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Catherine's dilemma between love and marriage in Wuthering Heights ——The Psychoanalysis of love triangle relationship with Freud‟s theory of personality


Wuthering Heights tells a story of superhuman love and revenge enacted on the English moors. In this thesis, an attempt is made to analyze the love triangle relationship which leads to Catherine's dilemma between love and marriage in Wuthering Heights by virtue of Freud‟s theory of personality.

Key words:

Wuthering Heights Freud‟s theory of personality love triangle relationship

In Catherine's heart she knows what is right, but chooses what is wrong. It is her wrong decision that pushes her into the inextricable

[LunWenJia.Com]dilemma between her love and marriage; it is her wrong choice that plunges the two families into chaos. In the mind, she is truly out of her way.

According to Sigmund Freud(1856—1939), the structure of the mind or

personality consists three portions: the id, the ego, and the superego.“The id, which is the reservoir of biological impulses, constitutes the entire personality of the infant at birth. Its principle of operation, to guard the person from painful tension, is termed the pleasure principle. Inevitable frustrations of the id, together with what the child learns from his encounters with external reality, generate the ego, which is essentially a mechanism to minimize frustrations of the biological drives in the long run. It operates according to the reality principle … [LunWenNet.Com]The superego comprises the conscience, a

partly conscious system of introjected moral inhibitions, and the ego-ideal, the source of the individual's standards for his own behavior. Like external reality, from which it derives, the superego often presents obstacles to the satisfaction of biological drives.”“In the mentally healthy person, these three systems form a unified and harmon

ious organization. Conversely, when the three systems of personality are at odds with one another the person is said to be maladjusted.” Here Catherine's

tragic psychological process may be well illustrated by Freudian psychoanalysis.

“I cannot express it; but surely you and everybody have a notion that there is, or should be, an existence of yours beyond you. What were the use of my creation, if I were entirely contained here,” Catherine's strange words reflect

that the intelligent Emily Bronte had been earlier pondering over a same question in her work. What on earth is“the existence of Catherine's beyond Catherine”,

Here we may believe that Heathcliff stands for Catherine's instinctual nature and the strongest desire—her “id” in the depths of her soul; Edgar, her ideal

“superego”, represents another part of her personality: the well-bred

gracefulness and the superiority of a wealthy family; and she, herself is the “ego” tortured by the friction between the two in the disharmonious situation.

In the light of Freud's theory of personality, “the superego is the representation in the personality of the traditional values and ideals of society as they are handed down from parents to children.” Catherine's choice of Edgar as her

husband is to satisfy her ideal “superego” to get wealth and high social position, which are the symbol of her class, on the basis of the education by her family and reality from her early childhood. She is a Miss of a noble family with a long history of about three hundred years. only the marriage well-matched in social and economic status could be a satisfaction for all: her family, the society and even her practical self. “It would degrade me to many Heathcliff now ... if

Heathcliff and I married, we should be beggars,” This is her actual worry for

her future. Catherine yields to the pressure from her brother, and alike, in truth, she is yielding to the moral rules of society, without the approval and identification of which, she could not live a better life or even exist i n it at all.

However, Catherine underestimates what her other more intrinsic self would have effect on her. The most remarkable claim by Catherine herself may be the best convincing evidence to distinguish the different roles of Heathcliff and Edgar—her “id” and her “superego”:

“My great miseries in this world have been Heathcliff's miseries, and I watched and felt each from the beginning: my great thought in living is himself. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else perished, and he was annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it. My love for Linton is like foliage in the woods: time will change it. I'm well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I'm Heathcliff! He's always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure and more than I am always a pleasure to me, but as my own being. So don't talk of our separation again: it is impracticable.”

It was a happy thought to make her love the kind, wealthy, weak, elegant Edgar, yet in submission to her superego to oppose against her id, she would fall into a loss of the self. Since the id is the most primitive basis of personality, and the ego is formed out of the id, Catherine's life depends wholly on Heathcliff, as the whole connotation and truth of her life in the cosmic world, for its existence and further more for the significance of her existence. Heathcliff is the most necessary part of her being. She marries Edgar, but Heathcliff still clutches her soul in his passionate embrace. Although she is a bit ashamed of her early playmate, she loves him with a passionate abandonment that sets culture, education, the world at defiance. Catherine's wrong choice for marriage violates her inner desires. The choice is a victory for self-indulgence—a sacrifice of primary to secondary things. And she pays for it.

