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October 25, 2009

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The Role of Darcy’s Letter to Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice

By Nidaa’A. Sairafi

In every society, people belong to different classes. Accordingly, they do not have the same kind of education and manners. When two persons who are from opposite classes involve in any relationship especially a romantic one, things will surely complicate. In addition, different classes can lead to great misunderstandings and wrong impressions. To make things work, they both , or at least one of them, need to sacrifice a great deal. Otherwise, it won’t.

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is a famous classical love novel in the 18th century which includes two different great love stories. One is between Jane Bennet and Charles Bingley which is considered as an example of a romance love and the other is between Elizabeth Bennet and Darcy Fitzwilliam who have a complicated and a secret relation. Those complications and secrecy are because that at the beginning of the novel, Elizabeth stands for prejudice and Darcy for Pride. Hence, the title of the novel (Pena Cervel, Sandra 12).

One thinks that this couple faces many obstacles in their relationship starting from their own first mistaken impressions of each other that guided by Darcy’s pride and Elizabeth’s prejudice and her continues misjudgment to Darcy. Afterwards, there are many events that make Elizabeth’s antagonizing increases to him. But at the second half of the novel , Darcy sends a letter to her which is considered as the turning point of the whole novel. The letter has a very important role to make them overcome all their obstacles and change their opinions that lead to a romantic happiness.

First of all, Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth’s male counterpart, is a tall, handsome and intelligent gentleman. He is well-educated and wealthy and belongs to an aristocrat class. He is the master of the great estate of Pemberley and his high birth and wealth make him overly proud and overly conscious of his social status. In fact, he is a mixture of good and bad qualities that makes anyone misunderstands him. He is an arrogant, proud and snobbish man in the way he talks, behaves or treats others. He looks as a bad and unlovable person throughout the novel. But for his good qualities, they are never shown immediately. As the novel progresses , they start to appear and his real character as well.

Elizabeth‘s admirable qualities are numerous which makes everyone likes her. She is beautiful , lovely and has expressive eyes, but what everybody notices about her is her good sense. She is intelligent, self-confident, and quick-witted. Her honesty, virtue, and lively wit enable her to rise above the nonsense and bad behavior that pervade her class-bound and often spiteful society. But she is not educated and have to talent at all. Besides, Darcy and Elizabeth both have the tendency to judge too hastily and harshly.

As it is shown above, Darcy is rich and “represents the high social class” in the society and owns the Pemberley state. His aunt, Lady Catherine de

Bourgh who is a very wealthy woman of the upper class society is in contrast to Elizabeth who represents “the low layer of society” (Pena Cervel, Sandra 7). Elizabeth’s family consists of seven members. She is the second eldest daughter of five children and a mother and a father and they are poor and simple people. Her mother, Mrs. Bennet, is a silly woman who attempts to make her daughters get married by using embarrassing ways.

The big social differences between Elizabeth and Darcy are somehow the reason of the gulf between them which makes their relation more difficult and the reason of building their viewpoints. Because of that Darcy bases his first impression on her poor social standing and her family’s bad behaviors which blinds him to see her many virtues. For Darcy, his pride and self-confidence what makes Elizabeth bases her own impression too. She considers him just as a self-centered, stiff , distasteful and arrogant man in the first scene of the novel when they attend a ball at Netherfield in Bingley’s house. Indeed their opinions and feelings towards each other take for the majority of the novel.

In addition, Elizabeth’s antagonizing increases as the novel develops. Besides their impressions, Elizabeth has many other reasons to dislike him. First, when she accidentally overhears Darcy’s opinion about her in the first time they met when he refuses his friend’s suggestion to dance with her by saying: “She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me…” (Ch.3,11). This incident happens in the very beginning of the novel which makes her have her first wrong impression. He thinks that she is” tolerable”, not very beautiful, thus she doesn’t attract him which hurts her pride as a woman. He even states that she is not as beautiful as Jane when he tells his friend: “You are dancing with the only handsome girl in the room” (Ch.3, 7). Second, what she hears from others as what she hears from the officer Wickham. He tells her that he and Darcy had grown up together and Darcy is a selfish and proud man as he notes in his sly assessment, “For almost all his actions may be traced to pride; and his pride has often been his best friend. It has connected him nearer with virtue than any other feeling. But we are none of us consistent; and in his behaviour to me, there were stronger impulses even than pride” (Ch.16, 61). Therefore, before Darcy’s father died, he promised Wickham a parish in their state but after he died, Darcy disregards his father’s promise. But actually all what he has said is not true. He accuses Darcy and tries to picture him as a bad man who hurts him in many ways.

Furthermore, during a dialogue between Elizabeth and Colonel, Fitzwilliam, Darcy’s cousin, who reveals that Darcy saves his close friend Bingley from an unwise expected marriage. Thus, Elizabeth begins disliking him and treating him unfairly.

However, Darcy starts to like Elizabeth and notices the good sides in her personality. He has strong feelings to her and he proposes to her. But, she rejects him immediately and insults him too. She tells him that she hates him because of two reasons. The first one is his role in separating Mr. Bingley and Jane as Elizabeth says to him: Do you think consideration would tempt me to accept the man who has been the means of ruining, perhaps forever, the happiness of a beloved sister?” (Ch.34 ,143). In addition, his bad and unjust treatment toward Wickham. Besides, he has hurt her pride by insulting her and her family. Darcy’s proposal is insensitive and rude although his feelings toward her is real. He begins his words with telling her that he loves her instead of giving her reasons for marriage as he declares, “in vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you” (Ch.34, 142). Then, the dialogue takes another direction after talking about Wickham and other things, he insults her and her family by explaining that marrying her is a great sacrifice of him because of her low social status when he cries out: “Could you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your connections? To congratulate myself on the hope of relations, whose condition in life is so decidedly beneath my own?” (Ch.34, 144 – 45).

Furthermore, there are many obstacles in Darcy and Elizabeth’s relationship beside their own false opinions. There are smaller obstacles to the realization of the love between them, including Lady Catherine’s attempt to control her nephew, Miss Bingley’s snobbery, Mrs. Bennet’s idiocy, and Wickham’s deceit. First, Lady Catherine who hopes that Darcy gets married to her own daughter. She tries to separate between Darcy and Elizabeth. Moreover, there is Wickham who tries to describe Darcy as a bad person to Elizabeth. While Miss. Bingley wants to keep Darcy for herself and tries to attract his attention. She is jealous of Elizabeth because she wants to marry him . In addition, Elizabeth’s mother, Mrs. Bennet, and her embarrassing attempts to see her daughters married. She tries to convince Elizabeth to accept Mr. Collins. ,Elizabeth’s cousin, as a husband when he proposes to her even though she does know that Elizabeth doesn’t want him. She refuses him because she doesn’t love him and he has a cold, ridiculous, and pompous personality.

