Good and Evil Described by Dickens: An Analysis of Typical Characters in Oliver Twist
Charles Dickens is the greatest representative of English critical realism in the nineteenth century. One of Dickens’ favorite novels Oliver Twist is known all over the world for the well-portrayed characters. In Oliver Twist, dozens of characters are well portrayed, including good and evil. This thesis analyzes some of the typical characters in the novel. First, the child hero of the novel, Oliver Twist, is good incarnation described by Dickens; Oliver possess many precious characteristics. Second, Fagin and Sikes’ evil exposes completely and arouses readers antipathy and wrath. Finally, the complex poor character, Nancy, has conflicts between her inner conscience and her devotion to Sikes. Ultimately, she risks her life to help Oliver, which commits one of the most noble acts of kindness in the story. So the conclusion draws that Dickens believes that most people were good at heart, but at times, their good impulses could be distorted by terrible environments.
Key Words: Charles Dickens; Oliver Twist; goodness; nature; evil; ferocity