初等教育学院 小学教育（英语）专业 2010级 彭霞
Abstract：The key character Nancy in Oliver Twist is between good and evil, and her complex personality impressed many readers. This paper analyzes Nancy’s sad life, living environment and so on to explore her character, its reflection of her life and love life and its cause.
Key words：Oliver Twist; Nancy; dual character
 王晓燕.读《雾都孤儿》解析南希形象特征[J]. 语文建设，2013（23）:40-41.
 赵世芬.《雾都孤儿》中的南希形象剖析[J]. 天津职业院校联合学报，2011，13（6）：106-108
Character analysis of Nancy in Oliver Twist
Charles Dickens, he is the most popular English novelist of the Victorian era. He writes many famous works. Oliver Twist is one of them. In this novel, Dickens presents the everyday existence of the lowest members of England society. During that period, Enclosure Movement and poor laws makes the situation more difficult.
This paper mainly focuses on the analysis of Nancy. She is one of the characters in Oliver Twist. From her, we can find double characters. She is a distinctively contradictory person. It truly shows us the miserable life of the London at that time by Nancy’s fatality. Through analyzing the causes of Nancy’s character, we could perspective the decadence and sunless of the whole British social political system. We could learn that London is filled with unfairness and oppress the poor. It is this kind of society system and her nature that killed Nancy finally. Even if Nancy is not the main character of the novel, but she is the key character. Many readers are influenced by her complex and tragic life. Her existence lets us think about a lot of things. What is good? What is evil? Through her change, we can get the writing aim of the novel. As if everybody gives a little love, this world would become more colorful and sweet. Ⅰ. Analysis of Nancy’s double character.
A. Nancy’s negative nature
Nancy is a typical character of the novel. Oliver Twist’s fate is closely related with Nancy. Nancy as a thief lives in the bottom of the society. That kind of environment rubs down her self-esteem and the sense of shame. Just because of this, she tries everything to protect her group and has no courage to expose the criminal gang. What she receives forms her negative and screwy world outlook, value, and view of life. As you brew, so must you drunk. Nancy hurts others and herself both.
1. The protection of thieves.
Nancy is a thief. And she thinks she is one part of the group with time passing. When Nancy decides to help Oliver get out of Monk’s trap, she also expresses the protection of the
theft gang by saying she will not betray her companions. We all know she is an adult, and she has ability to report their crime to the police, while she doesn’t. This kind of way of thinking may cause public confusion. The public will think the action is right, which is personal loyalty and responsibility. There is no doubt that will cause negative influence to the social environment. It is the indifferent humanity that leads more and more children like Oliver gets hurt by bad guys.
2. The kidnap of Oliver Twist.
When it comes to Oliver’s miserable life, Nancy is the chief culprit. Oliver ever got out of that group because of some reasons. Fagin and Skies ask Nancy to inquire about information about Oliver. It is Nancy that kidnaps Oliver again and brings Oliver painful experience. Nancy relays on her outstanding acting and tactful communication skills cheat many people. “He is my brother. He runs away from home. I worry about him.” In fact, this kind people are very hateful, because they say in this way and do in that way.
3. The negative attitudes to her own life.
Nancy’s job is a thief. Although she doesn’t want anyone to know her job and does something to cover the truth, she does the job till to her death. It is well-known to everyone, “The poor person must be utterly detestable.” She can change her job even her life if she wants. However, she wouldn’t like to walk forward. In my opinion, she is very negative. Maybe she thinks from her born, she is a foundling. From she became, she began to do bad things. Even so, anybody should have a chance to correct his or her fault. It is she gives herself rather than the society destroyed her indeed. In her life, there is no sparkle to fire her dark heart. Facing Lucy and Mr. Brownlow persuasion, she escapes again and again. Lucy says to her, “It is never too late for penitence and atonement.” But Nancy is too stubborn to understand the meaning. When Mr. Brownlow wants to give her an offer, she answers, “Nothing. You can do nothing to help me. I am past all hope, indeed.” To err is human. If you know you are wrong, you should correct it right now instead of giving up yourself.
B. Nancy’s positive nature.
A completely bad person can’t arouse people’s introspection. Charles’ unique writing
gives the role of Nancy more emotions. From her, we could see some shining points. Chinese Confucianism says that all human are born with good nature. Nancy sometimes is good. We could feel her innocence, sympathy, faithfulness, kind, and etc when we are reading the novel. The part that Nancy tries to save Oliver can clearly reflect Nancy’s positive nature. Moreover, Nancy is Skies’ lover. Nancy is always faithful to love like an innocent girl.
