TASK: Analyse the presentation of Bill Sykes in the novel `Oliver
Twist`. You should refer to aspects such as the author's viewpoint,
language and the social and historical context.
When Charles Dickens' wrote his novel `Oliver Twist` he first put pen
to paper around 1830's and eventually completed the classic towards
the later end of the decade.
The resulting book was compiled from chapters produced as instalments
in one or more magazines. This proved to provide a more constant and
reliable source of income due to the fact that he would be paid for
every story, no-matter how many copies he sold, and if the stories
were successful a novel could come out of it. This reflects on
Dickens' poorer childhood, and also his plain common sense.
In composing the story, alongside writing for money, Dickens attempted
to highlight the ever-growing socio-economic pressures and victims of
life in Victorian England's worse off communes. He managed to show his
feelings even though the story was written as if vocalised by a
seemingly unbiased narrative speaker. In theory the impartial
storyteller would relate and objective report presenting the events of
the tale as if an omniscient character, but one that is never referred
to. However he inserts strong emotive language into the storyline so
as to influence your views, in effect telling you what you MUST think
of the characters or situations. This he uses with great regularity
when describing the villain Bill Sykes.
Sykes is one of the pivotal characters, possibly the single m...
... middle of paper ...
...aking us full circle.
The last two paragraphs reveal to us the link between Bulls-eye and
Nancy, in that they are both loyal until the end, no matter what Sykes
THINKS they have done. The fact that they both die because of this
loyalty is one last reminder of what it is to love a man so evil.
The fact that Sikes dies hanging from the gallows is symbolic of
justice being done, but also the idea that HE killed himself, a
suicide nearly, prompted by the memory of the dead Nancy.
Sikes has proved to be evil, heartless and cruel, but the
circumstances of his death make you wonder whether he has a
conscience. Dickens' excellent use of a varied vocabulary prove to
keep you "on the edge of your seats" whilst drilling into your brain
how evil Sikes is, and how wrong it is that women are so unjustly
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