Oliver Twists Quotes and Context
Oliver Twists Quotes and Context
"The night was very dark. A damp mist rose from the river [...] and spread itself over the dreary fields. It was piercing cold too: all was gloomy and black"
Motif of light vs dark
Semantic field of obscurity: "dark", "gloomy", "black", "dreary"
Simple declarative sentence "The night was very dark", very blunt, nothing poetic or beautiful about it. Foreshadows evil
"piercing", violent verb, creates a hostile tone
"light of a feeble candle"
"dark and broken stairs"
"perfectly black with age and dirt"
"several rough beds, made of old sacks, were huddled"
Anthropomorphism of the beds, but in a vulnerable way. Even objects are ill-at-ease in Fagin's lair
"the chambers of birth and death, of health and sickness, the rigid face of the corpse and the calm sleep of the child- midnight was upon them all"
Chapter 46, page 301
Repeated imagery of death which foreshadows Nancy's demise
There is a contrast between the corpse and the child, symbolising that the distinction between life and death is very slim. Also that children are vulnerable (reminds reader of Oliver(
Motif of light vs dark, evil enveloping London
Motif of light vs dark
"stone cell, damp and dark"
Even once Oliver has been freed from solitary confinement and has a job, he is still no better
With Mr Sowerberry
The poor are living like prisoners simply because of their low position in the societal hierarchy
Motif of light vs dark :black_flag:
Page 27 (top) chapter 4
"no fire in the room"
Basic thing humans have had for millennia but poor don't have even this
Oliver "set the lamp" down
Very little light for the poor, very little warmth
Light symbolises hope, very little hope for the proletariat to have a revolution
Links to "Walk in a Workhouse"
Written in 1850 but still shows Dickens' views
The poor are kept in awful conditions so they are a weak and infirm "dragon" and can't rise up against the bourgeoisie
Contrasts with the rich
"clerk, who was sitting by the vestry-room fire"
"It was a cheerless morning"
Pathetic fallacy, foreshadows sadness to come
Page 134 (first line of the chapter)
"kennels were overflowing"
Animalistic, zoomorphism of the paupers' homes, shows the awful living conditions
Jacob's Island was the last bastion of the criminals. They live and die there, this is where Sikes dies
Jacob's island was "surrounded by a muddy ditch six or eight feet deep"
Boundary between the non-criminal world and the criminal world, they are outcasts. 'other'
"desolate island indeed", also showing the criminals' isolation
"every repulsive lineament of poverty, every loathsome indication of filth, rot, and garbage; all these ornament the banks of Folly Ditch"
Semantic field of dirt
"Folly Ditch"- foolishness of the criminals
"ornament" is ironic since it suggests all the examples of poverty were acting as decoration
Jacob's Island, in the Borough of Southwark, was a crowded slum area of Bermondsey on the south bank of the Thames which was the source of a cholera epidemic (1832-33). Disease and corruption emanates from it, just like the criminals who corrupt the social world
"in a certain town"
The crime against the poor could be happening anywhere, location doesn't matter
"the kennel was stagnant and filthy"
Using zoomorphism to suggest the living conditions of the poor are not even suitable for animals
Mr Brownlow's home:
"awakened by the light of a candle"
"little circles of light"
Child crime in the Victorian Era
Criminal bosses trained young boys to steal
Thomas Duggin was an infamous "thief-trainer" in St Giles slum in 1817
Charles King ran a gang of professional pick-pockets
One member was a 13 year old boy called John Reeves who stole over £100 in 1 week alone
Trainer of young thieves, thought to be the inspiration of Fagin
Children would steal many things like silk handkerchiefs
Field Lane in London (setting of Fagin's lair) was home to several receivers of stolen goods
It was believed that over 5000 handkerchiefs were handled there
Children were punished the same as adults
A 12 year old was recorded to be hanged
However, this was theoretical and didn't always come to pass. eg 103 children were sentenced to death but no one was actually hanged
According to police records, the number of minors arrested for petty crimes more than doubled between the years from 1838 to 1851 (but could have just been policing was improving)