On one hand, Catherine doesn't find the heavenly happiness she was longing for. Though as a girl “full of ambition”and “to be the greatest woman of the neighborhood” would be her pride, the enviable marriage could only flatter her vanity for a second. After her marriage, the comfortable and peaceful life in the Grange was just a monotonous and lifeless confinement of her soul. She feels chocked by the artificial and unnatural conditions in the closed Thrushcross Grange— a world in which the mind has hardened and become unalterable.“If I were in heaven, Nelly, I should be extremely miserable. ” Catherine eventually knows that the Lintons' heaven is not her ideal heaven. She and Heathcliff really possess their common heaven. Just as Catherine says,“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same; and Linton's is as different as a moonbeam from lightning, or frost from fire.”

Catherine doesn't want to live in the Lintons' heaven; on the other hand, she has lost her own paradise that she ever had with Heathcliff on the bare hard moor in their childhood. The deepest bent of her nature announces her destiny—a wanderer between the two worlds. When she is alive, she occupies a position midway between the two. She belongs in a sense to both and is constantly drawn first in Heathcliff's direction, then in Edgar's, and then in Heathcliff's again and at last she loses herself completely. Her childish illusion to use her husband's money to aid Heatllcliff to rise out of her brother's power has vanished in thin air. And her constant struggle to reconcile two irreconcilable ways of life is in vain too, which only caused more disorder in the two worlds and in herself as well.

In Freudian principles, should the ego continually fail in its task of satisfying the demands of the id, these three factors together—the painful repression of the

id's instinctual desires, the guilt conscience of revolt against the superego's

wishes, and the frustration of failure in finding outlets in the external world- would contribute to ever-increasing anxiety. The anxiety piles up and finally overwhelms the person. When this happens, the person is said to leave hallucinatory wish-fulfillment, then a nervous radical breakdown, and in the end may finish the person off. Catherine is destroyed into psychic fragmentation by the friction between the two. At the height of her Edgan-Heathcliff torment, Catherine lies delirious on the floor at the Grange. She dreams that she is back in her own old bed at Wuthering Heights “enclosed in the oak-paneled bed at home, and my heart ached with some

great grief…my misery arose from the separation that Hindley had ordered between me and Heathcliff.”Still dreaming, she t

ries to push back the panels of the oak bed, only to find herself touching the table and the carpet at the Grange:“My late anguish was swallowed in a paroxysm of despair. I cannot say why I was so wildly wretched ... and my all in all, as Heathcliff was at that time, and been converted at a stroke into Mrs. Linton...the wife of a stranger: an exile, and outcast.” She attempts to forget the lengthy days of years of life without her soul even in her temporary derangement.“Most strangely, the whole last seven years of my life grew a

blank! I did not recall that they had been at all.” Her mental and physical decay rapidly leads to the body's mortal end. She dies and seems to have none into perfect peace.

But even after her death, she is still a wandering ghost. In Chapter 3, Lockwood, the lodger in Catherine's oak-paneled bed at Wuthering Heights dreams about the little wailing ghost:

“The intense horror of nightmare came over me: I tried to draw back my arm, but the hand clung to it, and a most melancholy voice sobbed, „Let me in-Let

me in‟.„ Who are you?‟…„Catherine Linton‟, it replied, shiveringly…„I'm come home: I'd lost my way on the moor!‟…Terror made me cruel; and finding it useless to attempt shaking the creature off, I pulled its wrist on to the broken pane, and rubbed it to and fro till then blood ran down and soaked the bedclothes: still it wailed, „Let me in!‟…it is twenty years, twenty years. I've been a waif for twenty years!”

Catherine aspires to be back in her heaven even being a spirit. But leer self-deceptive decision has made her fall from her and Heathcliff's heaven full of demonic love and her never docile or submissive nature has drawn her out of her and Edgar's heaven filled with civilized emptiness in the meantime. She pushes herself into her tragedy, the endless dilemma between her love and marriage, which won't end up with her death.


