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更新时间:2010-4-29:  来源:毕业论文

Promoting the Goodness in Oliver Twist by Analyzing the CharactersAbstractDickens is one of the founders of critical realism in the 19th century. Oliver Twist is one of his masterpieces. The great of Dickens lies in the fact that he creates several vivid and lively characters of different personalities. But the most well-known and successful thing is that he created the typical and symbolic characters, such as the good and honest Oliver, he is born a person of morality who know how to thank others for their helps; as for the character of Fagin who is of the quality of craftiness, ferocity and miserliness, at last, he was given a capital punishment which he rightly deserved; and the character of Nancy is of the quality of kindness which is reflected on her evil, the most complex character Nancy fell into the hands of thieves’ den for the living and the persistent love affair, but she herself has the tendency to become a kind-hearted person. All these characters make a strong impression on the readers. This paper attempts to analyze the different personalities of these characters and deeply research the intentions of creating these characters. Finally, the author indicates that the kindness is the indispensable part of the human nature, and only a person is consistently kind can he gain the happiness.

  Key wordsOliver; Nancy; Fagin; character; goodness

  人性善的讴歌——析《雾都孤儿》中的人物性格摘 要狄更斯是19世纪批判现实主义的奠基者。《雾都孤儿》即为其强有力的代表。狄更斯的伟大之处在于他在这本小说中创作了不同性格的人物,刻画得栩栩如生,形象逼真。但是最成功之处还是在于他刻画的善良的主人公奥立弗,邪恶中透着善良的女贼南茜和吝啬凶残的代表费金。奥立弗天生就是一个有道德的人,懂得知恩图报;南茜因为生活所迫和对爱情的执着,使她堕入贼窟,但她本人却有着向善的心;以及阴险狡诈的费金。本文旨在分析这些人物的性格,深入挖掘作者的创作意图,最后得出善良是人性中不可或缺的一部分。只有始终如一的坚持善良的品性,才能得到幸福。

  关键词奥立弗; 南茜; 费金; 性格; 善

  IntroductionCharles Dickens, one of the most famous writers, is the founder of critical realistic literature in the 19th century. Most of his works all belong to the literary masterpieces at home and abroad, which have the far-reaching influence upon the literature. The age he lived was the rising period of English capitalism. The transformation and the development of the society provided rich materials for his writing. Dickens wrote many works, connecting his miserable experiences with the capitalist society. In that period, Dickens was “the classics known by everyone” and “the symbol of the mythic nationalism”, which was described by the modern literature critic, Phil Collins.

  On February 7, 1812, Dickens was born in a poor family in the south of England. Dickens had to make a living independently at the age of ten. He worked as an apprentice in a shoeshine workshop. Dickens became an accomplished person mainly through self-study. At 16, Dickens worked for a lawyer’s office as an articled clerk, then he mastered the skills of shorthand, he worked as a reporter in a newspaper office. From 1828 to 1836, he wrote many manuscripts for several newspaper offices in London, meanwhile, he insisted on going to the British Museum to study by means of self-study. At 25, he has published the works Sketches by Boz and The Pickwick Pappers, which made him become famous overnight. In the following 34 years, his success as a novelist continued, producing Oliver Twist (1837-39), Nicholas Nickleby (1838-39), The Old Curiocity Shop, Dombey and Sor (1848), David Copperfield (1849-50), Hard Times (1854) and A Tale of Two Cities (1859) and so on. In addition, he wrote many other works, such as novellas, the short stories, satirical essays, plays and comments. He passed away on June, 7, 1870 and was laid to rest in the Poets’ Corner of Westminster Abbey.

  A kaleidoscopic world about the capitalist society of England was fully exposed in the novels of Dickens in the 19th century. The works of other temporary writers in the same time can not be matched with that of Dickens. The works of Dickens with vivid imagery greatly appeal to readers. Aside from the traditional rules, Dickens mainly described darkness of society and “the typical little figures” that came from the bottom of the society in the 19th century in England. In his works, we can clearly see that Dickens showed his deep sympathy to the tragic experiences and the misfortune of the poor. In addition, it deeply reviewed the ugly masks of the greedy and hypocritical capitalists and various horrors and violence hidden underneath the narrow and dirty streets in London. Dickens sincerely hoped that everyone can live in a bright society, in which everyone was equally respected and cared for each other. His novels not only have the far-reaching social influence, but also have the great artistic value, which was greatly received by the people abroad and at home.

  Dickens takes the relationship between good and evil as the main device to reflect the value of requirements in the community between people, which puts forward the code of ethics the people should follow. Dickens believes that moral education can lead people to be kind and strenuous, change people’s status and improve people’s life. In his novels, a large number of features are created, especially the image of many orphans, through which people can feel the strength of moral.