Another child thief was Joseph Mee, who was 15 in in 1824 and was charged with pick-pocketing at a public execution taking place at the Old Bailey
The Country and the City
Dickens' message is that poverty in rural parishes of England causes as much suffering as urban poverty
Crime is common in London
However, crime stilll has influences in the country, such as when Oliver sees Fagin outside his window (though he is never actually harmed or captured while in the countryside)
Crime is even in the richer areas, such as outside the bookstore
Nancy seals her fate by travelling from the East End (area of poverty) to the West End to meet Rose and Mr Brownlow (the rich portion). She dies because she seems to be moving classes (Marxism)
Police force in the Victorian Era
Robert Peel sponsored the first successful bill creating police, in 1829. This was only for London though
Quality of police officers was poor at first, of the first 2,800 new policemen, only 600 kept their jobs (1830s)
If the crime was a moral one, the police would leave offenders alone with their thoughts and a bible (isolation, like with Oliver)
Dickens worked in two workhouses in his youth
He began at 12, he was in education but there was a family crisis (so he had had a comfortable life before)
Dickens wanted to get back and remain in middle class (just like Oliver Twist's identity needs to be found)
Worked at Blacking Factory, labelling bottles of boot blacking. He had no hope of advancements
Oliver Twist was published in chunks in a magazine between 1837-39
Builds up excitement between publication
Gives the reader time to understand the moral message
1834 Poor Law
Went along Victorian beliefs that the poor were immoral and that they should only be helped the bare minimum. The workhouse conditions were made awful, trying to stop poor people breeding and creating more poor people. Splitting up families
Dickens' wife's sister died at 17 (1837) suddenly. This lady, Mary Hgarth devastated Dickens and it influenced him to merge Mary and Rose Maylie. In the book, Rose survives a near-fatal illness as remembrance of Mary
Newgate Novels: novels which romanticised crime, Dickens hated these because it glamorisd criminal acts (in Oliver Twist Dickens wants to show the depravity of criminal life (eg through the awful ssetting of Fagin's lair)
Looks like a stick, does nothing, lazy
Runs away from true hard work, cowardice
Also, "Twist" means appetite
Foreshadows Oliver reclaiming his identity and being wealthy
Oliver's "appetite" leads to him asking for more, which then makes the man in white waistcoat say he'll be hanged ('twist')
Twist is slang for being hanged (fate)
A "twist" in plot, we expect liver to die but he doesn't and lives a happy life
Olive tree branches are symbols of peace, like how Oliver is peaceful and virtuous
Was popular in medieval times but not after Oliver Cromwell (so once again there are positive and negative sides to the name)
Oliver also means "sky-lantern", motif of light vs dark, Oliver embodies goodness. Also, it is Oliver dropping his lantern which alerts people to the crime of Mr Brownlow's home (he hinders crime)
Unnatural husband (too feminine), unnatural wife (too masculine)
His view of himself is of greatness, though in reality he is a fool
She is more masculine than feminine because she is not at all motherly towards Oliver (she pockets the money which should go to him)
Violent, animalistic. This judge is prejudiced and instntly believes that Oliver is guilty. Arrogant
He is 'grim", does not see the goodness within Oliver
Death and violence
Semantic field of violence and anger in chapter 47
"eyes flashing with anger" (Fagin)
"grind his skull under the iron heel of my boot into as many grains as there are hairs upon his head" (Sikes)
"almost in a yell" (Fagin)
"beat your brains"
This is just before Nancy's brutal death, foreshadowing
Chapter 16, Nancy attacks Sikes
"The housebreaker flung the girl from him to the farther end of the room"
"The girl's gone mad"
"She flung it [the club] into the fire with a force that brought some of the glowing coals whirling out into the room"
Unnatural strength for a female, feminist theory
"overthrew the chair and table; seized Noah by the throat; shook him in the violence of his rage, till his teeth clattered in his head"
Violent verbs "overthrew", "seized", "shook", "clattered"
Amphiboly here is used (ambiguity since we do not know whether it is Oliver's teeth or Noah's that are rattling, shows the extent of the rage (in that it could stretch between both of them)