1.Bronte Emily,Wuthering Heights,Beijing:Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press,London:Oxford University Press 1995 2.Freud Sigmund,Interpretation of Dreams,Beijing:Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press 2001

3.Travis Trysh,Heathcliff and Cathy,the Dysfunctional Couple,The Chronicle of Higher Education,Washington,2001

4.Steinitz Rebecca,Diaries and Displacement in Wuthering Heights,Studies in the Novel,Denton,2000


Discussion on Charles Dickens’ Humanity in Oliver Twist 从《雾都孤儿》看查尔斯狄更斯的仁慈 雾都孤儿》 摘要儿童是狄更斯小说中的一类主要人物形象,他们是维多利亚时期社会底层人 民生活的代表,本文从狄更斯的小说《雾都孤儿》中分析了他的仁慈思想,首先 文章介绍了选题研究的背景,接着分析了小说的内容梗概和《雾都孤儿》的主题 思想,在此基础上文章重点研究了狄更斯的仁爱思想在小说中的反应,最后笔者 剖析了狄更斯产生仁爱思想的原因。 希望通过本文的研究能够帮助读者更好的欣 赏这部小说。 关键词: 关键词:仁慈,原因,背景 Abstract Children were a kind of main characters appearing in Charles Dickens’ novels, and they were the representatives of people living in the bottom of society in the Victorian Period This paper analyzes Dickens’ humanity in his novel Oliver Twist It firstly introduces the research background, then analyzes the main content and the theme of Oliver Twist, and on this basis, it focuses on studying the reflection of Dickens’ humanity in the novel Finally, it analyzes the causes for Dickens’ humanity I hope the study in this paper can help readers better appreciate the novel Keywords: Humanity; Cause; Background Discussion on Charles Dickens’ Humanity in Oliver Twist 从《雾都孤儿》看查尔斯狄更斯的仁慈 雾都孤儿》 Contents I Introduction 1.1. Research Background 1.2. Writing motivation II Oliver Twist 2.1. Introduction of the Novel 211 Historical Background 212 The Main Content of the Novel 22 The Theme of the Novel III Charles Dickens’ Humanity 31 Reflection from Positive Characters 311 Oliver Twist 312 Brownlow 313 Nancy 32 Reflection from Counter-Examples 321 Fagin 322 Sikes IV. Causes of Dickens’ Humanity 41 The Backgrounds in Britain in Mid 19th Century 411 Social Background 412 English Critical Realism 42 Charles Dickens 421 Introduction 422 Family 423 Experiences in Childhood V Conclusion


On the themes of Good And Evil in Oliver Twist

摘 要



On the themes of Good And Evil in Oliver Twist


Charles Dickens is the greatest representative of English critical realism in the nineteenth century. One of Dickens’ favorite novels Oliver Twist is known all over the world for the

well-portrayed characters. In Oliver Twist, dozens of characters are well portrayed, including good and evil. This thesis analyzes some of the typical characters in the novel. First, the child hero of the novel, Oliver Twist, is good incarnation described by Dickens; Oliver possess many precious characteristics. Second, Fagin and Sikes’ evil exposes completely and arouses readers antipathy

and wrath. Finally, the complex poor character, Nancy, has conflicts between her inner conscience and her devotion to Sikes. Ultimately, she risks her life to help Oliver, which commits one of the most noble acts of kindness in the story. So the conclusion draws that Dickens believes that most people were good at heart, but at times, their good impulses could be distorted by terrible environments.

Key words: Charles Dickens; Oliver Twist; goodness; nature; evil; ferocity;Nancy


On the themes of Good And Evil in Oliver Twist

Table of Contents

Abstract ................................................................................................... i 摘 要 ..................................................................................................... ii Table of Contents ................................................................................. iii Chapter 1 Introduction………… ………………………………… … 错


Chapter 2 Character Analysis of Oliver Twist……………………… …2

2.1 Charles Dickens……………………………………………………………………… 3


Chapter 3 Analysis of OliveTwist……… ……… …… …… ……… 5

3.1 OliverTwist…………………………........................……… … …5

3.2Nancy..................................................... .......................... … ….. ...6

Chapter 4 Ananalysis of Nancy’s double character…………… … … . 9


4.2Nancy’s good…………………………………….........…………… .9

Chapter 5 Conclusions …………… …………………………………… 10

References…………………………………………………………… . ….11

Acknowledgements………………………………………………… … 12

IIIOn the themes of Good And Evil in Oliver Twist

Chapter 1 Introduction

Oliver Twist was born in a workhouse, and when he arrived in his hard world, it was very doubtful whether he would live beyond the first three minutes. Finally Oliver drew his first breath, but his mum died.

Naturely, he became a workhouse orphan. Mrs Mann frequently beat him and kept for her own use the money that she was given for the children’s food. His spirit was so strong to be probably

the reason why he managed to reach the age of nine at all.

Then he was taken a first job to make money for Mr something who was one member of the board in workhouse. He worked for the undertaker and his meal was some meat the dog left\.So lonely and afraid as he was, treated rough by two made a wicked plan to drive out Oliver. After the plan completed, he couldn’t stay there any more an managed to go to London.