1. The action of saving Oliver Twist.
Nancy’s good nature mainly embodies in her protection of the little Oliver. When Oliver first came to the Fagin’s room, Nancy sat besides Oliver like a bag sister, and taught him how to play cards patiently. Among the theft gang, readers an feel Nancy is a good girl. When Oliver is caught back to the dark room again, Skies lets his dog to bite Oliver at once. At the same time, Nancy shuts the door immediately and shouts to Skies, “Keep back the dog, Bill.” “The child shan’t be torn by the dog, unless you kill me first.” These words show Nancy is kind and sympathy from the bottom of her heart. Then Oliver’s kind and clean heart stimulated Nancy’s positive energy. Nancy risks her life to help Oliver. She tries to cheat Fagin and Bill to inform Mr. Brownlow that Oliver is in danger. Her character represents Dickens’ view that man, however tainted by society, could still retain a sense of good.
2. The faithfulness to love.
Nancy is an orphan. When she grows up, she is sold to Skies as his lover. Her whole life is under the charge of Skies. Poor Nancy thinks that is love. Since long time, Nancy is getting used to living with Skies, and she treats that dirty house as her home. Nancy is willing to do anything for Skies. When Skies gets a cold, Nancy takes care of him. I think that is called love. Maybe the love between them even only Nancy values is sick, but love is precious and innocent. When Nancy exposes their crime, she covers Bill’s name. She says that she never betray him. When Mr. Brownlow promises her money and arrival to other place, she refuses because of Skies. Moreover, from the initial “N” and “S”, we could learn that they are not only contradictory but also rely on each other. From this point, Nancy’s fate is doomed to be destroyed by Skies. But Nancy is glad to end her life in Skies’ hands. Nancy’s faithfulness to love is worth learning to most young people. Nowadays young people are not serious to their
love, which is chameleonic.
3. Innocence, sympathy of her deep nature.
Dickens first describes Nancy from Oliver’s point of view. She is not exactly pretty but she shares a great deal of color in her face, and looks quite stout and hearty. These description shows that Nancy is a good girl. When Fagin asks Jack to monitor Nancy, Jack refuses at first and says, “Nancy is kind to us.” From others’ perspectives, we could learn about that Nancy is a not bad person indeed. Her nature is doomed that she will change from evil to good. Ⅱ. The reasons of Nancy’s tragic ending.
A. The social reasons.
Environment is very important to a person’s growth. Usually, a good environment shapes many good-manner people. The same reason, in a bad environment, people have to change themselves for survival. Nancy is this kind of person. She is a not bad girl in nature. Because of social reasons, she has to do bad things for making a living. Under the influence of the strict hierarchy, Nancy eventually can not escape the bad luck.
1. The poor and chaotic society environment.
The middle of 19th century was the beginning of Victorian. The whole British society was faced with economic rapid growth and serious social problems, going through earthshaking changes from industrial revolution. Enclosure Movement and poor laws make the situation more difficult. Britain which at one time was named “world factory” accumulated enormous wealth by developing market and exploiting colony. At that time, money worship and utilitarianism were widely accepted. Nancy is an orphan. The workhouse at that time is almost the same as the criminal gang. Moreover, the police and court is no great use. Indeed, there are not authorities to protect Nancy.
2. The family background.
We have no right to decide our family background. So does Nancy. In Britain, people pay more attention to a person’s family background. Hierarchy and feudalism is very serious at that time. The meeting of Rose and Nancy represents that two girls hold the same purity and goodness. It is not Nancy’s choice to have the miserable life. Nancy’s parentless background
and living style also determined her tragic ending. Nancy says to Rose, “That you and friends to care for and keep you in childhood, and that you were never in the midst of cold and hunger, and riot and drunkenness.” Nancy’s words implies that it is unavoidable fate is on Nancy’s life.
B. Inner reasons.
The main reason causes Nancy’s tragic ending is her own. When there is no one to help you, and the environment is not good for you, you should save yourself. We can only live once and we should live for ourselves. Of course, there are many things that we should care about and we can sacrifice ourselves to protect. While Nancy, she is stubborn, and love the fault person. It can be said, Nancy’s fault insistence destroys her.
1. The shortage of courage of changing herself.
Nancy’s inferior consciousness makes her lack courage to change herself. When she meets Rose, she is very self-abased. Rose is a graceful and beautiful lady. Rose has many friends and relatives. Rose lives in love. All above things that is Nancy dreams of, which she has nothing. She feels her life is done and she has no courage and chance to live in Rose’s way. Nancy lives in slum while she describes that dirty place as her cradle. That’s because Nancy lives there for a long time, and she regards slum as her end result. Her inferior feeling and indecision hold up her step.
2. The shortage of insight and judge to male.
Nancy’s whole life from her young to death is held by bad males. These kinds of girls like Nancy are very common in modern world. It is Nancy is lack of perceivable ability that causes her miserable life. Nancy’s mediocre sense, especially expressing in the aspects of love, dominates her. Because of her innocence and kind, bad male usually dally with her emotions and body. When Nancy finds out his bad nature, she still tolerates him. Moreover, she becomes rely on him. This is spoony and stupid woman.
