Oliver Twist


I Content - Characterizations

Oliver Twist - A loving, innocent orphan child; the son of Edwin Leeford and
Agnes Fleming. He is generally quiet and shy rather than aggressive. Oliver\'s
affectionate nature, along with his weakness and innocence, earn him the pity and
love of the good people he meets. Dicken\'s choice of Oliver\'s name is very
revealing, because the boy\'s story is full of "twists" and turns. Dickens uses his
skills at creating character to make Oliver particularly appealing.


Mr. Bumble - The parish beadle; a rat man and a choleric with a great idea of his
oratorical powers and his importance. He has a decided propensity for bullying.
He derived no inconsiderable pressure from the exercise of petty cruelty and
consequently was a coward. Halfway through the book, Bumble changes. When
he marries Mrs. Corney, he loses authority. She makes all the decisions.


The Artful Dodger - A talented pickpocket, recruiter, cheat and wit. Jack
Dawkins, known as the artful dodger, is a charming rogue. Fagin\'s most esteemed
pupil. A dirty snub-nosed, flat-browed, common-faced boy (short for his age).
Dickens makes Dodger look more appealing by describing his outrageous clothes
and uninhibited manners.


Fagin - A master criminal, whose specialty is fenang (selling stolen property). He
employs a gang of thieves and is always looking for new recruits. He is a man of
considerable intelligence, though corrupted by his self-interest. His conscience
bothers him after he is condemned to hang. He does have a wry sense of humor
and an uncanny ability to understand people. He\'s a very old shrivelled Jew, whose
villainous looking repulsive face was obscured by a quantity of matted red hair.


Mr. Brownlow - A generous man, concerned for other people. A very
respectable looking person with a heart large enough for any six ordinary old
gentleman of humane disposition.


Bill Sikes - A bully, a robber and a murderer. He is an ally of Fagin. Fagin plans
the crimes and Sikes carries them out. Sike\'s evil is so frightening because it is so
physical. He is compares to a beast. A stoutly built fellow with legs that always
look like they are in an unfinished and incomplete state without a set of fetters to
garnish them.





Monks - Also known as Edward Leeford (son of Edwin Leeford and his legal
wife). Oliver\'s half brother. He wants to destroy Olivers chance of inheriting their
fathers estate. Monks is a stock villain, lurking in shadows and uttering curses
with a sneer. He lacks family love and moral upbringing. He is a tall, dark
blackguard, subject to fits of cowardice and epilepsy.


Nancy - She is the hapless product of the slums, the pupil of Fagin, and the
abused mistress of Sikes. Although she is a prostitute and an accomplice of
crooks, she has the instincts of a good person. She is part of a few of the most
memorable scenes (when she visits Fagin\'s Den, when she waits for Bill to come
home or when she meets with Rose Maylie and Brownlow to help save Oliver).
She is untidy and free in manner, but there was something of the woman\'s original
nature left in her still.


Rose Maylie - On the surface, Rose is very different from Nancy. Both were
orphans, but Rose grew up secure and protected. She is compassionate to Oliver,
but unlike Nancy, rose is innocent of the evils of the world. Dickens makes clear
that she is a pure flower. Agnes Flemings younger sister, thus Oliver\'s aunt.
Accepted as Mrs. Maylie\'s niece: later becomes her daughter-in-law.


Sally Thingummy - A pauper, nurses Oliver\'s mother. She steals the locket and
ring that holds the key to the oprhans identity.


Agnes Flemming - Oliver\'s mother; daughter of a retired naval officer. She left
home in shame and died when her illegitimate son was born.


Mr. Sowerberry - An undertaker; He accepts Oliver as an apprentice mourner.
He is forced by his wife\'s cruelty to abuse the boy until Oliver runs away.


Noah Claypolea - Charity boy. He torments Oliver. He is employed by Fagin,
under the alias of Bolter, and spies on Nancy. He ends up as a police informer.


Charley Bates - He belongs to Fagin\'s gang. He is so disgusted by Sike\'s evil
ways that he gives up crime and becomes a farmer.


Bet - Her full name is Betsy. She is required to identify Nancy\'s corpse.



Fang - A police magistrate and represents the worst abuses of judicial power. A
lean long-backed, stiff-necked, middle-sized man, with no great quantity of hair.


Mrs. Bedwin - She is