Unfortunately, the friend of his was a member of criminal gang who could easily steal the people’s wealth. Fagin was the head of gang who was glad to welcome Oliver to encourage him to be petty thief. At last, one morning came when Oliver was allowed to go out to work with the two boys. Suddenly, Oliver knew the mystery of the handkerchief, the watches and the jewels. He chose to run away because of his fear. The old man suspect he was the thief and shouted loudly: "stop thief!”. Then people in the street joined in the chase with enthusiasm and soon attracted the police. The old man forgave Oliver in the police station and took him to his home. Fagin was perturbed to send the girl Nancy to find out the information of Oliver in the police station. Fagin was hateful to regain Oliver that his secret won’t be let out. He had way to send

Oliver attend to another robbery and Oliver was caught. During that time, Nancy was guilty to cheat the old man and Oliver. She furtively ran to tell the old man of the truth and was killed after her divulging a secret.

When Monks who was Oliver’s consanguineous brothers was caught by the old man’s justice

friends, the whole thing came to light. He wanted to own legacy alone so he made a deal with Fagin to let Oliver a guilty.

At last, the criminal gang was destructive, Oliver made a happy life.


On the themes of Good And Evil in Oliver Twist

Chapter 2 Character Analysis of Oliver Twist

2.1 Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, in Portsea, England. His parents were middle-class, but they suffered financially as a result of living beyond their means. At 11 years old, as his father was in debt, the family was put in a debt prison. Forced by the plight, he had become a child labor in a boot and shoe cream workshop. The miserable experience in his young mind left psychic trauma, not only his deep concern and sympathy for the unfortunate children, and prompted him to struggle to escape poverty. As a young adult, he worked as a law clerk and later as a journalist. His experience as a journalist kept him in close contact with the darker social conditions of the Industrial Revolution, and he grew disillusioned with the attempts of lawmakers to alleviate those conditions.

In 1836 he then decided to write his own stories under the name of Boz. They were called the "Pickwick Papers" which were like comics for adults. Charles would write the words and a man would draw pictures for them. They were published in cheap monthly instalments. For the first one they published only 400 copies but by the 4th they had to print40, 000! The main character Mr Pickwick served time in a debtor’s prison like Charles's Father. Within four months of publishing his first story Charles was internationally famous. After that, he created one after another works, for example, "Oliver Twist" (1838), "The Old Curiosity Shop" (1840- 1841), "Dombey and Son" (1846-1848), "David Copperfield" (1849), "Bleak House" (1852), " a Tale of Two Cities" (1854) and "Great Expectations" (1860).(Chang Yaoxin, A Survey of English

Literature, p.230)More than 20 novels and many short stories, essays, features and travel notes. Dickens successfully created many distinctive characteristics, the image of a unique character. His socially realistic novel of critical significance is not only to the British literary world a new looks, but also to the development of world literature.

With the money he earned, he was able to get married to a lady called Catherine Hogarth. Dickens had not forgotten his childhood hardships. He became famous, and had children.


On the themes of Good And Evil in Oliver Twist

Because the continued impact of past experience had an effect on his family life and his children's education. From 1837 to 1852, Dickens couple gave birth to 10 children, 9 survived. To their children, Dickens could be regarded as a strict father. He developed strict house rules and receive the help of his sister, requiring that each child must be obey orderly. For example, he always managed to find time to check whether the house was clean and tidy or not every morning. In addition, He also checks the small room furnishings, accessories are put in place. In English literature, novel is a brilliant stars peak times in nineteenth-century. In these great novelists, Dickens is a most brilliant star. Dickens had suffered a difficult childhood world, so he was sympathetic for the working class people and the most helpless children. Dickens is a prolific writer; he was depended on hard- work and talent to create a large number of classics. He is a master of humour, often use the language with humour and romance, to tell the truth of the world, so that Marx also had praise him as "an outstanding novelist.”

Oliver was born in a Workhouse, and Dickens used this novel to show how bad these places were and how they were often run by corrupt and cruel people. He is a renowned English writer all around the world. He was a critical realist of the Victorian Age. In 1837, the first installment of Oliver Twist appeared in the magazine Bentley’s Miscellany, which Dickens was then editing. It was accompanied by illustrations by George Cruikshank, which still accompany many editions of the novel today. Even at this early date, some critics accused Dickens of writing too quickly and too prolifically, since he was paid by the word for his serialized novels. Yet the passion behind Oliver Twist, animated in part by Dickens’s own childhood experiences and in part by his outrage at the living conditions of the poor that he had witnessed as a journalist, touched his contemporary readers. Greatly successful, the novel was a thinly veiled protest against the Poor Law of 1834, which dictated that all public charity must be channeled through workhouses.”