In Oliver Twist, it tells about the argument of moral and noble is black or white. But Nancy’s character indicates that virtue and evil are not distinguish clearly. In author’s words,
“It involves the best and worst shades of our nature; much of its ugliest hues, and something of its most beautiful; it is a contradiction, an anomaly, an apparent impossibility, but it is truth.” Although Nancy is a tragic ending, she makes impressive influence on readers. Oliver Twist praised the basic goodness of people through description Nancy. Dickens wants to express the call of goodness. It is also significant for the modern society. With the rapid development of science and technology, the situation today is more complex than 19th Britain. Most people are crazy about material benefits. This novel alerts us not let the tragedy repeat.
学生姓名： 黄 帅
学 号： 0903090205
班 级： 英语0902班
Foreign Languages Department
Xi’an University of Finance & Economics
Characters analysis of Oliver Twist
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) was a prominent novelist of 19th in British.Oliver Twist is one of his masterpieces.This book mainly describes the misery of little Oliver.He meet with various people,some of them are very good people,and always help him and treat him well,however some of them are bad people.They not only treat him bad but also involve him into crime.During that time,Oliver shows many different kinds of characters,such as kindness innocence bravery.This paper which is divided into some parts mainly introduces the characters of Oliver.In the first part, it mainly introduces the brief of this book and the author and also the relationship between the author and the book.Then lead to the theme-the characters of Oliver Twist.In the second part,it based on the biggest character of Oliver:kindness.In this part,Oliver shows his kindness to the people who either treat him good or bad,such as Fagin ,Many,Mr.Brownlow, the poor and so on. And it forms the bright contrast with that society.In the third part,it concentrates on the innocence of Oliver.Because of this character he can escape from the disaster many times, but it is the character that he easily gets into trouble.Anyhow,it is much valuable for him to possess this character especially under that circumstance.Oliver posses not only kindness and innocence but also bravery that as a man should have.So in the fourth part,it analyses the bravery which he has.It can show from some scenes .Finally, it is the conclusion of this paper, and reiterates the characters of Oliver,also makes it clearly that we should learn from him.
Key words: Oliver, kindness, innocence, bravery
内 容 摘 要
关键词：奥利弗 善良 天真 勇敢
1. Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 1
1.1 Introduction of Charles Dickens .................................................................................. 1
1.2 Introduction of Oliver Twist ........................................................................................ 1
2. Oliver's kindness ................................................................................................................... 2
2.1 Oliver's kindness to the Poor ....................................................................................... 2
2.2 Oliver's kindness to the thieves ................................................................................... 3
2.3 Oliver's kindness to Nancy .......................................................................................... 4
2.4 Oliver's kindness to companion ................................................................................... 4
3. Oliver's innocence ................................................................................................................ 5
4. Oliver's honesty .................................................................................................................... 6
5. Oliver's bravery .................................................................................................................... 7
6. Conclusion ............................................................................................................................ 8
Reference .................................................................................................................................. 8
Characters of Oliver Twist
1.1 Introduction of Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens was the prominent novelist of 19th in British.He was born on february7,1812, in portsea,England.His parents were middle-class,but they suffered financially as a result of living beyond their means.At 11 years old, as his father was in debt, the family was put in a debt prison. Forced by the plight, he had become a child labor in a boot and shoe cream workshop.The miserable experience in his young mind left psychic trauma,not only his deep concern and sympathy for the unfortunate children, and prompted him to struggle to escape poverty. As a young adult, he worked as a law clerk and later as a journalist. His experience as a journalist kept him in close contact with the darker social conditions of the Industrial Revolution, and he grew disillusioned with the attempts of lawmakers to alleviate those conditions.These painful experience is the book origin of the Oliver Twist.In Oliver Twist, Dickens presents the everyday existence of the lowest member of English society. He goes far beyond the experiences of poverty to London's squalid streets, dark alehouse, and thieves' dens. He gives voice to those who had no voice, establishing a link with his social commentary.
1.2 Introduction of Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist was Dickens' second novel, which marked the beginning of Dickens' literary life. It concentrates on the hard years of an orphan, Oliver Twist, who was against the criminal world of London. It is the first novel that readers are led to a very sad world. The hero of this novel was Oliver Twist, an orphan, while reading the tragic experiences of the little Oliver; he was thrown into a world full of poverty and crime. He suffered big pain, such as hunger, thirst,beating; I was shocked by his sufferings.I felt sorry for the poor boy, but at the same time I detested the evil Fagin and brutal Bill. To my relief, as was written in all the best stories, the goodness eventually conquered evil and Oliver lived a happy life at the end. One of the plots that attracted me most is that after the beery,little Oliver was allowed to recover in the kind care of Mrs.Maylie and Rose, and began a new life. He went for walks with them, or Rose read to him and he worked hard at his lessons. He felt as if he had left behind forever world of crime and hardship and poverty.