At the second half of the novel, Darcy sends Elizabeth a letter to clarify all the reasons of his previous actions. It turns the events till the end of the story. He explains important things that she doesn’t understand before. Things that are said wrongly about him and things he preferred to keep it as a secret. Moreover, the important information that it is included leads to a change in their opinions, feelings and even their actions. It plays a very crucial role to the rest of the novel. Furthermore, this letter gives us a very clear picture about Mr. Darcy himself. It reveals that he is a kind and wise man. Therefore, he doesn’t react crudely when she refuses his proposal impolitely. But he still forgives her ill-treatment and treats her gently although she hurts his pride. In addition, he delivers the letter personally to Elizabeth which shows his honest feelings towards her.

Darcy begins the letter in a very polite manner by saying: “Be not alarmed madam, on receiving this letter“(Ch. 35 ,147) and then he mentions his reasons behind separating Mr. Bingley and Jane. This couple who fell in love and has a lovely and perfect relationship. At the beginning, Bingley likes her and she does too which leads to a strong relationship. But afterwards, their relationship is interrupted when Bingley travelled to London because of Darcy’s opinion about Jane. He thinks that his friend is much in love with her and he is very sincere in his feelings. While Jane doesn’t seem that she loves him as he does. Moreover, she doesn’t declare her feelings which makes him sad and doubtful. So, Darcy suggests the separation for Bingley’s own good.

Secondly, he explains what really happened between him and Wickham. He says that when he gave him the parish, he lost it in gambling. Then when he became broke, he visited the Darcy’s family and pretended he is in love with Georgiana Darcy, Darcy’s young sister, and tried to convince her to elope with him in order to gain money but fortunately he failed. Besides, there is Lydia, Elizabeth’s younger sister, who likes officers very much. “She spends every waking moment thinking about them, shamelessly runs after them, collects information about them, dances with them, and flirts with them(The Principles..). After her first meeting with Wickham with the company of Elizabeth, she was attracted to his good-looking appearance and liked him. Afterwards, when she was with her uncle and aunt, she eloped with him. In fact, he has no intention to marry her and he is not even in love with her. But Darcy saves Lydia’s , and all the family indeed, reputation after the elopement by offering some money to Wickham in order to marry her. On the other hand, in the first appearance of Wickham, he looks as a good person and displays good and respectable manners. He acts as a victim but through the novel his real character is revealed. He tries to convince two young ladies to elope with him in which he succeeds in the second attempt. He is just a good looking person and has nothing else.

After reading the letter, Elizabeth experiences many conflicted feelings. Beginning with regret because of her prejudice that prevents her to live a wonderful life with the man she loves and her misunderstanding all the time of Darcy’s real character. Moreover, she feels ashamed of her rude and unfair treatment towards a good and gentle person. Especially in Wickham’s case because she believes anything she hears from others about Darcy, even bad things, without making sure or asking if it is true or not.

Mrs. Gardiner‘s letter to Elizabeth is equally important to Darcy’s letter. It supports and asserts what are mentioned in his letter. First, she tells her about his involvement in the marriage of Lydia and Wickham and the story as it happened. Darcy tried to convince Lydia to leave Wickham but she refuses. Then , he tried to get her married to Wickham, who has no intention to do so, Darcy offered him some money after which he agreed. Moreover, she concludes the letter by saying that Darcy has done so for Elizabeth’s sake which is a proof of his love. At this point, she realizes that she loves him.

At the end of the novel, Darcy proposes again to Elizabeth and she accepts immediately. She accepts him this time after knowing his real personality and his role in doing great things for her. Moreover, Elizabeth’s rejection to his first proposal represents an awaking call for him. It is the reason from which he recognizes his shortcomings and his pride over others. He is changed and becomes a new person with a new character. He is now aware of what he says and how he behaves. Additionally, “his love for Elizabeth makes him a better person, brings out the excellence of his character” (Sherrod, Barbara).

Two important things make Darcy sends such a letter to Elizabeth. Their importance lays on taking the direction for the rest of the novel in Elizabeth and Darcy’s relationship. First, Elizabeth’s rejection for his first proposal. Second, he wants to clarify the wrong and mysterious picture of him to his beloved.

Consequently, the three important things mentioned in Darcy’s letter which played very important roles. The first thing is Darcy’s part in separating Jane and Bingley for the reasons he explained. Then, his substantial help in saving Lydia’s reputation when he offers money to Wickham to get marry to Lydia. Moreover, he reveals Wickham’s real character and the things he did before.

To conclude, one thinks that Mr. Darcy’s letter is the turning point of the novel, especially in Elizabeth and Darcy’s lives because of the important information it includes. Furthermore, it changes Elizabeth’s opinion and feelings towards him. The letter is what makes them open their eyes to the truth and helps them to live happily. As a result of this letter, they now know and understand each other well without any misunderstanding or pride and prejudice.

Works Cited

Austin, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. York Classics ,Place Riad Solh: SAL, 1988

Pena Cervel, Sandra .” Pride and Prejudice: A Cognitive Analysis .” (1997-98).

Sherrod, Barbara. ” Pride and Prejudice: A Classic Love Story “.

The Principles of The Secret in Pride and Prejudice “. www.humanscience.

Com. 24 November 2007. < www.humanscience.wikia.com/wiki/The_

Principles_of_The_Secret_in_Pride_and_Prejudice > [5 May 2009].

Essential Differences Among Bronte Sisters’ Works

By Sundus E. Al. Nabhani

Although their names always associated with each other, mentioned together & represent sensitives – who were distinguished from the other – their works, however, were completely different. “Bell Sisters” (Abrams 1311) this was their names before their great works published. Currer Bell composed Jane Eyre, Ellis Bell wrote Wuthering Heights and Acton Bell formulated Agnes Grey. In fact, Bell sisters were Bronte sisters: Emily, Charlotte and Anne. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte & Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte were just a reflection of their life, while Emily’s works either her novel or her poems were a literature.

In Charlotte’s Jane Eyre the author expressed her feelings, her autobiography and her hopes. A simple clarification of this notion includes the novel’s title, protagonist, theme, events, end and the author’s style. All these ideas provide one point which is how the novelist could incarnate her real personality in an imaginary heroin. Furthermore, there is a strong link between each one of these items and the actuality of Charlotte’s life. In 1821 her mother died and Mrs. Elizabeth Branwell, Aunt Branwell, came from Cornwall to help Mr. Bronte to look after the children. In 1824 Charlotte and Emily sent to school for the daughters of poorer clergymen at Cowan Bridge where their oldest sisters Elizabeth and Maria died because of tuberculosis as a result of the school’s harsh and unhealthy condition . Charlotte worked as a governess twice firstly in May 1839 and secondly in March 1841 but in reality she left after a few months because of mistreatment. Moreover she suffered from treating her as socially inferior. After that she went with Emily to Brussels in 1842 then they retuned to Haworth because their aunt died. She had many visits to London and she met many famous authors like Matthew Arnold, Mr. Gaskell and Sir James Kay-Shuttleworth despite she was a shy woman who disliked social life.