  Oliver Twist is one of the most important social novels in Dickens’ early works. It concentrates on the hard years of an orphan, Oliver Twist, who was against the criminal world of London. It is the first novel that readers are led to a very sad world.

  Oliver was a ten years old boy. He was born in the workhouse. Orphaned almost from his first breath by his mother’s death in childbirth and his father’s unexplained absence, Oliver was meagerly provided for under the terms of the Poor Law. He lived in this workhouse for nine years. As he “asked for more”, the workhouse authorities were so surprised that they decided to take on the boy as an apprentice. Then, Oliver became an apprentice in a coffin shop which undertook the funeral. Against that social background, he could not endure the master’s maltreatment and unfairness and he decided to escape to London. Though there were many difficulties and frustrations, he reached London finally. Unfortunately, Oliver met with a criminal gang. They were all good at thieving. The leader was a cold Jew called Fagin. Sikes and Nancy were the little leaders. Accidentally, he was saved by a gentleman, Mr. Brownlow (Finally, Oliver found Mr. Brownlow was his father’s good friend). Oliver felt very happy when he lived here, because Mr. Brownlow took good care of him. However, Oliver had to go back to the London’s underworld because of Fagin’s trick. At that time, Monks, Oliver’s brother, appeared. He wanted to get all of Oliver’s inheritance and revenged his father. He bribed Fagin with a great amount of money and plotted with him to damage Oliver’s reputation. This terrible trick was overheard by Nancy. Though she was not enough brave to get rid of the robbers, she sympathized with Oliver’s fate. She decided to tell Mr. Brownlow about the thieves’ trick and Oliver’s innocence. Finally, Oliver got himself his inheritance with the help of Mr. Brownlow. Fagin was arrested and condemned to the gallows. Nancy, the unlucky girl, was murdered by her lover.

  Oliver Twist was famous for exposing the dark sides of people lived that time. It exposed the hypocritical and cruelty of parish workhouse through depicting the little orphan boy Oliver Twist’s childhood in it. He gave realistic pictures of the horrible existence in workhouse. One of the important characteristics of Oliver Twist was the real and specific description of people who lived in the bottom of society. Their miserable lives, gave the readers a real feeling: these were fictions. Also, it was the first time that many small potatoes appeared in English literature.

  Many researches have studied on this field in China. Zhu Jiang attempts to probe into the ideological significance and artistic features of two children images described by Charles Dickens which reflect the distinct characteristic of critical realism in his works. Wen Shengfang and Yuan Xiaodong mainly analyze the relationship between Nancy’s choices and her personalities from the important choices in her life. Nancy wants to be a kind and honest person; she has no choice but to steal other people’s things to earn her living. Obviously, Nancy yearns for a bright and good life, but the family background decides that she could not have a bright life at all during that period. All of these are the reasons of her fate and the feudal hierarchy. The last reason that but can not be ignored is that she insists on her meaningless love affair, which she pays for the price of her life. Chen Yin expresses the argument: Dickens’ works reveal profoundly social environment of British capitalism in the 19th century. Through the analysis of the thought of Dickens’ novels from three aspects: criticism of reality, promotion of morals and exploration of human nature. Lai Qiaolin mainly analyzes the following points in her essay when she discusses the limitations of Dickens ideas—The disdain to the Jew and the praise to the capitalist class, reflecting on the personalities and behaviors.

  The researches of this area have received the fruitful achievements, though many problems still exist. The author digs out the new points based on the forefathers’ major findings. Various kinds of characters are created in the works which all have bright and distinctive characteristics. All these images are all clearly reflected in Dickens’s writing, for example, Fagin is a past master of machination and maneuver, the inner heart of the evil Nancy is not so bad; Sikes is very brutal; Oliver is distinctively kind. They are all the vivid images in the work. This paper aims to discuss the importance of kindness for people’s lives by briefly analyzing the characters in Oliver Twist. People have been advocating that people should be kind to all other things since the ancient times. But nowadays, kindness means being foolish in many people’s eyes to some extent. Just like an old Chinese saying, “get no thanks for one’s good intentions”. But in fact, only kind people can know the value of kindness. People can acquire happiness from kindness. And there is no other thing that is more valuable than happiness in people’s life.

  The essay is composed of three parts. The first part mainly analyzes the characteristics of the main hero Oliver Twist; the second part presents the main characteristics of Nancy; the last part mainly discusses the characteristics of Fagin. At last, through the comparison of their own characteristics, the paper presents the nature of goodness is one of the most necessary character for a whole person.

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