Dickens has made a child the center of his novel, and through what has happened to the boy, is trying to show the readers a true picture of the real life of the common people in the 19th England. About this book, he once said,
Born and brought up in the terrible workhouse, little Oliver was expelled for asking for more food. He then fell into the Fagin's gang and became part of the criminal underworld where he learned how to acquire the art of survival in a pitiless world. The story is a realistic picture, as well a bitter indictment, of a hypocritical society in which poverty reduces the human spirit.
2. Oliver's kindness
2.1 Oliver's kindness to the Poor
In the life of his working in the coffin shop, he expressed the sympathy to the poor who were more misfortune than him. For example,
was his job, it is his responsibility to the woman's bury that he even be late for and all people were awaiting for him. I think the reason that his late was the buried woman was poor very much. He could not get enough money from her family, so
2.2 Oliver's kindness to the thieves
After Oliver joined the Fagin's gang, Oliver's the first time to steal others was companied by Bet and Charly Beats. However Oliver did not to do that something.Unfortunately, Oliver was arrested by police and the other two people ran away. During the way back to the police,Oliver did not tell anybody that he was not the thief and where the real thief was now. Maybe someone will say that Oliver is a stupid,and why not to tell them who were the real thief. That is the strong reason that Oliver is very kind to the thieves.Remember this scene, when Oliver is awake to see Fagin's watches which he hid. Fagin said to him:
The next person Oliver was kind to him is Monks.As we all know, Monks was Oliver's half brother but Monks treats him bad. Monks wanted to hold all the inheritance ,so he tried to kill him. For once, after Monks listened to Fagin's plan for a while, angry very much, he said
word, all the money should have gone to Oliver alone, but as the kindness of Oliver, Oliver gave the other half money to Monks and what is more, Oliver was glad to accept it. How kind a boy. Living in the modern society, most of us have a kind heart since our kind environment. However, we can not meet with Oliver I think because our toleration is limited, if someone treats like that, we usually can not pardon Monks. The society which Oliver lives was dark, miserable, criminal, mostly of the people live in poor, many workhouses hypocritical and cruelty of parish, living in that atmosphere, Oliver also kept a heart which was more kind than our. His kindness to Monks showed his wide bosom, and the love to half brother. No matter how had those Monks to him.
2.3 Oliver's kindness to Nancy
Maybe many people will ask that Nancy is the benefactor of Oliver, I admit that if not Nancy , Oliver maybe chased by Fagin or Monks. But we should not forget that Nancy played an important role in Oliver's arrested.We know that at the first when Oliver was rescued from Fagin by Mr. Brownlow, Oliver lived a happy life under Mr. Brownow's care. But unfortunately, it because Nancy that changed Oliver's happy life. when Oliver sent the books to the shopkeeper, Nancy found him and arrested him ,then sent him to Fagin's place.
2.4 Oliver's kindness to companion
No matter how good or bad position Oliver was in, he never forget and was always thinking about his good friend --Dick. When he escaped from coffin shop, he went to see Dick.
he heard the death of Dick. As we know , Oliver was an orphan, he was so miserable, however, he always remembered his friend, that is so valuable. He wanted his friend live with him for a better live. That is Oliver, that is his kindness to his friend.
3. Oliver's innocence
Oliver was not only kind but also innocent. His innocence showed in many aspects at first. When Oliver was with the thief, he was more innocent than ever. For example, at first, he arrived in London with no money, and there was no one who he knew. Doger 'help' him and introduce Fagin to him
Could they let Oliver go? The answer of course are no. We could say that if in the last example innocence made him escape from being killing. It made him foolish in the example. So if he was not innocent, he would not say those sentences.
In all words, Oliver's innocence is big character, his innocence makes him involve in crime, but at the same time, it makes him safety. In general, whether the innocence is a good character of a man, it depends on how you use it and when it happens, just like Oliver, the innocence takes good lucky at some time, but it makes him in bad situation, too. This also can be used to the present society. As we know there are more and more crimes happen in our society, what is the reason for this? I think it mostly because of many people's innocence, because their innocence makes them foolish and have faith somebody easily who use some deceitful tricks which make many false appearances, in that time, the innocence is a bad thing. However, at some time, we need it, it can also make our relaxed, because the life in the society is so nervous and the rhyme of it is very fast. So, if we use it properly, the innocence will take an important correct role in our life.
