Monday, February 28, 2011

Oliver Twist Final Thoughts

I finally finished the last section last night.  This section definitely had a quicker pace.  The stories moved along rapidly.  Once everything was set in motion, I was surprised by how quickly everything was resolved.

There was a happy ending for the "good guys," and justice was served for the "bad guys," but one particular ending made me sad.  I really loved Nancy for her courage in doing what she thought was right.  She knew the risks, but in her heart she was selfless in her help to Oliver.  That she felt trapped in her way of life, broke my heart.  Her loyalty to Sikes was admirable (in theory) but didn't end well for her.

Overall?  It was interesting to see how each character's story was resolved.  I still didn't really get pulled into this one emotionally.  Oliver Twist was a nice kid and all, but he wasn't very charismatic.  The characters that made this memorable were all of the minor characters--particularly the horrible ones.

I'm still a lover of Dickens.  Although this one was a bit lukewarm for me, I still love his writing and his unforgettable characters.  I don't think this is one that I will revisit, but I'm glad that I read it.


  1. Yes, I never get drawn in to Dickens. He's a master of character creation, and I enjoyed GE, but he still doesn't enamour me.

    Doubt I would ever read this one. I started Curiosity Shop, but have put it down. Will pick it up again.

    Glad you enjoyed it.

  2. Monica--Sorry Dickens doesn't do it for you. This was definitely my least favorite of his books. I'm going to read David Copperfield at the end of the year. We'll see how it goes.

    I'm curious. What didn't you like about The Old Curiosity Shop? I haven't read it nor have I heard much about it.

  3. Oliver was almost a little too perfect for me. I'm glad things turned out well for him and all, but it's hard to stay interested when he is portrayed as a saint.

    I agree with you about Nancy. She was probably the most interesting character in the whole book. I was particularly riveted by the scene of Sikes' demise. I couldn't tear myself away. Morbid, I know, but I had to find out what would happen.

  4. I read in an essay that Dickens was most affected by Nancy's death, and that he often chose to read that particular scene aloud to audiences.

    Also, I completely agree that the minor characters, particularly the evil ones, were more interesting than Oliver. The Artful Dodger is my favorite. :)

  5. Katy F--I did have a difficult time with Oliver's portrayal. I think every character should have faults because all people in reality do.

    Darlyn--The Artful Dodger was a pretty interesting character. Nancy's death scene was so horrific, but well written. I could imagine it being interesting listening to Dickens read it aloud.