The information above rewritten by Charlotte not as a biography but as a novel. According to this, it is obviously that Jane Eyre as a title or as a protagonist of the novel reflects an orphan girl called Jane Eyre whom her aunt Mrs. Reed took care of her after her parents died (Vol.1, Ch.2, 6-7) . Jane went to Lowood Orphanage School (Vol.1, Ch.5, 42) where she met her friend Helen Burns who died because of tuberculosis as a result of the bad position in that school (Vol.1, Ch.9, 47) . When she grown up she worked as a governess of Miss. Adele Varens in Mr. Rochester’s house (Vol.1, Ch.11, 88). During her job, she faced some ironic criticism from Mr. Rochester’s relatives on account of her social class (Vol.2, Ch.2, 165-66). One day Mr. Robert Leaven – who was a servant in Mrs. Reed’s house – came to her and told her that her aunt wanted to see her before she die (Vol.2, Ch.6, 208). Then she took Mr. Rochester’s permission to leave and went immediately to see Mrs. Reed (Vol.2 Ch.6 213). At the end of the novel, she achieved her aim which was having her independency by marriage and conquer social class differences (Vol.3, Ch.12, 429). By making a small comparison between real Charlotte Bronte and fantastic Jane Eyre ultimate result is that two various names mentioned two times one as an autobiography and the other one as a novel’s heroin . It is clear that the novelist exploited her authentic actions in performing a literary wok and it indicates what she has and what she wants. Mrs. Reed is a reflection of Elizabeth Branwell, Lowood Orphanage School is a reflection of Cowan Bridge, Helen Burns and tuberculosis are a reflection of Maria, Elizabeth, and tuberculosis again, her occupation and her aunt’s death were also the same. Subsequently, this novel is a reflection work.

Anyhow, it is possible to say that Anne’s novel was approximately ingenuous reflection like Charlotte’s. A brief explanation of this statement can be exemplified by using the comparison technique between the author’s autobiography and the novel’s heroin, theme and events. From the beginning, the first chapter in the novel named The Parsonage (“Agnes Grey”). It is not an odd choice because Mr. Patrick Bronte was a clergyman and his daughters grown in the parsonage (Abrams 1311). Chapter twenty one named The School (“Agnes Grey”). Her selection of that chapter’s name relate to Cowan Bridge where she sent (Abrams 1311). In Agnes Grey each member of her family started to look for a job in order to protect themselves from begging after their father ill (Southcombe). They interdicted Agnes to join them because she is young (Southcombe). This event prove that Anne wished to have her independency among her family especially if it is known that her sister Maria born in 1814 , Elizabeth in 1815 , Charlotte in 1816 , Branwell – her brother – in 1817 , Emily in 1818 and finally she born in 1820 . So, she was the youngest one on her family. Agnes worked as a governess two times: first in Wellwood House with Bloomfield family and second with the Murray family (“Agnes Grey”). This was exactly what happened with the writer’s sister Charlotte (Jane Eyre IX). Bloomfield family was rich while Agnes was poor and needy. Considering theme of the novel is struggle for independence as usual there must be a conflict on account of social class which Anne and her family suffered from because their father was impoverished (Abrams 1311). Therefore, the novel is a reflection of the author’s life.

Regarding to Emily’s Wuthering Heights the relationship between the novelist’s life and the novel itself was nonexistent from the beginning until the end. A small interpretation of this includes the title, hero, theme, events and the end of the novel. Naming her work by a place’s name conspicuously is new because even if the novel substitutes its title with anything else such as : Heathcliff Revenge , Diabolism Revenge , The End of the Tragic Devilish or Gothic Enormous it remains distinguished from Anne’s and Charlotte’s because there is no association between these titles and Emily Bronte . So, it is really a refined selection of the novel’s name. The theme of the novel is revenge for love which Emily could make her novel haunting and unforgettable. Also the extraordinary events which represented through the relationship between Catherine Earnshaw with Heathcliff in one hand and Catherine Linton with Hareton in another hand were amazing. Throughout these two relations the writer used a very brilliant shift. First relation started from love then ended with suffering and second relation started with suffering then ended with love as if they are two separate novels.

Perhaps it is a controversial tactic that Anne and Charlotte were almost similar in their literary works. Indeed, they were cognate if they compare with Emily not with her works because every writer has her own diverse manner but actually with her style. Simply throughout Agnes Grey and Jane Eyre both of the novelists expressed the actions with the chronological strategy while Emily used the flash back mode.

Furthermore, Emily had a brilliant factuality to make her works fantastic via an ambiguousness which colored her arts. Despite Charlotte also employed the ambiguousness in her novel in order to make her readers in case of enjoyment but they still separate various novelists . For Charlotte the only mysterious idea in Jane Eyre is Mr. Rochester’s secret which appeared first of all in the eleventh chapter of the first volume when Jane heart a ” preternatural laugh ” (98) . Secondly in the fifth chapter of the second volume when Mr. Rochester asked her to take care of Mason because he had a sunken wound as a result of violent attack (196-99). Thirdly when a strange woman came to Jane’s room and mangled her wedding – dress and veil (Vol.2, Ch.10, 269). Such these events let the readers’ minds in case of interesting and motivate them to continue the reading in order to know ultimately what secret is this? This question answered at the end of the novel when Mr. Rochester disclose his secret and said that the once who has a strange laugh , attacked Mason and mangled Jane’s wedding – dress is his previous wife Bertha Mason (Vol.2, Ch.11, 279) . May Charlotte achieved in making her readers interested but this interesting was just for a short time because this suspenseful stopped at the end of the novel because the question answered . Consequently, the interesting and suspense in Jane Eyre were limited between the question about Mr. Rochester’s secret and its answer which is his wife. So, after reading this novel there is nothing to think about because every thing relates to the events or the characters mentioned throughout the novel.

Regarding to Anne her novel’s actions are normally and its end is predictable. But for Emily the mysterious notion in her novel linked with many things such as the actions itself, Mr. Heath cliff’s life, his personality and his end. According to the actions, from the beginning until the end there are some questions left without answers. For example from where Mr. Heathcliff came (Ch.4, 29), and how did he make his great fortune after three absence years? (Ch.10, 75-77). “Mr. Kenneth was perplexed to pronounce of what disorder the master died.” this quotation illustrate that Mr. Heathcliff’s death was ambiguous (Ch.34, 278). Moreover his end was after poignant torment which make the readers in case of sympathizing with hem because ultimately he was the real victim. It is possible to consider his end as a poetic justice, too.