4. Oliver's honesty
The honesty also play an important role in Oliver's life through the story. Oliver has so many good characters that can be studied by us. The honesty is one of them. As we know, in the story, Oliver's benefactor -Mr. Brownow , who gave many aids to him is one of important role. He helps Oliver lived a happy life finally. If without him, Oliver may have lost in Fagin. However, they are all wined by Oliver's kindness and honesty. Let us have a look at about it. Oliver had a dramatic meet with Mr. Brownlow, and Oliver was changed by Mr. Brownlow falsely, but this time it was not a bad thing, it made Oliver a shortly happily life with Mr. Brownlow, but this life was interrupted. At one day Mr. Brownlow wanted to return some books to the bookseller, and to send five pounds for buying new books which held by him for someday. He let Oliver to do it. And Oliver promised delighted that he could do the thing very well. As we know, Oliver was poor, he needed money, but he did not take the money because of his honesty and he said to Mr.Brownlow
remembered that he must send the books back to Brownlow, he just wanted to convince that he was not a deceiver, he was honest, although that things could not be sent back, it also could convince Oliver's honesty. Are there any people can do like that? Especially Oliver was a poor boy, he lived in that society which was full of criminals. But he also can keep an honest, that is so valuable. When Oliver lived a happy life with rose and Mr. Brownlow, not only because of Mr. Brownlow's benefit to him but those books and money, he did not want Mr. Brownlow to get a false understanding about him. So he always remembered that that thing, from this we can see Oliver was absolutely.
5. Oliver's bravery
When i finish the story, the detail make a deep impression on me, i was shocked by this little boy,he is so brave, and let us have a look at
Just remember another scene that Oliver escapes from that shop,
hard and long for Oliver.
Charles Dickens is one of the greatest critical realists in English literature history. Oliver Twist is his masterpiece. It is Dickens' favourite novel. Oliver Twist is a very moving story, and it is the first novel that readers are led to a very sad world, and Oliver is such a role who has so many characters bravery, kindness, innocence,and so on. They are all showed from his attitudes toward the peoples and things around him. No matter whom they are, Oliver always expresses his kindness to them, no matter what the things are, difficult or good, he also showed bravery. He love his mother very much, and be honest to Mr. Brownlow. So kind a boy. In that society which is dirty and criminal always happened, people at that time are almost selfish, bad and poor. I am so happy for little Oliver, he finally found his felicity. He is an optimistic, not scared of difficulties, polite and appreciative boy. He deserves what he gets in the end. The plot in intricate, and every character is masterly linked together. However , Oliver is born in the society, he doesn't influence by them. Constantly he keeps kindhearted to everybody. That is the reason that he gets a good and a happy life finally. When we think of the boy, his character will give a deep impression on us and he can be the positive spirit for us. It encourages the poor people who were eager to stand up, fight against with the authorities.
1 王佐良. 1996；《英国文学史》， 北京商务出版社
2 罗经国. 1989；《狄更斯评论集》， 上海译文出版社
3 狄更斯. 1992; 《雾都孤儿》， 牛津大学出版社，外语教学与研究出版社
4 吴伟仁. 1988； 《英国文学史选读》，外语教学与研究出版社
国外研究现状：在国外学者如Gilbert Keith Chesterton 在1911年曾发表过Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works of Charles Dickens文集，George Gissing 曾发表过Parentage and Inheritance in the Novels of Charles Dickens,还有一些外国大学的文学课堂也不断地在深入研究着狄更斯的作品，其中最有名的可以数美国的加州大学。他们有着专业的教授对狄更斯的作品进行透彻的分析，同时每年举办一次有关狄更斯的年会探讨最新的研究成果。
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 George Gissing. Parentage and Inheritance in the Novels of Charles
Dickens [M]. Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, 1980.
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of Charles Dickens [M]. New Jersey: Princeton University, 1911.
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Language Teaching and Research Press, 2009.
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Language Press, 1988.
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University Press, 1983.
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New York Language Press, 1996.
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 罗经国, 狄更斯评论集[M].上海：上海译文出版社,1989.
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 乔国强, 从《雾都孤儿》看狄更斯的反犹主义倾向[J].上海：上
 张玲, 英国伟大的小说家狄更斯[M].北京：北京出版社,1983.
 郑美娜, 论《雾都孤儿》中的善与恶[J].北京：北京出版社,2010.