Contrasts with Oliver in previous chapters where he has been made to be a victim, makes this even more shocking
Lots of violence in this chapter with Oliver attacking Noah then being beaten by Charlotte
Chapter 7, Oliver attacking Noah. semantic field of violence
"murdered", "pain", "violent", "writhed"
Sikes "seized a heavy club and struck her fown
Can be seen as the weakest criminal yet is the strongest financially. This is not typical since we would expect the most wealthy is strongest
Dickens shows the problems with economically arranged marriages
Oliver, who is a child from a loving relationship, is innocent and virtuous
Monks, who is born as a result of an arranged marriage (a moral crime according to Dickens) is corrupted and evil. Dickens shows that those who commit crimes (the arranged marriage) are unable to stop committing more crimes
Still commits crime by squandering his wealth given to him by Mr Brownlow. Receives justice by being arrested and dying in prison
Monks is the only criminal who is one out of choice, not out of necessity (though could be as a result of parenthood and the forced marriage)
"lips are often discoloured and disfgured with the marks of teeth", hands covered in "wounds",
Description from Nancy on page 306, chapter 306
The contemporaneous audience would have detested Monks because of his disability, sense of 'otherness'
From a feminist perspective, Dickens is showing that women corrupted. Monks' mother had "utterly forgotten" Mr Leeford and gone to pursue other activities while he had not forgotten. So Oliver gets his good nature from his father, Mr Leeford, while Monks gets his bad nature from the overwhelming evil of his mother. Just like how Eve corrupted Adam (contemporary beliefs)
"bright dark eyes"
Oxymoron, suggests he isn't what he seems
Appearance vs reality
Eye's are said to be the window to the soul, shows that there is nothing but darkness inside Fagin
Motif of light vs dark
"bright" could suggest his avarice and lust for wealth
Page 55, chapter 9
"a very old,
face was obscured by a quantity of matted red hair"
Semantic field of ugliness, this is physiognomy (where your appearance determines your personality), sets his character instantly
Page 51, chapter 8
Red hair, undesirable, evil connotations
Referred to as the Jew 257 times in the novel
Dickens thought it was a fair, factual representation
Jews seens as a powerful friend of the oppressed
Jewish people offended by the portrayal of Fagin
After first 38 chapters he stops calling him the Jew
Could suggest Dickens realised he was being racist
Links Fagin to a demonic creature because he is a Jew in an overwhelmingly Christian country (he is immoral)
Goblins were typically thought of being avaricious, just likke Fagin
"eyes so red and bloodshot, that he looked less like a man than like some hideous phantom, moist from the grave"
Page 308, chapter 47
Links the Jew to a corpse, dehumanised, unnatural
Supernatural, links him to the Devil
Forceful way of speaking
"Speak out, boy! Quick-quick!"
Use of exclamatives, raising voice, powerful
Use of dash, shows his impatience
However, he is gentle with his wealth
"deposited the watch in its place of safety"
Links to Oliver being objectified, but the reverse is the case: Oliver has been placed in horrible conditions
Calls people "my dear", creating a familiar bond (paternalistic)
Oliver "will be the greatest man in time"
Complimenting him to earn his trust
Fagin knocks Bates and the Dodger down the stairs, "carrying out his virtuous precepts to an unusual extent"
Oliver is too acceting of Fagin
Oliver under Fagin;s spell
Oliver tinks Fagin is being like a father figure, doing the right thing
Links to "stern morality"
Oliver justifying Fagin's violence
May have been based off of Ikey Solomon
Was arrested in 1810 and kept in prison for thieving however he eventually escaped. He was arrested later numerous times continually escaped
Constant zoomorphism of Sikes
"dropping on his knees, began to assail the animal most furiously"
Page 92 (chapter 15)
Degenerated into an animal, not using his brain and his human attributes
"'I wish I was among some of you: you'd howl the hoarser for it"
Sikes wanting to be akin to a wolf, and that he'd make them howl even more suggesting he would be the alpha male. Similar to how he is high in the criminal hierarchy
Sikes' home is described as a "den", animalistic
"'What the blazes is in the wind now?' growled a deep voice."