The most obscure thing is Mr. Heathcliff’s personality which Emily could succeed in expressing hem. It is enough to understand how mixture character he was from two contradictory speeches. First one is in the fifteenth chapter when he and Catherine met for last time and he told her:

You teach me now how cruel you’ve been – cruel and false. Why did you despise me? Why did you betray your own heart, Cathy? I have not one word of comfort .You deserve this. You have killed yourself. Yes, you may kiss me, and cry; and wring out my kisses and tears: they’ll blight you – they’ll damn you. You loved me -then what right had you to leave me? What right – answer me – for the poor fancy you felt for Linton? Because misery and degradation, and death, and nothing that God or Satan could inflict would have parted us, you, of your own will, did it. I have not broken your heart – you have broken it; and in breaking it, you have broken mine. So much the worse for me that I am strong. Do I want to live? What kind of living will it be when you – oh, God! would you like to live with your soul in the grave? (132-33).

Second one is in the sixteenth chapter when Mrs. Nelly came to tell him that Catherine died. He replied:

May she wake in torment! He cried, with frightful vehemence,

stamping his foot, and groaning in a sudden paroxysm of ungovernable passion. Why, she’s a liar to the end! Where is she? Not there – not in heaven – not perished – where? Oh! you said you cared nothing for my sufferings! And I pray one prayer – I repeat it till my tongue stiffens – Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living ; you said I killed you – haunt me, then! The murdered Do haunt their murderers , I believe . I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always – take any form – drive me mad! only Do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! it is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul! (137)

Through these two quotations it is clearly that Mr. Heathcliff is emotional and passionate person in one hand and he is a devilish and evil person on the other hand. Even after reading this novel the readers’ feelings will not stop not only because of the unusual and supernatural actions but also because of the author’s unique style in delivering the expression.

Beside the vagueness there is another fascinating aspect somehow colored Emily’s art which was the necrophilia. This aspect appeared clearly in Wuthering Heights and that’s why it is discriminate novel. Also it appears in some of her poems like Remembrance. Although Charlotte was also poet but her poems were not like Emily’s. For the difference between Emily and Charlotte as a poet it is enough to compare Emily’s Remembrance (Margaret F. 946) with Charlotte’s Regret (all poems of Charlotte Br.).

Each one of the Bronte sisters has her own ingenuity but Emily was the foremost. Her priority supported by great testimony from Charlotte herself when she said “these were not common effusions, nor at all like the poetry women generally write.” (Abrams 1311). Even if the works of Charlotte , Anne and Emily are distinguished it remind debatable because Charlotte predominated her sisters in the numbers of the literary works because she wrote four novels (Jane Eyre, X-XI) while Anne and Emily composed only one but Emily’s unique ability is remarkable because it lets the readers need more of hers . Actually she started to write her second novel but unfortunately she died before that (Abrams 1311). Showing the essential differences among three great works is better than analyzing each one alone and this is the aim of the whole argument above. Finally, it takes all sorts to make a world.

Works Cited

Abrams, M. H. and Stephen Greenblatt. “Emily Bronte” The Norton Anthology

of English Literature, 8th ed. , 2nd vol. , New York , 2006, 1311 .

“Agnes Grey”, Literature.org , 16 April 2009 <http://www.literature.org/authors/bronte-anne/agnes-grey/&gt;.

All poems of Charlotte Br. “Regret”, PoemHunts.com , 16 April 2009, <http://www.poemhunter.com/charlottebronte/&gt;.

Bronte, Charlotte, Jane Eyre, London, Librairie du Liban, 2004.

Bronte, Emily, Wuthering Heights, London, Librairie du Liban, 2007.

Ferguson, Margaret. “Remembrance” The Norton Anthology of Poetry, 4th ed. ,

New York , Castle House, 1996 , 946.