HUBEI NORMAL UNIVERSITY
完成时间 Oliver Twist‟s Struggle for Freedom 康苏 外国语学院 英语教育 13年6月17日
1. Introduction to the Author and the Novel. …………………………........4
1.1 The High Prestige Charles Dickens and Oliver Twist. ……………….4
1.2 The Personality of Charles Dickens…………………………………...4
1.3 The Greatness of Oliver Twist…………………………………………4
2. Oliver‟s Decision to Leave for London. ………………………………...5
2.1 Oliver‟s Suffering in the Workhouse…………………………………..5
2.2 Oliver‟s Learning a Trade……………………………………………...5
2.3 Oliver‟s Decision to Head to London……………………………........5
3. Oliver‟s Miserable Experience in London. ………………………..........6
3.1 Fagin‟s and His Boy‟s Trap………………………………………...…..6
3.2 Oliver‟s Temporary Rescue by Mr. Brownlow………………...….........6
3.3 Oliver‟s Helpless of the Housebreaking………………………….……6
4. Oliver‟s Turn in His Life…………………………………………….….....7
4.1 The Secret of the Identity of Oliver………………………….………..7
4.2 The Plot between Fagin and Monks……………………….…….........7
4.3 The Punishment on the Murder………………………….…………....7
5. Conclusion：The Purpose of Writing This Story……………………………..8
Oliver Twist’s Struggle for Freedom
(康苏, Class1106 ,College of Foreign Language students,
Hubei Normal University, Huangshi,435000 )
Under the influence of industrial revolution, England made great progress in his economy. At the same time, some social problems became worse and more obvious. The gap between the rich and the poor was growing. People in the poor working conditions or at the bottom of society suffered a lot. Charles Dickens showed his love and sympathy for the poor, the weak and the innocent person. Dickens focused compassions and narrative interest upon a child, Oliver Twist. In this novel, the author criticized the violence of some capitalists and the poor law by describing the miserable experience of Oliver in a ironic and romantic way. Oliver‟s escaping and fighting ran through the novel. No matter what he had suffered, he invariably believed that something would be better and there would be freedom.
Key words: Freedom Capitalist Kindness
Oliver Twist’s Struggle for Freedom
1. Introduction to the Author and the Novel.
1.1 The High Prestige Charles Dickens and Oliver Twist.
Charles Dickens was an English writer and social critic. There is no need to argue about the greatness of Charles Dickens who was generally regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian period. By the twentieth century, his literary genius was broadly acknowledged by critics and scholars. Oliver Twist was the first social novel of Dickens‟ work. It occupies an important position in the history of world literature.
1.2 The Personality of Charles Dickens.
Born in Portsmouth, England, Dickens left school to work in a factory after his father was thrown into the prison. Although he had little formal education, his early improverishment drove him to succeed. Over his career he edited a weekly journal for 20 years, wrote 15 novels, 5 novellas and hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles. Actually he campaigned vigorously for children‟s rights, education and other social reforms. With a few years, he had become an international literary celebrity, famous for his humor, satire and keen observation of character and society. His creative genius has been praised by other writers for its realism, comedy, prose style, unique characterizations and social criticism.
1.3 The Greatness of Oliver Twist.
Dickens has made a child the center of this novel, and through what has happened to a boy, trying to show the readers a true picture of the real life of the common people in the nineteenth century England. Oliver was born and brought up in the terrible workhouse. He was expelled for asking for more food. Then fell into the Fagin‟s gang and became part of the criminal underworld where he learned how to acquire the art of survival in a pitiless world. He was trapped by his brother because of the heritage. At last, Oliver was rescued by Mr. Brownlow who was a kind old gentleman and searched for his identity. In the progress of escaping from he undertaker‟s house and the gang of thieves, Oliver struggled for his freedom and rights. In other words, he escaped from oppression to strive for happiness.
2. Oliver’s Decision to Leave for London.
2.1 Oliver’s Suffering in the Workhouse.
Oliver cried lustily when he was born into this miserable world. „If he could have known that he was an orphan, left to the mercies of church-wardens and overseers, perhaps he could cried the louder.‟(Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist,4). In the beginning of the story, the author used a hint to attracted readers‟ interest. Then we can find what the Oliver suffered in the workhouse. Not only did the food taste terrible, but it never filled the children‟s stomachs. They had nothing but thin soup three times a day, with an onion twice a week and a roll on Sunday. After three months of near-starvation, Oliver had no choice but to ask more to eat. His action contributed to Mr. Bumble‟s decision to send him away. Because there is no one can challenge rules made by the capitalists.
2.2 Oliver’s Learning a Trade.
After hearing the news that Mr. Bumble would send him to learn a trade, Oliver sobbed bitterly with tears rolling down his face. Mr. Bumble thought that was a foolish action to cry into his gruel. „It certainly was foolish, for there was quite enough water in it already.‟(Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist,8 ). This humorous sarcasm aimed at the cruel and the greed of the capitalists. When Oliver was sent to the coffin shop, he was given some cold meat that was put out for the dog. And his bed was under the counter among the coffins. Oliver was looked down upon there. When he asked Noah whether he wanted the coffin or not, the charity-boy looked monstrous fierce and said that Oliver would want one before long, if he cut jokes with his superiors in that way. Oliver was the weak at the bottom of the society, so even a servant could bully him. The undertaker squeezed everything from Oliver. Moreover, he took advantage of Oliver‟s expression of melancholy in his face to made Oliver to be a mourner, a „delightful mute‟(Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist,18).