Oliver Twist is Charles Dickens second novel. The only 20-year-old writer determined to learn from the British novelist of realism painter William Hogarth(1697– 1764), who had the

courage to face life and realistically express the tragic life of the London slums. He held a high moral purpose: to protest social injustice, and to arouse public opinion, the implementation of the reform, so that the poor are in dire straits in the rescue. Because of this, Dickens has always been praised by Chinese and the former Soviet scholars as "the British literature, critical realism and


On the themes of Good And Evil in Oliver Twist

the representatives of the founder and greatest"(何文安译《雾都孤儿》).. Dickens was a lifelong

champion of the poor. He himself suffered from the harsh abuse visited upon the poor by the English legal system. In England in the 1830s, the poor truly had no voice, political or economic. In Oliver Twist, Dickens presents the everyday existence of the lowest members of English society. He goes far beyond the experiences of the workhouse, extending his depiction of poverty to London’s squalid streets, dark alehouses, and thieves’ dens. He gives voice to those who had

no voice, establishing a link between politics and literature with his social commentary. 2.2Characterization

Oliver Twist is Dickens's first novel of social criticism. Oliver was an abandoned baby struggling in the orphanage for 9 years. He was sent to a coffin shop owner as an apprentice. Unbearable hunger, poverty and humiliation, Oliver fled to London, and was forced to be a pickpocket. He was taken in by a man named Mr. Brownlow. Unfortunately, he was imposed to the den of thieves again. A kind female thief Nancy sympathized with Oliver, despite of the head of the thief's surveillance and threats, and informed Mr. Brownlow that Oliver was his grandson whom had found for a long time. Nancy was killed by the thief leader, and then police rounded up the den of thieves. Oliver was finally able to reunite with their family. The characters represent personal qualities.

Even if we might feel that Dickens’s social criticism would have been more effective if he had focused on a more complex poor character, like the Artful Dodger or Nancy, the audience for whom Dickens was writing might not have been receptive to such a portrayal. Dickens’s Victorian middle-class readers were likely to hold opinions on the poor that were only a little less extreme than those expressed by Mr. Bumble, the beadle who treats paupers with great cruelty. In fact, Oliver Twist was criticized for portraying thieves and prostitutes at all. Given the strict morals of Dickens’s audience, it may have seemed necessary for him to make Oliver a saint

figure. Because Oliver appealed to Victorian readers’ sentiments, his story may have stood a better chance of effectively challenging their prejudices.

Throughout the novel, Dickens confronts the question of whether the terrible environments he depicts have the power to “blacken the soul and change its hue for ever.” By examining the fates of most of the characters, we can assume that his answer is that they do not. Certainly,


On the themes of Good And Evil in Oliver Twist

characters like Sikes and Fagin seem to have sustained permanent damage to their moral sensibilities. Yet even Sikes has a conscience, which manifests itself in the apparition of Nancy’s eyes that haunts him after he murders her. Charley Bates maintains enough of a sense of decency to try to capture Sikes. Of course, Oliver is above any corruption, though the novel removes him from unhealthy environments relatively early in his life. Most telling of all is Nancy, who, though she considers herself “lost almost beyond redemption,” ends up making the ultimate sacrifice for a child she hardly knows. In contrast, Monks, perhaps the novel’s most inhuman villain, was brought up amid wealth and comfort. I just want to take Oliver Twist, Nancy, and Monks as examples to better illustrate the writer’s purpose.