Sauthcambe, Loura. “Plot summary of Agnes Grey.” AllReadears.com 16 April 2009


The Ambiguity of Nancy’s Character in Oliver Twist

By Hiba A. Al. Ansari

“Jekyll and Hyde” is an idiom referring to someone with both an evil and a good personality. It is known that the personality of any one is known by his behavior and his interaction with others. It is also known by his reaction in special situations. Some people have very kind personalities but others have vicious kinds. In addition, some people have obvious characters, while others have the most complicated characters and it is difficult to deal with them. Oliver Twist is one of the most famous novels in the 19th century. This novel reflects the Victorian age which describes the relationship between the high class and the low class and the relations amongst the members of low class. Also, it describes the harshness and ruthlessness towards the poor people. The novel discusses an orphan boy who lives in the workhouse and who is treated badly by officials in charge. After that he escapes and becomes one of Fagin’s gang members. Throughout the events of the novel different characters appear, Nancy is one of them. In this novel there is a strange relation between Oliver and Nancy which reveals different sides to her character. Nancy and Oliver play very important roles in the novel. There is a similarity between these two characters. Oliver is the protagonist of the novel. He is born in the workhouse in an un-named town. His mother dies soon after his birth, so he “[is] left to the tender mercies of churchwardens and overseers” (Ch. 1, 3). When he is ten years old the undertaker, Sowerberry, takes him to work for him. After that, he fights with Noah Claypole who insults his dead mother and the undertaker’s wife punishes him for fighting. That’s why he escapes and runs away to London. There he meets Jack Dawkins, the Artful Dodger, who offers him a place to stay and that’s where he meets Fagin, who is a chief in a gang. It also consists of other young thieves and two prostitute women ,Nancy and Bet. Nancy is one of the few female characters in the novel. She has a very important role to play which is the source of the information plot between Monk and Fagin who want to make Oliver a criminal. She was corrupted by Fagin at the age of six. Unlike other characters throughout Oliver Twist, Nancy is not entirely good like those of (Oliver Twist himself, Rose, Mr. Brownlow) or entirely bad like those of (Monks, Bill Sikes). She has conflicts between her inner conscience and her devotion to Sikes. Nancy is also an important figure in Oliver Twist because she is the only character who fluctuates between the world of good and evil (“Background of Nancy”). Several characters have obvious personalities in the novel, some of them are good, but others are not. This is noticeable in their first appearances during the story except for Nancy’s character, who’s personality is not always clear. Her first appearance is when she meets Oliver at Fagin’s house. In that scene Nancy’s reaction isn’t clear because it doesn’t reflect her real character whether it’s good or bad. Also, she doesn’t utter any word but she keeps silent and she doesn’t express any interest or disinterest in the newest member of the gang. The character of Mrs. Sowerberry, in her first appearance, reveals signs of coldness and ruthlessness in the way she receives Oliver and says of him “He’s very small” and orders her housemaid ” Here, Charlotte, give this boy some of the cold bits that were put by for Trip[the dog]”(Ch. 4, 24). This indicates what this woman thinks of Oliver and how he will suffer under her harsh treatment. Miss, Rose’s character on the other hand, in her first appearance, reveals signs of kindness and consideration when she orders her servants to take Oliver to the room and call- up the doctor to see Oliver, because he was injured by a gunshot on the day of the robbery with Bill Sikes and Toby Crackit. This reaction of Miss. Rose towards Oliver indicates how very kind she is. She holds a good heart and conveys compassion to someone she doesn’t even know. As the novel progresses, the differences in Nancy’s behavior towards Oliver gets more interesting. Sometimes she does nice things to Oliver and helps him while at the same time she does bad things that hurts him. What gives a bad impression of her is the fact that she is one of the bad characters in the story, so it is natural to expect bad deeds and intentions from her. After two boys tell Fagin that Oliver has been taken by the police, because a man accused the boy of stealing his handkerchief, Fagin orders Nancy to ask around about Oliver in the police centre and to pretend to be as Oliver’s sister. She refuses at the beginning but when Sikes talks to her she agrees and goes to the police centre. There she cries “Oh, my brother! My poor, dear, sweet, innocent little brother!” exclaims Nancy “What has become of him! Where have they taken him to! Oh, do have pity, and tell me what’s been done with the dear boy, gentlemen; do, gentlemen, if you please, gentlemen!”(Ch. 13, 79). Nancy in this situation seems as an obedient character. She does everything that Fagin or Sikes order her to do, whether she likes it or not, without any attempt to disobey their demands . After the gang members find out Oliver’s place from Nancy, through an officer who told her that the person who accused Oliver took him to his house. The chief of the gang ,Fagin, then orders Nancy to “skulk about” (Ch. 13, 80). She obeys him again and doesn’t shows any objection although she knows Fagin’s bad intentions . One day, Mr. Brownlow gives Oliver five-pound and sent him to the bookstore to return some books and pay the money that he owe them. On his way to the bookstore he accidentally walks into the wrong road. At this moment, Nancy sees him in the street carrying Mr. Brownlow’s books and money. She grabs Oliver from the back and screaming out very loud ” Oh, my dear brother” and then she calls to Sikes with his dog and together they take him to Fagin’s house (Ch. 15, 93). Her actions here is very confusing but it shows clearly that Nancy is responsible for kidnapping Oliver and returning him to the gang. In Fagin’s house when they all see Oliver wearing a neat suit and carrying the books and money, everyone tries to take something from him. One of them wants to take his suit and the other wants to take the money, while Oliver begs them to return the money and the books and let him return back to Mr. Brownlow. Then he suddenly jumps up and tries to run, so Sikes wants to let the dog chase Oliver but Nancy stops him and cries “Keep back the dog; he’ll tear the boy to pieces” (Ch. 16, 98). She then says “the child shan’t be torn down by the dog, unless you kill me first” (Ch. 16, 98). Also , Fagin said “So you wanted to get away, my dear, did you?” taking up a heavy short stick which is in a corner of the fireplace (Ch. 16, 99). He beats Oliver on his shoulders and when he wants to beat him a second time Nancy suddenly stands in front of Fagin, takes the stick and flings it into the fire place saying “I won’t stand by and see it done, Fagin,” cried the girl “You’ve got the boy, and what more would you have? Let him be- let him be, or I shall put that mark on some of you, that will bring me to the gallows before my time”(Ch. 16, 99). Nancy’s attitude here, reveals her guilty conscience, mainly because of her role in bringing Oliver back to the gang. That’s why Nancy does a good thing for Oliver and defend him from Fagin and Sikes. After this Oliver makes his attempt to escape from Fagin and his gang, but he is caught and Fagin punishes and imprisons him in a dark room. During the arrangements for the robbery of Chertsey’s house, Fagin and Sikes decide to choose Nancy to take Oliver to Sikes’ house because the boy “would be more willing to accompany the girl who had so recently interfered in his behalf, than anybody else”(Ch. 19, 121). In this case Nancy agrees without any objection or attempt to prevent this order, although she knows the difficulties that Oliver will face either with Sikes or in the stealing process itself. This again shows us that Nancy sometimes does bad things that hurt Oliver. In the contrary to those hurtful deeds, “Nancy commits one of the most noble acts of kindness in the story when she ultimately risks her life to help Oliver” ( “Background of Nancy”). That is clear when she goes to meet Miss. Rose and Mr. Brownlow on the bridge after she overhears a conversation between Monks and Fagin about Oliver. She tells them about what she heard and gives them the descriptions of Monks, so that they can find out who he is and why he wants to hurt Oliver. She also asks them not to use this information to have Fagin, Sikes, or any other member of the gang arrested. This example indicates that “Nancy is still kind ,although she was forced to be a thief when she was only six years old ,she did not lose her natural goodness” (“Nancy in Oliver Twist”). She helped Oliver although she knows that it might be a risk she has to take. Moreover, she didn’t accept Miss. Rose’s offer to stay with her and not to return to Sikes again, mostly because she was worried about Oliver and couldn’t leave him to the mercy of Sikes or Fagin. It is obvious that Nancy’s feelings throughout the novel towards Fagin or Sikes isn’t clear. Sometimes her feeling reflects her love for them because she benefits from them and they benefit from her, while other times it reflects the opposite . She thinks that Fagin and Sikes are responsible for making her life miserable and letting her suffer. They also make the girl prostitute out of her and she becomes one of the criminals. Throughout the events of the novel there are many incidents indicating this. In some of them Nancy reveals her love and loyalty towards Fagin and Sikes. It is clear when she obeys them and does every things they want. Also, she nurses Sikes after he is injured on the robbery of Chertsey’s house. In addition to that, although she goes against them when she tells about what they want to do with Oliver , she asks Miss. Rose not to use the information to have Fagin or Sikes arrested “Will you promise me that you will have my secret strictly kept, and come alone, or with the only other person that knows it; and that I shall not be watched or followed?”(Ch. 40, 258). Moreover, She loves Bill Sikes, a brutal thief although he treats her badly. Actually, Miss. Rose has given her a good plan for her future but she refuses it. She cannot give up Sikes, her lover, “I cannot leave him now! I could not be his death”(Ch. 40, 257). She also cries “if I told others what I have told you, and led to their being taken, he would be sure to die”(Ch. 40, 257- 8). On the other hand, Nancy’s love to Sikes becomes a struggle for her. She seems to hate Sikes and wants to get rid of him and her terrible life. That is indicated after Nancy considers the words from Miss. Rose to stay with her and not to return to Fagin’s gang and Sikes again. She responds “dear, sweet, angel lady, you (r)are¯ the first that ever blessed me with such words as these, and if I had heard them years ago, they might have turned me from a life of sin and sorrow; but it is too late, it is too late!” (Ch. 40, 257). This is evidence that Nancy feels regretful of being with Fagin and Sikes and if she had a chance she might choose to leave them. Indeed, there are many reasons behind Nancy’s different behavior. Sometimes she finds herself forced to obey anything that Sikes or Fagin tell her to do, because she feels afraid of them. On the other hand, they protect her and care for her. She also knows Fagin since she was six years old when she became one of the members of the gang and that was at a very early age. That’s why, should she choose to leave them, she doesn’t have any where else to go and she doesn’t know any other people. Nancy‘s changeable character and some of her attitude towards Oliver, might just have had something to do with the fact that she lives a life of shame, hardships, suffering and misery. Seeing young ,innocent Oliver, she sees a reflection of herself at that age and that very thought is something frightful. She does not wish the young boy to endure what she went through and that’s the main reason of her defending Oliver whenever she could. She also holds on to this thought until her tragic end. Last but not least, in displaying Nancy as an ambiguous character, Dickens provides suspense in the story. The reader is hereby anticipated to extract what Nancy’s reaction to the events will be like. Even then it’s not sure if her reaction will be good or bad or what effect her actions will have on little Oliver. Her character is also balanced between evil and good and this is what Dickens finds important in providing interest and mystery to the story and to make it more exciting and appealing to the readers.

