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Multiple Personality Disorder

16 Dec

OK, so we all know that Fagin is nasty man.   He ruins the lives of children for monetary gain.   Even the pictures in my book make me want to hate him.

So, I was confused at the end of Chapter 19 when Fagin sees a sleeping Oliver looking like death warmed over (only Dickens puts this much more beautifully) and decides to put off burdening him with new troubles until a new day, going softly away so as not to disturb him.   Then, at the beginning of Chapter 20, he takes the time to warn Oliver about Sikes before their journey.   Both of these actions seem rather unlike the Fagin we know.   Is he having a change of heart?   Will his character change?   Is Dickens trying to show us that even the most hardened criminals have a heart buried somewhere deep inside?

OK, readers – help me out.

 

 

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2 Comments

Posted by on December 16, 2011 in The Blog

 

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2 responses to “Multiple Personality Disorder

  1. Christina

    December 16, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    I don’t have a definitive answer, but here are some thoughts, which may, or may not make sense:
    a) I think part of Oliver’s appeal to Fagin is that he has such an innocent countenance that he is valuable at gaining the trust of possible marks. Maybe his lovable nature is so strong that even Fagin can’t resist.
    b) Dickens is writing some of the most three dimensional characters we have yet read. He shows them to be not all bad, or all good, but certainly having depth of character and emotional idiosyncrasies.
    c) Dickens is also showing us almost different levels of evil, and Fagin’s soft spots for Oliver, like Nancy’s, may be revealing to us that he is no Monks or Sikes.

     

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