Zoomorphism of "growled"
Commanding with his "deep voice", masculine power (Feminist theory)
"blazes" suggests fire and thus power
After the murder:
"Hither and thither he dived that night; now working at the pumps, and now hurrying through the smoke and flame"
"dived" shows his effort
Repetition and use of "now" makes it seem like he's fighting the fire in real time and thus doing so many things in such a short space of time
Before this, Sikes visits the Eight Bells, this was a pub which Dickens visited in 1835 as a reporter for a fire nearby. Therefore, by putting Sikes into a historical event it gives the story more credibility and truth. (
1835 Hatfield Fire
Semantic field of freedom for Sikes
"relief to have ot free of the room"
"at last he got away"
"left the house"
After the murder there is a list of places he goes
So, after the murder Sikes is more preoccupied with his own freedom
However, before the murder there was a semantic field of entrapment (done by Sikes)
"I thought I had tamed her"
"left me lying here, like a sick rat in this hole"
Can create a false image (like an actress) and dupe people
'"Oh my dear brother!" "Oh my gracious! [...] I've found him! Oh Oliver"'
Use of exclamatives creates a convincing appearance of relief at finding Oliver
Was not told what to do by Sikes: can be independent
"burst into another fit of crying"
Playing up to gender stereotypes for her benefit, feminism (shows her strength)
Warned by Fagin "that she was disposed to be too communicative"
Known as the Jezebel
This was the Phoenician wife of Ahab. Pressed the cult of Baal on the Israelite kingdom, and was finally killed in accordance with Elijahs prophecy.
Impudent, shameless or morally unrestrained woman
"Please sir, I want some more" (CHECK QUOTE)
Violent in chapter 6/7
Very belligerent in chapter 7
";Ain't you a-trembling while I speak, sir?' said Mr Bumble. 'No!'replied Oliver, boldly"
Exclamatory sentence, shows his change in character
Oliver has changed, he's no longer submissive to the rich. Links to Marxism and that class struggles are always inevitable
"it's a lie!"
"in the tone of a keeper who has tamed some wild animal"
This is said by Noah in regard to Charlotte's domestication
According to a feminist reading of the text, this quote shows the male having full control over the female (male dominance). His thoughts are ironic since he believes he is in control when in actuality it is Fagin who has trapped and domesticated Noah
"unnatural husband" Chapter 7
Mr Sowerberry doesn't conform to gender stereotypes because he didn't punish Oliver
"tremulous voice", "very pale in the face, and very polite, as frightened men frequently are"
From a feminist reading, Dickens juxtaposes the perceived idea of female weakness with the real terror the 3 men feel
"You're a woman"
"Oliver remained a close prisoner in the
dark and solitary
Motif of light vs dark :black_flag:
Oliver kept as a prisoner for speaking out against his lot in life
Oliver is fated to be hanged
"lest he die before he could be hanged"
Mr Grimwig wants Oliver to be mended with the sole intention of hanging him after
"I felt a strange presentiment for the very first, that the audacious young savage would come to be hung"
Image of gallows following Oliver around
Said by man in white waistcoat, chapter 7
Man in white waistcoat says Oliver "will be hung [...] I know that boy will be hung"
Creates sympathy for the reader. So unfair
Oliver constantly fated to be hung
Victimisation of the poor
Due to his low class in life
Also links to cratylic naming, "Twist" is slang for being hanged
"Staggering as if struck by lightning, he lost his balance and tumbled over the parapet"
This simile suggests divine retribution since lightning is symbolic of punishment from gods (eg Thor, Zeus)
Lightning also symbolises removal of ignorance (because it's a brief flash of blinding light), shows that Sikes has been made aware of his erroneous his life of crime
-“Perfect stillness ensued- not a rustle- not a breath- Guilty!”
Page 350, chapter 52
Use of dashes breaks up the sentence as if Fagin is trying to lengthen his life and not hear his guilty verdict. Shows fragmentation of his mind “not a breath” foreshadows his death later
The exclamative “Guilty!” emphasises the verdict and Fagin’s firm and unavoidable fate
Victim of fraud from Monks
Victim of loss of identity
"he might have been the child of a nobleman or a beggar"
In the dénouement, the reader finds out the truth of Oliver's identity (step-brother of Monks, Rose is his aunt, he is given his rightful inheritance)
Restoration of order
"the child's death, perhaps, is on me besides! They would have treated him better if they had known it all"
Old Sally's theft from Agnes led to Oliver;s mother not being provided for adequately, belief that the poor were immoral and evil and didn't deserve help from the rich
Crime enacted upon others has consequences for others, so Agnes is the direct victim but the theft led to Oliver's mistaken identity
Objectification of Oliver
"deposited it into her arms"
Oliver is a commodity
Links to earlier with the nurse "depositing the glass bottle", Oliver Twist and the bottle are the same things
"asked Mr Giles, with as much pride
as if Oliver were some bird of rare plumage that he had skilfully brought down"
Oliver likened to a prize bird, once again he has been objectified and dehumanised
The bird is described as not being free, just like how Mr Giles has captured Oliver, more relevant in that Oliver is constantly transferred from place to place and class to class just like a prize bird would be transported around. He's trying to find his natural habitat but cannot due to his conflicting class status
Oliver has been captured despite his innocence just like a bird is caught for its beauty, not for any wrongdoings
Page 184, final page of chapter 28
Theme of abandonment with Oliver
Chapter 28 "Still, Oliver lay motionless and insensible on the spot where Sikes had left him"
Left by a parental figure when his mother died
Left in solitary confinement in the workhouse
Abandoned by the state, not helped by the workhouse, malnourished
Oliver left by criminals, by being locked up by Fagin
"The water!' thought Oliver, turning sick with fear. 'He has brought me to this lonely place to murder me!'"