Works Cited

“Background of Nancy.” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 8 May. 2009. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_(Oliver_Twist)#External_links.> [24May. 2009]

Dickens ,Charles. Oliver Twist. York Classics, Place Riad Soth, Beirut,1994.

“Nancy in Oliver Twist.” Pushu.net. 14 Jan. 2008. <http://www.pushu.net/spaces/user1/753/archives/2008/2008114145820.html.&gt; [ 24 May.2009]

Distinguishing the Sane and Insane Sides of Hamlet

By Nora F. Al. Omairi

The character of Hamlet in Shakespeare’s play is one of the most analyzed characters in literary history because, even though he is difficult to comprehend, he is real. It explains that Hamlet is a complex man because his problem is initially psychological. In short, his psychological disorders are a direct result of what is in his mind. It shows how Hamlet moves through a series of drastic emotions in the play, beginning with depression, moving to madness and more stress. So Hamlet appears in two different states, as a sane person and actually acting as an insane person.

At the beginning of the play he seems as a philosopher, hero and poet that is very articulate in his way of speech and behavior in front of all characters around him like his uncle, mother, friends and his beloved Ophelia. Then he is forced to imitate madness in order to take his father’s revenge and to discover the loyalty of his friends.

Hamlet emerges as a brave character and there are several examples that provide this” fearless “attitude. The first example occurs when the ghost appears in the presence of Hamlet, Horatio and Marcellus. Here Hamlet is “determined ” to meet the ghost ;(study world .com)

” If it assume my noble father’s person

I’ll speak to it ,though hell itself should gape

And bid me hold my peace” (I.iii.245-250)

Hamlet wants to speak to the ghost, even though it might be a bad spirit instead of his father. Another example of his bravery is when he actually sees the ghost:

” HAM; It will not speak. Then I will follow it

HOR; Do not my lord

HAM; Why, what should be the fear ?” (I.iiii.60-65).

There are more evidence that clarify the state of mind of Hamlet’s character. The most important event is when he arranges for the actors to perform The Murder of Gonzago to find out whether or not the king is “guilty” of his father’s murder. Hamlet’s plan is to write the fictional play with the same details of his father’s death in order to see his uncle’s reaction. If the king seems nervous he [Hamlet] will know his crime from there.(study world .com) This trap took careful consideration and planning in its execution.

Moreover, he delays in taking his revenge, although he has a chance to take it when he finds his uncle praying and asking God for forgiveness. He refuses mainly because should he [Claudius]die while praying, he will be purified from all his sins and he believes that after the purification, his soul will go to the heaven and Hamlet doesn’t want that because it is not what a murderer deserves.

All these events show us that Hamlet is a sane person, with a bright mind carrying a hidden agenda. But he is forced to act differently in order to take his revenge. The turning point of Hamlet’s attitude starts after a meeting between him and the ghost where he makes sure that his uncle is his father’s killer. Then, he starts his plan by acting mad and uses harsh words to speak with his mother and his beloved Ophelia as he expresses:

” …..You jig, You amble , and You lisp ; You nickname God’s

Creatures and make your wantonness your ignorance. Go to

I’ll no more not it hath made me mad.”(III.i.144-146)

Hamlet here feels upset with Ophelia and insults her by telling her she name things according to her own “fancy” that makes him angry. Another scene where he expresses his anger after killing Polonius and shouts at his mother(studyworld.com)

Here is Your husband, like a mildewed ear

Blasting his wholesome brother.

Have You eyes? Could You on this fair mountain leave to


And batten on his moor?

Ha’have You eyes (III.iiii.65-68)

He tells Gertrude that her new husband is nothing like Hamlet’s father and how she can live with the murder of her previous husband. Furthermore, Hamlet asks her to leave Claudius and help him to avenge his father’s death. Also, he treats all people around him madly and mysteriously. He expresses his feelings of anger and nothingness of his father’s illegible death and his mother’s quick marriage .He feels unsatisfied of his mother’s marriage and he expresses that by saying :

” …….Why she, even she – O,God

Abeast , that wants to discourse of the reason,

Would have mourn’d longer —married with my uncle,”(I.ii,149-152)

This soliloquy shows us Hamlet feelings after his mother got married to his uncle only two months of his father’s death. He feels disappointed of his mother and all women as he say:

Let me not think on’t —Farilty ,thy name is woman—“(I.ii.145)

Besides, he now hates women which makes him change his way of treating them like Ophelia when he refuses to marry her by saying:

If thou dost marry ,I’ll give thee this plague ——– if thou

Wilt needs marry ,marry afool ;for wise men know well enough what

Monsters you make of them”(III.i,135-137)

Because Hamlet shows Ophelia his madness that makes her lose hope of marrying the one she loves so much and later that leads her to the tragic death.

The theme of relation is the most important theme of the play because it shows us the reality of the all characters. This theme is very clear in the play through many scenes. The first one is the relation between Hamlet and Ophelia at the beginning he loves her so much that is obvious in (II.ii,121) in Hamlet’s letter to her. He writes that “I love thee best”. This is the first time Hamlet admits his feelings for Ophelia, yet after he becomes mad , his speech and actions lead to Ophelia’s madness and pitiful death near the end of the play. In the play the relation between Hamlet and Ophelia is pathetic. After Hamlet cruelly kill[S] Ophelia’s father she becomes mad and suicidal because of her father’s sudden death and Hamlet subsequent exile. The second side of relations is in the relation between Hamlet and his friends. In this side, there is comparison between the relationship between Hamlet and Horatio and that of Hamlet with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. First, the relation between Hamlet and Horatio begins after Hamlet’s depression over his father’s death and his mother’s incestuous marriage with his father’s brother. This causes Hamlet to seek counsel in his friendship with Horatio because of his loyalty and good qualities. That’s clear in many events throughout the play. The scene where Hamlet chases after the ghost of his father, Horatio does not wish that Hamlet’s interest in the ghost that will cause him any harm by supernatural elements. It is evident that the friendship between the two characters is well established. In addition, Horatio’s resolute swearing of silence about the matter of King Hamlet’s ghost is an indication that he is a close friend to Hamlet. In contrast, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern change their loyal to Claudius to seek prestige, demonstrating that they are not true friends to Hamlet. As a result, Hamlet shows his respect for their loyalty when he changes the letter they carry ordering his death to order the death of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern themselves. Hamlet values Horatio and considers him as a friend that he can trusted and someone to confide in. The third side of relation in this play is the strange relation between Hamlet and his mother. It is a complicated one and is somewhat open to interpretation. In act 1, sc,2 Hamlet and his mother are close enough that he can insinuate insult her whereas in act 2,sc,2 Gertrude says that she feels the reason for Hamlet’s recent odd behavior is her hasty marriage to Claudius, indicating that due to the closeness of the relationship she had with Hamlet, she knows that the marriage upset Hamlet. Later, in act 3, sc.4 when Hamlet goes to see his mother after the play and Claudius’s guilty reaction to it, the words exchange between the two of them further suggest that there is a close relationship between Gertrude and Hamlet. That’s leads to the end of this scene and the two are reconciled and Gertrude asks Hamlet for an advice as to what action she should take in order to help Hamlet to take his revenge. The final side of relation in the play is the relationship between Hamlet and The King. It is a very ambiguous relation because both of them want to kill each other. The king wants to kill Hamlet indirectly by sending him to England and he orders the King of England to kill him immediately. Whereas Hamlet waits the perfect chance to kill his uncle and fulfill his task, the revenge.