2.3 Oliver’s Decision to Head to London.
When Noah called his mother‟s bad names, Oliver burst out fighting with Noah. There is a bottom in everyone‟s life. Dickens wisely gave Oliver certain „heroic‟ action which also propelled the narrative. The fight with Noah in defence of his mother‟s name resulted in his decision to head to London. Because of his resistance, Oliver was spanked and was shut in the room with nothing but a stale piece of bread. Later, in the middle of night, he decided to slip softly out of the house forever. Oliver walked more than 70 miles for seven days to reach his next destination, London which is the capital of England. He did not know what he would encounter, but he had faith in something better in a new place. The only thing that he wanted to get is freedom. However, is was more difficult for him to get that right in the world.
3. Oliver’s Miserable Experience in London.
3.1 Fagin’s and His Boy’s Trap.
On the seventh day of his journey, Oliver met one of thieves in Fagin‟s gang. He offered to provide Oliver with free room and board. Oliver was so pure and honest that he didn‟t realize that there was no such thing as a free lunch. Later he was introduced to an old gentleman, Fagin who taught him some special skills to survive in this miserable world. Oliver didn‟t understand why a man with so many riches lived in such a run-down house, but he decided that Fagin must spend all his money taking care of the boys. Although he was puzzled by their actions, Oliver thought they were good men. „Dickens show thieves “as they are” in their violence of action and mood, their squalor, callousness and mutual distrust.‟ (Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist,7). The thieves were not „downright scoundrels‟ but „dandy‟ and „poetical‟. They stolen not only at night, but also in the day. Then we can easily realize another social problem, the poor law, in this part.
3.2 Oliver’s Temporary Rescue by Mr. Brownlow.
After Oliver had practiced that trick for several days, he was allowed to go out with the Dodger and Bates. They led Oliver to a bookstall on a busy street. They sneaked up behind a gentleman and stolen his handkerchief from his pocket. Oliver watched in horror and he finally understood what kind of „business‟ Fagin and his boys engaged in. He was so upset that run as fast as he could. Unfortunately, the Dodger and Bates were already out of sight and he was caught by the people on the street. Oliver was sick and fainted on the courtroom‟s floor. Just then, the owner of the bookstall swore that Oliver was not the thief. He was freed and took home by Mr. Brownlow. Oliver looks like the person in the picture in the house. This remarkable likeness left a hint about Oliver‟s special identity.
3.3 Oliver’s Helpless of the Housebreaking.
The gang of thieves were afraid that Oliver would blab to the police. Then they decided to kidnapped him. When he was dragged by Nancy, Oliver cried for help. But no one gave a hand for there was nobody to care for him and he had been so plain. Later Oliver was delivered over to Sikes who forced him to do the burglary with them. Oliver begged for his mercy an cried „Let me ran away and die in the field. I will never come near London, never, never!‟(Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist,60). London was originally a heaven for Oliver to seek for freedom, but at that time it was a hell. Although he didn‟t get what he pursued, he would never take illegal action that go against other‟s interest. So he made his efforts to dart upstairs from the hall and alarm the family whether he died or not. Then he was shoot and dropped by Sikes. It was lucky that he was rescued by Rose, a kind and beautiful girl. „Crime, likes death, is not confined to the old and withered alone. The youngest and fairest are too often its chosen victims.‟(Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist,72 ). This universal viewpoint maybe one of the reasons that children lacked attention, concern and love from the society. Actually I do agree with Rose‟s opinion that we can‟t always put the criminals into a prison, which in any case must be the grave of all his chances of amendment.
4. Oliver’s Turn in His Life.
4.1 The Secret of the Identity of Oliver.
When Oliver got better, how deeply he felt the goodness of the two sweet ladies. He hoped that when he grew strong and well again, he could do something to show their gentle kindness had not cast away. „He was eager to serve them with his whole heart and soul.‟(Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist,76). Whatever he had suffered, Oliver kept his kindness from beginning to end. His breast was full of love and duty. It was his kindness that changed the heart of Nancy and presented the soul of goodness in things evil. Nancy risked her life to tell Rose about the conversation held between Monks and Fagin. With Roses help, Oliver had reunion with Mr. Bumble who was willing to find out the secret of the identity of him.