On the themes of Good And Evil in Oliver Twist

Chapter 3 Analysis of Oliver Twist

3.1 OliverTwist

Oliver Twist himself is the most obvious example. The name “Twist,” though given by accident, alludes to the outrageous reversals of fortune that he will experience. Oliver Twist was an orphan born in the workhouse. He suffered from starvation and bully because of unbearable coffin shop proprietress, parish clerk abusing. He escaped to London alone. Unluckily, when he just arrived on the deception, he was deceived into a nest of thieves. The thief gang leaders make every means to do everything to attempt Oliver to his training, for the pickpockets driven. Following his thief partners to the street, Oliver was arrested, because he was mistakenly to have stolen a gentleman's handkerchief, which was named Mr. Brownlow (happens to be a friend of his father's during his lifetime). Later, because of bookstall owner to proved his innocence, and indicated that the thief was someone else, he was released. Because he was seriously ill and turn into coma, and looks exactly like a young woman portrait his friends left before his death. Mr. Brownlow took him in to cure; Oliver obtained meticulous care from Brownlow and his housekeeper Mr. Bumble, he felt the warmth of the world for the first time. The thief gang fear Oliver will disclose their secrets, under the direction of the Fagin, Bill Sikes and Nancy took pains to make Oliver fall into their nest, while Oliver was out to return books for Brownlow to the bookstall owner. But Fagin attempt to punish Oliver severely, Nancy came forward to protect him. Fagin made all means to attempt Oliver to become a thief, with threats, inducements and other force indoctrination. One night, Oliver was forced to burglary in a large house. While Oliver was ready to climb into the window and take opportunity to report to the owner, he was discovered by the housekeeper. So he was shot and wounded. Other thieves escape hastily; they dropped him into the roadside ditch. Injured, Oliver crawled in the rain and snow, unconsciously; he came back to the house, fainting to the door.

The kind owner Mrs. Maylie and her daughter host and shelter him. Coincidentally, she was Oliver's aunt, but neither knew that. In the grand home, Oliver really enjoys the warmth of life


On the themes of Good And Evil in Oliver Twist

and happiness. Although Oliver grew up in poor homes, did not have freedom, and be taken as slave, he was still a strong self-esteem people. Confronting other's personal attacks, He was very excited. Oliver took all the strength to shake with rage in Noah, shivering his teeth rattle, and then gathered all the strength of his punch to Noah severely, until he was knocked to the ground. I was confused, in common sense, he has been a quiet, modest boy, although it was inhuman abuse, the youth are willing to be dejected, but now the power of body beaten Noah with cohesion. What is the strength that he dared to make such a decision, a strong sense of anger to his senses; he does not allow others to insult his mother.

Although Oliver had no impression on his mother, even without knowing his mother's appearance, the respect of his mother has been always around his mind. So when Noah insulted his mother, Oliver revealed the excitement which never had. Also, for his reason, Oliver was beat cruelly and locked up. Dickens wrote this in details, not only paving the way for the following text, but also depicting profoundly the image of Oliver, as to safeguard the dignity of his mother. Many scholars believe that the most successful character is Nancy, though this novel regards Oliver as the protagonist. Nancy's role has great practical significance. Nancy is a psychological complex of young women, grew up in the thieves, and no one knows her life. In this novel, when she entered the den of thieves, she did not counter any kind people, ultimately she met Mr. Brownlow and Mr. Maylie, but it was too late. Finally, she died at the hands of robber named Bill Sikes. Her fate is tragic, just like real society after the orphans came into the gangland.


Nancy saw through the rogue group, she hated the kind of treacherous, vicious, heartless cruelty, inhuman things, meanwhile she also had some nice feelings, and reluctant to leave. She has sympathy for Oliver, treated him like her brother. In times of crisis, she would disregard her own safety to rescue him, but he had to push Oliver on the road of being thieves. She envied other cultural, educational woman, but because of her humble status, she did not expect such a happy life. There was a feeling of contradiction in her heart. As Miss Maylie and Mr. Brownlow advised her to leave the thieves group life, she refused their kindness. Her inner conflict was real, which was consistent with normal general psychology. There were many young women offenders, if misguided Nancy may have a similar a contradictory thought, that was they wanted


On the themes of Good And Evil in Oliver Twist

to leave but didn't have encourage. Although Nancy hated Bill Sikes's behavior, she could not do without him. Maybe her conduct was not reasonable; anyway, all she did was true.

As a child of the streets, Nancy has been a thief. She is immersed in the vices condemned by her society, but she also commits perhaps the noblest act in the novel when she sacrifices her own life in order to protect Oliver. Without her, Oliver may have never had the chance to grow up in a loving home. Nancy’s moral complexity is unique among the major characters in Oliver

Twist. Her ultimate choice to do good at a great personal cost is a strong argument in favor of the incorruptibility of basic goodness, no matter how many environmental obstacles it may face. In

s character much of Oliver Twist, morality and nobility are black-and-white issues, but Nancy’

suggests that the boundary between virtue and vice is not always drawn.