All these events show us how the relation between Hamlet and other characters help him to discover the reality of each character.

Many critics frequently argue the madness of Hamlet. It’s difficult to label Hamlet as either sane or insane, especially when he implies to Horatio that he would only act mad. However, there many reasons that can lead him to a mental breakdown, including betrayal , deceit and murder. Much of Hamlet’s madness come from the fact that his father is murdered by his uncle ,who then takes his queen and crown. Another reason why many believe he is sane is displayed in the opening acts where Hamlet is not the only character who can see the ghost. Also at the end of the play Hamlet orders Horatio to stay alive to tell his story to others. To say that he is a sane person who wants to avenge his father’s murder. On the other hand, the death of his father is a complete setback to his nobility. That alone can cause a person to go insane, and that is why so many critics believe he is insane.

I think that Hamlet is a sane person, because at the end of the play he wants to tell the whole world that betrayal does not come only from strangers it also comes from relatives.

Works Cited

Shakespear, William. Hamlet.York Press,Place Riad Solh,Beirut ,1992.

“Hamlet’s character Trails” Study World.


Shakespear%5C Hamlet’s _character_ Trails>[May2009]

“The sane Hamlet.” 123helpme. <http://www.123helpme.com/search,asp&gt; [Marsh 2009]

“A character analysis of Hamlet from Shakespeare’s play Hamlet”

Academon. http://www.academon.com/lib/paper/62355.html [

May 2009]

“Hamlet insane essays “Megaessays.


[Jun  2009]

The Duality of Nancy’s Character in Oliver Twist

by Alaa’ M. Al. Dhahiri

Nancy is one of the Charles Dickens’s characters in Oliver Twist. The author of the novel, Charles Dickens shows that Nancy has a mixed character . This is shown clearly in the scene when she goes to the police station to look for Oliver. Mr. Fagin sends her to ask about him ,so she dresses in nice clothing and in the police station she pretends to be Oliver’s distraught sister. she gathers information and returns back to her gang. When Mr. Brownlow sends Oliver on the errand suddenly , Nancy appears. She tells everyone in the street that Oliver is her run away brother who joins a band of thieves , and she wants to take him back home to their parents. When they arrive to Fagin’s residence , Fagin , Dodger and Charley laugh hysterically at the fancy clothing Oliver wears. Oliver calls for help. Nancy leaps to Oliver’s deference , saying that they ruined all his good prospects . Fagin tries to beat Oliver for his escape attempt, but Nancy flies at Fagin in rage. Sikes catches her by the wrists , and she faints .This complex scene shows that Nancy has two sides in her personality , good and bad. The duality of Nancy’s character makes her one of the most complicated characterin Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist.

We are introduced to Nancy at the beginning of the novel as ”prostitute, crude, and with questionable morals”. Nancy is, on the other hand, loyal to Fagin and Sikes, for which she pays her life (gradesaver ). She must have started when she was five. And so now, twelve years later, she is seventeen. Awfully young to be as jaded as she is, do not you think? She tells Rose later that she is younger than she looks, though “old in sin”.

she acts as they want . They always order her and she obeys them .

The badness of Nancy’s character toward Oliver happens many times. First, when she takes him to Sikes’s house in order to share Sikes in a house robbery, despite her earlier protests against trapping Oliver in life of crime . She takes him although she does not want to trap him but she does it for her master, Fagin. Dickens prove that she is loyal to her gang.”Nancy in such situation always laughs hysterically because she can not do any thing else. He describes her actions as a perceptive observer might view them “(shmoop).

For example, when Sikes tries to get her to stop taking Oliver’s side, he says:Do you know who you are, and what you are?” “Oh, yes, I know all about it,” replies the girl ,laughing hysterically, and shaking her head from side to side with a poor assumption of indifference” (shmoop 1.16.75-76- ). When Fagin treats Oliver badly , She jumps to Oliver’s defense, and when he starts to beat him, and seems to feel conflicted and guilty about her own role in bringing him there.

As for negative side in her character, she betrays her gang to help Oliver .This may be considered as a right action toward Oliver but in fact, it is betraying. She goes to visit Rose Maylie, and entrusts her with the information, but only after asking Rose to promise never to use the information to have Fagin, Sikes, or any other member of the gang arrested. She begs Mr. Brownlow and Miss Rose to ensure that none of her associates gets in trouble because of her choice to help Oliver.

This is considered to be a good action toward her gang but in fact, she hides the information of a dangerous gang and she also refuses the offer of a safe place far away from a criminal life . Although , “Rose offers her a comfortable home far away from London, Nancy refuses – she’s too in love with Sikes and can’t leave him, even though he’s terrible to her” (shmoop).

She does not want to trap her friends specially Sikes because she loves him very much . Nancy seems to be waved between good and evil .This fighting leads her to her tragic end. Dickens is showing that Christianity is the way to overcome evil.Nancy has great faith and this makes her take a decision to help Oliver to overcome evil.

The question which is arouse here in this novel “whether a bad environment can irrevocably poison someone’s character and soul. As the novel progresses, the character who best illustrates the contradictory issues brought up by that question is Nancy. As a child of the streets, Nancy has been a thief and drinks to excess. The narrator’s reference to her “free and agreeable . . . manners” indicates that she is a prostitute. She is immersed in the vices condemned by her society, but she also commits perhaps the most noble act in the novel when she sacrifices her own life in order to protect Oliver”(sparknotes).

