Nancy in Oliver Twist

  • Created by: xxha_naxx
  • Created on: 29-05-18 22:16
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  • Nancy
    • Attitude
      • Her rough and inappropriate manner and language indicate that she is uneducated and ignorant
      • Emotional complexity is her inner fight between good and evil
      • Her inner conflict and emotional moods are suddenly dramatized by her sudden pity for Oliver and outburst against Fagin
      • The meeting of Rose and Nancy represents that two girls hold the same purity and goodness
      • In the scene of Nancy visiting Rose, she condemns herself and feels ashamed as an "infamous creature"
        • In Nancy's death scene, there is Nancy's transformation from the prostitute into the pure girl.
      • Nancy''s parent less background and living with criminals also determined her ruin
    • Quotes
      • "something in the woman's original nature left in her still" (360)
        • Dickens writes Nancy's goodness in saving Oliver without any though of her own safety.
      • "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, and - and something worse than all - as i haven been form my cradle. I may use the word, for the ally and the gutter were mine, as they will be my deathbed" (362)
        • Nancy's words indicate that she feels the unbreakable bond with the underworld.
      • "I only know that it is so, and not with me alone, but with hundreds of others as bad and wretched as myself. I must go back. Whether it is God's wrath for the wrong i have done, i do not know; but i am drawn back to him through every suffering and ill-usage; and i should be, i believe, if i knew that I was to die by his hand at last" (365)
        • Even though Nancy is not a true 'fallen woman', she cannot be relieved from the corrupting world.
      • "I am chained to my old life, I loathe and hate it now, but i cannot leave it. I must have gone too far to turn back, - and yet i don't know" (Chapter 46;74)
        • Once you start a life of crime, its impossible to turn back in this novel. Nancy's fated to stick it out with Fagin's gang; she sayd she is "chained" to that life. She can't escape.
    • Actions
      • She saves him from kidnapping by her thief companions, Fagin and Sikes.
      • When Fagin tries to hit Oliver, Nancy arouses her anger to protect the child.
      • Her thoughts to recapture Oliver and consideration towards Oliver express her affection and warmth as well as moral conscience
      • Nancy's rescue of Oliver from Fagins violence leads Oliver to a normal life, and Oliver starts feeling attachment to Nancy
      • Nancy failed to avoid or run away form the cruel service and life
    • Charles Dickens
      • Dickens reveals that Nancy has a sense of guilt and shame as an "infamous creature"
        • These words of Nancy mean that Nancy was not innately depraved. It is suggested that there are other reasons for her disgraceful situation
      • Portrays Nancy as a possessing a moral conscience, kindness, fears and courage.
      • Dickens gets rid of the depraved image of the typical 'fallen women' through his descriptions of Nancy's treatment to Oliver
      • Dickens criticises that the Victorian society was the big reason for the downfall of women; the cruetly of people in the underworld, the moral code towards women and the severe class differences
    • Fagin
      • Pushed into the life of crime with her thief companions
    • Bill Sikes
      • She is in love with Sikes and has a relationship with him
        • Nancy's brutal murder by her own lover, Sikes, represents her suffering.
        • Her attachment to Sikes explains that she feels these unbreakable bonds with criminals and a sinful life if the punishment for her sins
      • Nancy's trembling white hand and deadly white face, when she talks with Sikes, reveals her fear of Sikes and compassion for Oliver.


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