1. How do you stand on the debate the author of this article sets up between those who appreciate a strict demarcationóalmost a pure dichotomyóbetween bad and good characters in Oliver Twist and those who prefer more nuanced, some might say modern, characterizations in which people are portrayed as a mixture of the two or as morally perplexed?
2. Having read Oliver Twist, how do you stand on the statement by the critic who uses William Blake’s statement about John Milton’s seemingly strong attraction to his Satan in Paradise Lost to suggest that Dickens, too, is, “of the Devil’s party without knowing it”?
3. Do you see the character of Rose in this novel as “colorless” and Nancy as just “scarcely less” so? Explain.
4. In Oliver Twist, to what extent do you think Victorian mores restrain Dickens’s ability to convey characters realistically and thus weaken the novel?
5. Some critics argue that Dickens engages too little with the social realities of his day. Explain whether you deem Oliver Twist’s, coverage of Victorian society as effective, or as deficient due to Dickens’s decision to not critique certain social injustices.
Last modified 8 November 2017