Use of two exclamatives, including a short exclamatory sentence ("The water!") shows Oliver's fear and desperation
"lonely" suggests isolation and that Oliver has no protector with him, foreshadows danger and death
Makes reader think Oliver will die, raises tension
"victim of a systematic course of treachery and deception"
Mrs Mann toook the majoity of money Oliver deserved for her own benefit, so he became malnourished as a result of her greed" Moral framework
Semantic field and imagery of death in chapter 4
"bag o' bones"
"sleeping among the coffins"
"thin and bony fingers"
"Oliver tore the bits asunder with the ferocity of famine" (Metaphor)
"they were sad rags" (Oliver had been poor, but with Mr Brownlow he was improving)
"he looked so delicate" (even while recovering he is still weak and feeble, could be as a result of long lasting consequences of malnutrition in the workhouse)
"as smart as sixpence" (Oliver is compared to money, he is a commodity (Marxism))
"Fagin, who had led her, step by step, deeper and deeper down into an abyss of crime and misery"
Fagin is the cause for Nancy's criminality, yet she cannot bring herself to abandon him
Pairs of verbs show the descent into crime
The abyss can link to hell, or Tartarus, a place of evil where she belongs. Also, it's dark there, motif of light vs dark
Fagin had "led her", showing the male dominance, (Feminist theory)
Page 292, start of chapter 44
Links to the myth of Persephone who was abducted by Hades.
In chapter 44 there are lots of references of hell ("abyss" for example).
Sikes says "Wot do they keep such ugly things above the ground for"
Nancy is in love with Sikes just like Persephone fell in love with Hades
From "Exploring Space: Spatial Notions in Cultural, Literary and Language Studies " by Andrzej Ciuk
Lifts hands "high towards heaven as her feeble strength would allow, breathed one prayer for mercy to her Maker"
Page 313, chapter 47
More religious themes, from a Christian perspective, they would have been happy this was her final moment, she was turning around her sins and looking towards God for forgiveness and salvation
"feeble strength", social order restored with Nancy being a stereotypical weak woman because just before she had been fighting back (Feminism)
"The man struggled violently to release his arms; [...] and tear her as he would, he could not tear them away" (showing Nancy's unnatural strength)
"She grew pale and thin"
Nancy is growing weaker as a result of her mental struggles, yet her mind continues to have conflict in. She has not been beaten yet
"I am chained to my old life"
Page 307, chapter 46
Links to punishment and prison. The criminal world is keeping her captive
"I have borne all this for you already"
Page 131, chapter 20
Links to Jesus dying on the cross for our sins. Nancy is angelic, benevolent
"I-I won't scream or cry-not once- hear me- tell me what I've done"
Nancy pleads for her life, the use of multiple dashes shows her nervousness, contrasts with Sikes' "savage resolution". Typical that the man is strong and the woman is weak and the victim (feminist theory)
"no wedding ring, I See. Ah! Goodnight!"
The Doctor doesn't try to help anymore seeing that she wasn't married. Religious crime. (
Specific social context which had an influence on the crime
"They had talked of hope and comfort. They had been strangers too long"
Personifying "hope" and "comfort", didn't help Agnes because of her lower class status just like the rich wouldn't help the poor
"'nothing to tell, after all', rejoiced the matron, walking carelessly away"
Mrs Corney doesn't care about what the dying lady says, not respecting her final wishes. This contrasts with how Dickens says it's a chapter of "importance"
"five pounds would be paid to anybody who would take possession of him"
Other people decide how much Oliver is worth, he's a commodity. Marxism
Chapter 5, the rich do not care about the needs and emotions of the poor
"coffin was within a few feet of the surface"
"stamped it loosely down with his feet; and walked off"
"The sin and wickedness of the lower orders in this parochial district is frightful "
Mr Bumble says this despite kissing Mrs Corney, even though they weren't engaged.