4.2 The Plot between Fagin and Monks
It couldn‟t be denied that the greed of humanity changed the Oliver‟s fortune. The old nurse took the relic of Oliver‟s mother to a pawn. Mrs. Corney and Mr. Bumble helped Monks to destroy the evidence of Oliver‟s identity because of the temptation of money. In order to get the heritage of Oliver according to their father‟s will, Monks contrived for his poor young brother. Fagin could made a good profit to help him driving Oliver through every jail in town and then hauling Oliver for some capital felony. Now we can easily discover that money plays a significant role in the loop of crime. Money is the tool in the world. However they wanted it above all things. The doctor gave the sarcastic remarks about their actions. „Are we to pass a vote of thanks to all these vagabonds, male and female and beg them to accept a hundred pounds, or so, apiece, as a trifling mark of our esteem, and some slight acknowledgement of their kindness to Oliver?‟(Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist,110). The irony here was that giving thanks to the criminal‟s thanks.
4.3 The Punishment on the Murder.
Mr. Brownlow considered that they had extreme difficulty in getting to the bottom of the mystery, unless they could bring Monks on his knees. And that could only be done by stratagem. Later, Mr. Brownlow met Monks and exposed his crime. At first, Monks thought they couldn‟t prove anything against him. But it was out of his expectation that Mr. Brownlow was his father‟s best friend and he knew the every detail of his family members. At last, Monks had no choice but to make a statements of truth and facts, and repeated it before witnesses. And the murder, Sikes who killed Nancy, lost his balance and tumbled off the roof on his way to escaped. He hung lifeless against the wall of the house. The result of Sikes‟ fortune was a comedy, because he killed himself unwillingly.
5. Conclusion：The Purpose of Writing This Story.
Charles Dickens have thrown his whole heart and soul into Oliver. The criminals of London‟s underworld in the miserable reality share the solitary child‟s pain. Oliver is more completely deprived and helpless and evil of the adult world. He should still be sustained by hope and faith in freedom. Dickens wrote about proverty and grim realities of life to show the criminals „as they really are‟ and the principle of Good surviving through every adverse circumstance. The author exposed the dark of the society to call on people to care for children and keep the beauty of human nature.
1、 Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist,外语教学与研究出版社，1997.04
2、 Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist,北京：外文出版社，2000.04
Discussion on Charles Dickens’ Humanity in Oliver Twist 从《雾都孤儿》看查尔斯狄更斯的仁慈 雾都孤儿》 摘要儿童是狄更斯小说中的一类主要人物形象，他们是维多利亚时期社会底层人 民生活的代表，本文从狄更斯的小说《雾都孤儿》中分析了他的仁慈思想，首先 文章介绍了选题研究的背景，接着分析了小说的内容梗概和《雾都孤儿》的主题 思想，在此基础上文章重点研究了狄更斯的仁爱思想在小说中的反应，最后笔者 剖析了狄更斯产生仁爱思想的原因。 希望通过本文的研究能够帮助读者更好的欣 赏这部小说。 关键词： 关键词：仁慈，原因，背景 Abstract Children were a kind of main characters appearing in Charles Dickens’ novels, and they were the representatives of people living in the bottom of society in the Victorian Period This paper analyzes Dickens’ humanity in his novel Oliver Twist It firstly introduces the research background, then analyzes the main content and the theme of Oliver Twist, and on this basis, it focuses on studying the reflection of Dickens’ humanity in the novel Finally, it analyzes the causes for Dickens’ humanity I hope the study in this paper can help readers better appreciate the novel Keywords: Humanity; Cause; Background Discussion on Charles Dickens’ Humanity in Oliver Twist 从《雾都孤儿》看查尔斯狄更斯的仁慈 雾都孤儿》 Contents I Introduction 1.1. Research Background 1.2. Writing motivation II Oliver Twist 2.1. Introduction of the Novel 211 Historical Background 212 The Main Content of the Novel 22 The Theme of the Novel III Charles Dickens’ Humanity 31 Reflection from Positive Characters 311 Oliver Twist 312 Brownlow 313 Nancy 32 Reflection from Counter-Examples 321 Fagin 322 Sikes IV. Causes of Dickens’ Humanity 41 The Backgrounds in Britain in Mid 19th Century 411 Social Background 412 English Critical Realism 42 Charles Dickens 421 Introduction 422 Family 423 Experiences in Childhood V Conclusion
'earlierworks,thistextwouldbeanalyzedhowDickensmakepublic [Abstract] OliverTwistisoneofDickenss
[Keywords] OliverTwist;humor; irony; symbol
[中图分类号]I106.4 [文献标识码]A [文章编号]167228610(2009)1020089203
(内蒙古大学艺术学院,内蒙古 呼和浩特 010010)
[摘 要] 5雾都孤儿6是狄更斯的早期作品之一,本文从三种写作方法幽默,讽刺,象征来分析狄更斯是
[关键词] 雾都孤儿; 幽默; 讽刺; 象征