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Contrast The Lives And Fates Of Agnes, Rose And Na

1702 words - 7 pages

Contrast the lives and fates of Agnes, Rose and Nancy in "Oliver Twist" In Oliver Twist, the three main female characters all meet different fates. Agnes, Rose and Nancy all lived different lives, but did this influence the outcome of their fates? This can only be answered by looking at their lives and by construing what Charles Dickens, and society thought of women at the time.Nancy is one of the female characters in the book that is the most complex to understand. If we analyse her actions after chapter, 38 we learn of her life and we get an insight of why she reached her tragic fate.Fagin and his gang wove Nancy into criminality at a very young age. She soon began living a life of crime; stealing, kidnapping and becoming a "drab (prostitute)." As Nancy speaks with Rose Maylie, we learn of her many hardships and we begin to sympathise with her. She has "never known a better life or kinder words" then Fagin and the gang provided for her. For Nancy, Fagin was her rescue from "the midst of cold and hunger, and riot and drunkenness..." Nancy understands what kind of person she is and does not think so highly of herself and sees herself as "the infamous creature…that lives among thieves…" However, Nancy wants us to understand that if she did not join Fagin's gang, she would have died on the streets.When Nancy met Oliver the first time, she insists on "taking care" of him. She does not really "take care" of him, but she helps him in all possible ways and in the end, she dies because she helped him. Nancy offers to take Oliver to Fagin for the house burglary, mainly, because she knows that if anyone else in the gang would take him, they would be violent and probably beat him. She also gives Oliver advice and tells him to listen to Sikes or he will die, which she does not want. At another occasion, at one of the thieves' hideouts, Fagin starts beating Oliver, because he starts calling for the police. However, Nancy "throws" herself in front of Oliver, to protect him. Both these actions illustrate Nancy's humanity and that she is more then an "...infamous creature…" However, the event which is of most significance and shows the "good hearted" of Nancy is when she eavesdrops on Fagin and hears of Oliver's parentage had been destroyed, and Monks referred to the boy as his brother and wanted Oliver's identity to forever remain a secret, goes to Rose to reveal this. Nancy reveals that she was the woman who had stolen Oliver out of the street long ago and for her this was her way of making up for all the crimes she had committed.Rose tried to convince Nancy to stay and be protected, but she refuses. Why did Nancy decline this offer? This might seem strange for some readers, but if Nancy could, she would have left Sikes and Fagin, but the ties between them were too strong, even though they beat her and would eventually kill her. Fagin took Nancy off the streets and took care of her to an extent, more then anyone else had done. Nancy makes...

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