Nancy As The Most Important Character In Oliver Twist

2300 words - 9 pages

Nancy as the Most Important Character in Oliver Twist

Charles dickens wrote Oliver Twist in 1837, during the Victorian era
of England, he was born in Landport, a suburb of Portsea, on February
7, 1812. He was their first child of eight siblings. John Dickens,
Charles's father, was not good with handling the family's money. He
was then imprisoned for debt on February 20, 1824. This experience
left Charles psychologically scarred. Charles had to take the role of
being "the man of the house" and had to start working at about the age
of twelve. Charles Dickens attended school for a short while but
worked the majority of his life.


Dickens uses the characters and situations in the book to make a
pointed social commentary, attacking the hypocrisy and flaws of
institutions, including his society's government, its laws and
criminal system, and its methods of dealing with poor people.
Interestingly, he doesn't suggest any solutions; he merely points out
the suffering inflicted by these systems and their deep injustice.
Dickens basically believed that most people were good at heart but
that their good impulses could be distorted by social ills.

Oliver Twist was a young boy born into a workhouse but orphaned, as
his mother dies straight after giving. Oliver is then left for life in
an orphanage; he decides to run away into London and soon gets
involved in the underworld. Although the whole novel revolves around
Oliver Twist, my coursework question will be focusing on Nancy, and
how important she is in the story.

Dickens was influenced to write Oliver twist by his childhood
experiences, of how suitably well he was living and then suddenly
dropped to experience poverty and mistreatment. This experience that
young Charles has encountered drove him into getting a message across
to the higher part of society (rich people), to help realize the poor,
unjust treatment of the lower part of society (poor people). That is
why Charles Dickens decided to write Oliver Twist in order to get that
message across to the readers.

When Oliver Twist runs away to London he meets Fagin and the
pickpockets, at this stage of the novel young Oliver is naïve, as he
describes Fagin to be a "merry old gentleman". There is a huge
difference in the way that Charles dickens describes him, he describes
him as, " A very old shrivelled Jew, who's villainous looking
repulsive face was obscured by matted red hair." During Victorian
times, the readers would stereotype Fagin to be a greedy, selfish,
unsympathetic and evil just for the fact that he was a Jew. To a
modern audience Fagin's Jewish ness could suggest that he is a victim
of prejudice and has been discriminated. Which would push him towards
leading a life of crime. E.g. in later...

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