On the themes of Good And Evil in Oliver Twist

Chapter 4 An analysis of Nancy’s double character

There are many different views on whether people are born well or bad. Chinese Confucianism says that all human are born with good nature. While the Bible says that people all sinned to Adam. Nancy, for us, must be the weakest character. A major concern of Oliver Twist is the question of whether a bad environment can irrevocably poison someone’s character and soul.

As the novel progresses, the character who best illustrates the contradictory issues brought up by that question is Nancy. In this novel, Nancy’s character is complex and ambiguous, and she is

just like a unit of good and evil. She was not like the other characters just show good side or the bad, but at some point, shows the positive side, sometimes show the mean one. On the one hand, she has done numerous crimes under control of Fagin as a young female thief. On the other hand, she tries all her best to help Oliver out from the thief gang with the awareness of disgrace in herself and evil in her fellow gang, gradually, she wakes up and regrets, stands up and defenses against evil and oppression. At last, she overcomes evil by making the sublimating of spirit and breakthrough of nature. It’s just this double nature that well reflects the reality at that time. 4.1 Nancy’s devil

The first thing which can prove her evil is her effort in the process of recapturing Oliver Twist. At that moment,Sikes and Fagin convinced Nancy to find Oliver and take him back, although she knew that this means to bring Oliver back to the hell again, after physically threatened by Fagin and Sikes as she had the mind of listening to the fate. It is she that draws Oliver back to the Fagin’s gang, the social evil. Her action can prove that the evil inside of her characteristics.

In the later part of the novel, when Nancy decided to help Oliver get out of Monks’ trap, she

also showed the protection of their gang by saying that she would not betray her companions. There is no doubt that it will cause negative social influence. More and more innocent children like Oliver will be hurt if theft gang doesn’t get punishment.

4.2 Nancy’s good

When Fagin inflicted a smart blow on Oliver’s shoulders with the club, Nancy stood up for


On the themes of Good And Evil in Oliver Twist

protection of Oliver and cries out to Fagin and Sikes. It’s the first time she has the courage to

stand up against her evil leaders and fellow gangs.

As stated in last section, Nancy had recognized evil in herself and her fellow gang. So she tried her best to help Oliver out from the hurt and corruption of the gang. When she knew the stroy of Oliver’s birth,she showed her fearless self-sacrifice to prevent Oliver from being kidnapped a second time. She told Miss Rose the entire secret at London Bridge. It is she who reveals mystery of Oliver’s birth and changes his fate. She cares for Oliver so profoundly that it results her death. Her image is so mixed and complicated for her special characteristics. In nature, she finishes the baptism of her soul from evil to angle this time.

Nancy is the mistress of Sikes who is the second leader of theft. The author has an ulterior motive when he names Nancy and Sikes while N and S are just like two poles of the magnetic needle. This suggests that these two people themselves are a pair of irreconcilable contradictory unity. Maybe she knows that Sikes is just regard her as a maid, but she still treats him as her beloved at his mercy. No matter what factors in support of Nancy’s love, also ignore the result of

her love, readers will be moved by her love and also feel sorry for Nancy’s cost of her love.


On the themes of Good And Evil in Oliver Twist

Chapter 5 Conclusions

As a great critical realism writer, Charles Dickens’ novel is a great devotion to the world

literature. Nancy in Oliver Twist has also become the most typical image in the literature field. Dickens depicted the sharp contradiction of labor and capital of United Kingdom capitalist society. He revealed miserable life of lower class people and the hypocrisy of the bourgeoisie. In Oliver Twist, he bitterly attacks the hypocritical and cruel side of the upper class and the bourgeoisie. He gives realistic pictures of the horrible existence in workhouse. One of the important characteristics of Nancy is the real and specific description of people who lives at the bottom of society. He puts deep sympathy to the low class, especially women and little children. Meanwhile, he sings the praises of truth, goodness and beauty in human nature with idealism and Romanism sentiments. Charles Dickens led readers into a real but terrible life of underworld. His is successful in depicting a miserable image of child from lower class. The image of Nancy artistically reminds readers, people tend to be indifferent and selfish by the social reality darkness and far away from goodness. A girl from the bottom of the lower class maintains that she can’t innocently establish herself in society even if she gets rid of theft gang. Hence she is subject to fate and has to go with the flow. She regards thief head as her destiny but killed by him as a result. Nancy is not just a signal of simple character but a vivid and unique figure which leaves deepest impression to readers. The significance lies in a scathing indictment of the capitalist society. In despite of the happy ending of Oliver painted a layer of bright color for the novel, it will never cover up critical significance of Nancy’s double character. Of course, this

thesis is simply a trial exploration, since I am not qualified and therefore dare not attempt to offer a final and best answer. If only there is a little freshness in my work of exploration, which would be of my teacher’s help and advice, and we would be duly rewarded.


