attitude towards Jews. Once having employed Noah, Fagin finds out that Nancy has been meeting with Rose Maylie. Fagin is furious with Nancy and intends to get her killed in some way or another. Nancy by this stage of the novel is starting to see so called 'signs of death'. She sees things such as coffins and church bells. All of these things are somehow linked to death in at least one way. By doing this Dickens builds up even more sympathy for Nancy, because she is now almost about to be brutally murdered by Bill Sikes. In this book there are some characters who are too good to be true and some who are too bad to be true. ...read more.

Conclusion

Fagin also wants Bill Sikes to kill Nancy quietly so they are not caught. Even when Nancy is about to be killed she is glad to see Bill. Dickens writes 'It is you, Bill' said the girl, with an expression of pleasure at his return'. This makes the reader sympathize with Nancy even more. This also proves that she has two sides to her character. Even though she has had a meeting with Rose Maylie, She has not betrayed any of her friends. This makes Nancy probably the most believable in the entire novel. Nancy is an important character mainly because of her two sided personality and because of how she cares for Oliver and this helps develop the plot of the story. Lastly because of her being a not too bad and not too good character she helps to make the whole story more realistic and believable. She is the only member of the underworld to be liked by the reader and is also the only one who is nice to Oliver. ...read more.

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