Shows the hypocrisy of the upper class and their belief that they're superior to the lower classes
Overly exaggerated adjectives "sin", "wickedness", "frightful", "abominable", "ruined"
Chapter 3 shows the hypocrisy of the upper class
Oliver is "kicked" into prayer (at least he's allowed to pray, but he it is violent)
Oliver is "sociably flogged"
"as for exercise, it was nice cold weather"-use of humour by Dickens to show how farcical it all is
Noah exaggerating Oliver's assault, he'd started it
Mr Bumble says "nearly murdered-all but murdered, sir- by young Twist!"
Believes Noah's lie
Repetition of "murdered", shows its importance
Dash pauses his sentence for the dramatic reveal (like a play), shows ridiculousness
Rewards Noah for victimising Oliver with a penny
In the workhouse, the boys were
"starved by a gradual process"
Poor Law of 1834, workhouses were supposed to be a deterrent
"gradual" shows suffering, suggests it's intentional
Leads to more crime, like cannibalism. Dickens is showing that crime begets crime
Dickens is exaggerating the harsh Dietary law of 1836
"terror in his looks, agony in his eye, large drops of perspiration streaming down his face"
Listing suggest endless emotion, increases pace and tension
This is as Oliver is being chased by the crowd, though he is innocent
"he could not possibly devote a worthier purpose than aggravating and tantalising young Oliver Twist"
Noah gets pleasure out of causing pain for others, for example Oliver, since he is weaker than Noah
The archaic meaning of "devote" is to curse, so the verb has negative connotations, the intent is pain
Restoration of order
Recurring motif of the gallows throughout the book, this fate occurs with Sikes and Fagin
"The noose was at his neck", Sikes kills himself by accident on a self-made noose. Punishment is unavoidable
Most of the good characters have happy endings and the criminals generally have bad endings. this fits with narrative theory in that there are neat resolutions in stories.
Duff and Blathers
Police detective, not very good
"Blathers" talking unnecessarily,
Blathers is described as having "shiny black hair cropped pretty close, half-whiskers, a round face, and sharp eyes"
Zoomorphism in comparison to a black cat
In Christianity, black cats were said to be a symbol of evil, shows how Blathers in unjust
Draws parallels between Blathers and Sikes (as a wolf). Shows how Sikes has more power since wolves are stronger than cats. This is seen in the fact that Sikes is never captured by the police or the mob
Motif of light vs dark, Blathers is evil
"sharp eyes" suggests he's an attentive policeman who is able to detect clues (which is true since Blathers and Duff realise only Oliver would have been able to fit through the small window)
"shiny black hair"
Suggests wealth in that he can groom himself, is clean
Suggests he is slimy and greasy, not genuine
They are upstaged by the doctor.
Duff and Blathers had discovered that the pistol Mr Giles had fired "turned out to have no more destructive loading than gunpowder and brown paper" but the doctor "had drawn the ball about ten minutes before"
The doctor realises Oliver will likely be seen to be guilty, because the policemen can "prove the parts that look ill, and none of those that look well"
"Blathers and Duff came back again, as wise as they went"
Humour used by Dickens since they were shown to be inadequate often
Amateur detective, is very good
Thought to have been based off of John Brownlow, the director of the Foundling Hospital which cared for abandoned and unwanted children (like in Oliver Twist with Mr Brownlow constantly looking after unwanted paupers. Dickens knew John Brownlow very well
"there was the body-mere flesh and blood, no more- but such flesh, and so much blood"
Fixation on "flesh" and "blood" seen by the repetition; he is haunted by the images of the dead Nancy
"flesh and blood" is a common phrase a represents life (as a synechdoche) which is ironic because Nancy is dead. His mind its playing tricks with him, wishing it's not true
Psychological torment can be seen with the use of punctuation, with the commas and dashes- the fragmentation of his thoughts
"no more" suggests him wanting to get the images out of his mind
"he had not moved; he had been afraid to stir" (page 314)
"she had dropped no clue which could lead to his discovery, she had refused, even for his sake, a refuge from all the guilt and wretchedness that encompasses her-- and what more chould she do! She was resolved."