Nancy‘s choice to help Oliver proves that her human nature is basically good. The analysis of her character ,” Nancy’s moral complexity is unique among the major characters in Oliver Twist. The novel is full of characters who are all good and can barely comprehend evil, such as Oliver, Rose, and Brownlow; and characters who are all evil and can barely comprehend good such as Fagin, Sikes, and Monks. Only Nancy comprehends and is capable of both good and evil. Her ultimate choice to do good at a great personal cost is a strong argument of basic goodness, no matter how many environmental obstacles she may face. Nancy’s character suggests that the boundary between virtue and vice is not always clearly drawn”(sparknotes).

As the positive side for her character, she really wants to help Oliver to run away from Fagin’s gang ,even when she gives Mr. Brownlow and Miss Rose information about what Monks and Fagin intend to do with the poor boy . She also defends him many times especially when Fagin prisons him in the jail cell.

Nancy refuses to take money from Mr. Brownlow and Miss Rose as a reward . This action reflects that Nancy is not a material woman because she dose not care

of taking money as a reward for the information which she gives them. Also when she asks them to promise her not to trap her gang in trouble .

The tragic end to Nancy shows that “Nancy’s love for Sikes exemplifies the moral ambiguity of her character. As she herself points out to Rose, devotion to a man can be “a comfort and a pride” under the right circumstances. But for Nancy, such devotion is “a new means of violence and suffering”—indeed, her relationship with Sikes leads her to criminal acts for his sake and eventually to her own demise. The same behaviour, in different circumstances, can have very different consequences and moral significance. In much of Oliver Twist, morality and nobility are black-and-white issues” (sparknotes). She tells Rose that it is at the end of their first meeting. She explains and declares her feeling and intentions, saying:

When such as me, who have no certain roof but the coffin-lid, and no friend in sickness or death but the hospital nurse, set our rotten hearts on any man, and let him fill the place that parents, home, and friends filled once, or that has been a blank through all our wretched lives, who can hope to cure us?” (3.4.103- shmoop).

Nancy‘s intention to champion the right and the good lead her to a tragic end .

When the person that she really loves him kills her without any reasonable purpose. Another view that suggests what happens to her is a result of her choice to rescue Oliver “When Nancy makes contact with the world of conventional behaviour as represented by Rose and Brownlow, she judges that she has taken the path of error that must inevitably lead to destruction. Convinced that she is so caught up in the thickets of evil that no amount of good intentions or effort could help her anymore, Nancy is a lamentable example of human waste. Dickens has set her as an example of a basically good person who has drifted so far from honest ways that no return is possible” (cliffsnotes). Some views suggest that she takes the wrong path which leads to her death .On other hand, some views suggest that may be it rests her tired soul.

When Nancy is young ,she takes the wrong path by joining to Fagin’s gang ,but she has reasons to enjoy with them” Many contemporaries may have recognized the portrait of Nancy, driven into prostitution by poverty but retaining her essential feminine compassion. The idea that prostitution may have an economic root is less popular than the idea of seduction or degeneracy but it gains ground due to writers such as Mayhew and Acton who are more inclined to listen to the views of the working women themselves. William Acton in 1870, in Prostitution, considered in its Moral, Social and Sanitary Aspects, recommended studying the, ‘habits, the wants, the tendencies and the careers of these women’ (Acton, p.3). Acton blames the fall in wages for the rise in prostitution, ‘the wages of working men, wherever they compete with female labor, are lowered by the flood of cheap and agile hands, until marriage and a family are an almost impossible luxury….the famished worker….takes virtue itself to market” (Acton, p.5-victorianweb).

At the end of the novel , readers think that Nancy is one of the most important and complicated character in Oliver Twist” Despite being a relatively minor character, she has a very important role to play – she’s the source of the information about the plot between Monks and Fagin to ensnare Oliver” (shmoop).

Nancy refuses the offers that Rose and MR. Brownlow offered her to take her away to a safe place .That decision led her to her tragic end .
Actually, Nancy is considered the most complicated character in Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist . Actually, she has a mixed character because she has two sides: Positive and negative.

Works Cited

“Characters analysis,Nancy”cliffsnotes.28-3-2009

<http://www. cliffisnotes.com/ WileyCDA/LitNote/Oliver-Twist-Character-Analysis-Nancy.id-104, pages,Num-675html>.

“Close read the scene where Nancy and Rose meet for the first time in the chapter40.

How does this scene show the precarious position of women in Dickens’s time

Gradesaver. 23-6-2009 <http://www.gradesaver.com/oliver-twist/study-guide/


“Loyalty, and the lack thereof, comes up often in the novel .How does Dickens portray this trait”

Gradesaver. 26-6-2003

<http://www.gradesaver.com/oliver twist/study-guide/essay-questions>.

“Nancy and Bet” Victorian Web.28-3-2009

<http://www.victorianweb. org/author dickens/rogers/6.htm>.

“Nancy”. Spark Notes.26-3-2009 <http://www.sparknotes.com/let/oliver/analysis.html&gt;.


<http://www.shvonng.com/book/1688 168-important-

characters-oliver-twist >.

“Nancy’s character.” Shmoop.13-6-2009


MLA Citation Generator

May 24, 2009

This website may save your time as you write your works cited.



May 20, 2009

Step by step instructions for formatting MLA papers: http://jerz.setonhill.edu/writing/academic/mla_style.html

useful websites:



A nice video teaching how to set you research according to MLA format:


MLA Citation Style for Works Cited: http://www.liu.edu/cwis/cwp/library/workshop/citmla.htm

An Application

May 14, 2009

We will need to use this application for next week’s class. If you couldn’t get your copy from the photocopying center, you can download it from here. Print it and bring it to class, please.



  • Talk over the subject with a friend or tutor.
  • Force yourself to write down something, however poorly worded, that approximates your thought (you can revise this later) and go on with the next idea.
  • assure yourself that the first draft doesn’t have to be a work of genius, it is something to work with.
  • Write down all the primary ideas you’d like to express and then fill in each with the smaller ideas that make up each primary idea.
  • Break the task up into steps. Meet the general purpose first, and then flesh out the more specific aspects later.
  • Talk to a tutor about how you can personalize a topic to make it more interesting
  • Resign yourself to the fact that you have to write
  • Find out what is expected of you (consult a teacher, textbook, student, tutor, or project coordinator)
  • Consciously stop the non-productive comments running through your head by replacing them with productive ones.
  • Stretch! If you can’t stand up, stretch as many muscle groups as possible while staying seated.
  • Try tensing and releasing various muscle groups. Starting from your toes, tense up for perhaps five to ten seconds and then let go. Relax and then go on to another muscle group.
  • Breathe deeply. Close your eyes; then, fill your chest cavity slowly by taking four of five short deep breaths. Hold each breath until it hurts, and then let it out slowly.
  • Use a calming word or mental image to focus on while relaxing. If you choose a word, be careful not to use an imperative. Don’t command yourself to “Calm down!” or “Relax!”

For more tips, read: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/567/02/