Charles Dickens writes about the lower classes and the activities in the underbelly of London society.We see some characters doing illegal,nasty and sometimes horrifying things,yet Dickens is careful to give at least some of these lower-class characters a code of ethics ,adding realism and respectability.The character that perhaps best embodies such a code of ethics is Nancy,and looking closely at her scenes can lend great insight into our reading of Oliver Twist:
Th e Jew infl icted a smart blow on Oliver’s shoulders, with the club; and was raising it for a second, when the girl, rushing forward, wrested it from his hand. She fl ung it into the fi re, with a force that brought some of the glowing coals whirling out into the room.
“I won’t stand by and see it done, Fagin,” cried the girl. “You’ve got the boy, and what more would you have?—Let him be—let him be—or
I shall put that mark on some of you, that will bring me to the gallows before my time.”
. . . Th e girl laughed again: even less composedly than before; and, darting a hasty look at Sikes, turned her face aside, and bit her lip until the blood came.
“You’re a nice one,” added Sikes, as he surveyed her with a contemptuous air, “to take up the humane and gen-teel side! A