Simple declarative sentence at the end of the paragraph shows her resolution
Feels overwhelming guilt about Fagin and Sikes and cannot give them up to the authorities
Exclamation shows her desperation
Use of commas and dash breaks up the sentence, shows the fragmentation of her mind. Not herself anymore
"the crafty Jew and the brutal Sikes had confided to her schemes, which had been hidden from all others"
Manipulation of Fagin and Sikes, forces her to stay on their side because she feels like she would lose her privileged position
"away they run, pell-mell, helter-skelter, slap-dash"
Hyphenated nouns shows the chaos; everything is tightly packed
Animalistic nature of the mob
"onward bears the mob" (homophone)
"away they fly"
Cyclical structure of chapter: begins with Oliver locked in a room by Fagin and ends with him being captured. Never free
Use of repeating structure building to a climax: every paragraph begins with
"'Stop thief! Stop thief!" and ends with "Stopped at last!"
. The exclamatives shows the desire that the crowd have for him to be caught. All have mob mentality by thinking the same things (like sheep) (links to the fact that Oliver is taken to "Mutton-hill"
In Spring 1846 (during publication of Oliver Twist), Dickens published letters about capital punishment
Dickens hated the "horrible fascination" of capital punishment, just like the crowd here seem to enjoy the chase
"No sorrow, no salutary terror, no abhorrence, no seriousness,; nothing but ribaldry, debauchery, levity, drunkeness, and flaunting vice in fifty other shapes""
"I should have deemed it impossible that I could have ever felt any large assemblage of my fellow-creatures to be so odious"
"On pressed the people from the front- on, on, on, in a strong struggling current of angry faces"
Repetition of "on" shows the perpetuity of the crowd, a constant force"
"current" links the mob to liquid, powerful
"angry faces" is a collective representing the whole mob, serves to dehumanise them all. The only notable thing about them all is their rage and emotion.
"tiers and tiers of faces in every window, and cluster upon cluster of people clinging to every house tops"
Consonance of the repeated "t" and hard "c", shows the violent nature of the crowd. also gives a beat to the line, it's like a hunt
"tiers" is a homophone with 'tears', suggests once again that the people are like liquid, an overwhelming force. Also could set a sad tone, foreshadowing that Sikes will die (or crocodile tears, the people are actually happy he'll soon die)
"all waved to and fro in the darkness beneath like a field of corn moved by an angry wind"
Motif of light vs dark, evil rules here
Simile to suggest the mob are mindless and just following others
suggests supernatural retribution since Dickens probably did not approve of the way they are acting
Pathetic fallacy, links to the anger of God and the crowd at Sikes. Foreshadows violence
"began to pour round, ppressing upon each other in one unbroken stream"
Like with "current", Dickens is showing parallels between the crowd and water, showing their unstoppable flow
"unbroken" shows their power as a collective, in comparison to Sikes who is all alone
Justice and injustice
"What a fine thing capital punishment is! Dead men never repent"
Page 55, chapter 9
Fagin says this, ironic because he ends up being killed by capital punishment.
This is likely satire since Dickens did not like capital punishment,
he would have attempted to find them mad if he were the juror
If the crime was as a result of rage, it was an impulsive decision to kill; if it was to achieve gain (eg money) then the greed simply made it so the criminal was blinded to the negatives; if it's revenge, then the criminal wouldn't mind dying since their mission is accomplished. So capital punishment shouldn't be used, it doesn't help
“oppressive overwhelming sense of the grave that opened at his feet”
Page 350, chapter 52
Fagin constantly thinking about death. Is it a humane course of justice to keep the accused thinking of the verdict of death? However, there's not enough time for reformation either
Sikes died instantly with no warning before, so had no suffering (though it could be argued the pursuit from the mob caused suffering, as did the guilt).
Element: suffering, moral framework, justice/injustice
Dickens published letters about capital punishment in April 1846 (during publication of Oliver Twist)
He thought that Dickens argues that the interval between sentence and execution is far too short and stressful to allow for serious contemplation
I MUST FIND PAGE NUMBERS FOR EVERY QUOTE