Uploaded by JarJarBinks on Jul 05, 2004
Oliver Twist, a poor, innocent orphan boy, stands out in this story as the main character but it is the supporting characters that allow this novel of much content to develop a much more satisfying and believable theme. With "Good V.S. Evil" as one of the major conflicts, in such categories are the secondary characters found as well. Three main auxiliary characters of Oliver Twist aid the elaboration of the story; these significant characters are Mr. Brownlow representing purity, integrity and goodness, Nancy as partially righteous, partially villain and lastly on the other extreme of the scale: Fagin, the symbol of evil, corruption and manipulation. Throughout the story we are introduced to each of these characters through an omniscient point of view, and are able to categorize them according to their personalities, thoughts and actions. With their differing levels of honesty and social status, each of them play a crucial role in the development of the story's theme.
As most of the author's characters, Mr. Brownlow too, is brought out with an indirect presentation but it is not long after introducing him that his wholesome goodness is revealed to us. Though at first he accuses Oliver of thieving, his concern over Oliver's welfare on the street is a direct hint of his innocence which successfully helps him convince Oliver to board at his house. A generous and trusting man he was, perhaps too good a man to be true; but with all the malicious characters in the story, a heroic and pure persona was needed to ensure a happy ending. With honesty and great wealth as his prime qualities, he assists Oliver in his times of need and demonstrates to society with an exemplary touch, the attributes of a perfect citizen. As the positive extreme in both social status and benevolence, Mr. Brownlow is a definite aid in the development of the theme throughout the novel. Nancy, for us, must be the weakest character. Trapped between wanting to help Oliver evade Fagin's exploitation and her dedicated love for Sikes; she fails to survive to the end as she is convicted and ironically murdered by her own husband : Sikes, a brutal and abusive man. But there is a great need for this secondary character in the story, she serves not only as a tie between the scenes at the different house holds but as well she is the only hope...