Oliver Twist Essay

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Examine different ways in which Dickens creates and uses settings in the novel Oliver Twist. In the novel Oliver Twist, Dickens uses a wide range of settings. In chapter 8, innocent Oliver is taken to meet the evil villain Fagin by the Artful Dodger. In this extract, Dickens describes both Fagin and his disgusting den. ‘The walls and ceiling of the room were perfectly black with age and dirt’ is describing Fagin’s decrepit den, but I think it reflects Fagin’s personality too. This chapter is the first time that the reader is introduced to Fagin and Dickens has already created the image that he is very unclean and doesn’t care for cleanliness, hence why his den is in such a dirty state. Later in the novel, Fagin is again described as quite disgusting and unclean, ‘…dressed in a greasy flannel gown’. Dickens is suggesting that Fagin was quite poor and therefore dressed in almost rags for clothes. The word ‘greasy’ is usually associated with dirt, keeping with the lexical field of Fagin being unclean and rather disgusting. This could also be suggesting that it isn’t just Fagin’s clothes that are unclean, but that he is host to a dirty, greasy personality due to his exploitation of vulnerable children and therefore not a very appealing man at all. ‘...toasting-fork in his hand’ could be implying that Dickens is describing Fagin as the devil in hell, his den being hell for the innocent children caught up in his criminal activities. Dickens highlights he is an evil character by describing Fagin as an ‘old shrivelled Jew’, by this description of a Jew, Fagin is automatically perceived as evil because in the Victorian era, the population were very racist towards the Jewish religion, anyone being a Jew immediately recognised as a stereotypical villain. This chapter links in

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