On the themes of Good And Evil in Oliver Twist


1. Chang Yaoxin, A Survey of English Literature, Nankai Uniwersity Press, 1990

2. Catherine Peters, Charles Dickens. Xi'an: Xi'an World Publishing Corporation, 1998.

3. Luo Jing guo, Collected Essays on Dickens.,M,Shanghai: Shanghai Translation Press, 1981. 4. Lu Jian guo, Charles Dickens and Oliver Twist [J]. Journal of Yuxi Normal University,2004(07)

5. Johnson E. D. H. Charles Dickens: An Introduction to His Novels. Random House Study in Language

and Literature Series [M].New York: Random House, 1969. 6. Kaplan, Fred. Dickens: A Biography [M]. New York: Morrow, 1988

7. 陈嘉.《英国文学史》(第三卷) [M]. 北京 : 商务印书馆 .1986

8. 关续兰.再读《雾都孤儿》(英文)[J]语文学刊(外语与教学),2009,(10):89-91

9. 何文安译.《雾都孤儿》查尔斯?狄更斯著.南京:译林世界文学名著,2002,9

10. 钱青.《英国19世纪文学史》.北京:外语教学与研究出版社,2005:287—291

11. 王治国 . 狄更斯评传 [M]. 上海 : 上海文艺出版社 .1991

12. http://lw.3edu.net/xsyy/lw_113928_3.html

13. http://laiba.tianya.cn/laiba/CommMsgs?cmm=6960&tid=2652685953399518737 14. http://www.benkelunwen.cn/article/2007/1118/article_34.html


On the themes of Good And Evil in Oliver Twist


I would like to thank my supervisor, Miss Gong Wei, who helped me during the writing of this thesis. When I did every step of graduate design, such as looking up information, determining dissertation, revising papers, the mid-and late check-ups, she gave me detailed guidance. In addition to admire Miss Gong's professional standards, the spirit of her meticulous scholarship is what I always hope to learn from, and will have positive impact on my future study and work..

Also I’d like to thank all the teachers during my college life, from whose devoted teaching and

enlightening lectures I have benefited a lot and academically prepared for the thesis. Needless to say, all the remaining errors are ascribed to my own negligence.

Finally, I would like to thank my parents for their encouragement and support in my whole student career. They are my always strong backbone ---their understanding and love is the most valuable treasure of my life!


On the themes of Good And Evil in Oliver Twist


Chapter 3 Effects of Global Warming


On the themes of Good And Evil in Oliver Twist










一个崭新生活的建议。她告诉露丝在那个时候她不能离开他,她顽固地坚守她对恶棍团伙的忠心,尤其是对那个虐待她的男人。在她的心目中,她把她所回去的地方当作“一个家”, 我们实在是怜其不幸而同时又为她的糊涂的头脑感到非常气愤。她对于自己的命运却是悲观失望和不自信的,她放弃了她自己。没有一滴对新生活的希望之火花能够点燃她那黑暗的心灵。面对露丝和布朗罗的几次的劝说,她一次又一次地选择了逃避。因为她总是认为她的改过自新已为时已晚。他们两人关系很微妙,南茜离不开赛克斯,宁愿被他杀害也不肯抛弃他;而赛克斯也离不开南茜,一旦失去她,他就丧魂失魄,终于在房顶跌落,脖子被自己的一条绳子的活扣套住而气绝身死。







初等教育学院 小学教育(英语)专业 2010级 彭霞

指导教师 龙娟

摘 要:《雾都孤儿》中的南希是整个故事情节发展中的关键人物,她集善良与罪恶于一身的双重性格也给读者留下了深刻的印象。本文主要通过深入分析南希的凄惨身世,所处的环境等方面,来解读南希的双重性格特点以及这种性格在她的生活和感情等多方面的体现和她这种双重性格形成的原因。


Abstract:The key character Nancy in Oliver Twist is between good and evil, and her complex personality impressed many readers. This paper analyzes Nancy’s sad life, living environment and so on to explore her character, its reflection of her life and love life and its cause.

Key words:Oliver Twist; Nancy; dual character



手团伙的罪恶,痛恨做扒手,也痛恨团伙里的恶人。她同情奥利弗与自己有相同的遭遇,为了拯救奥利弗,她不惜赌上自己的性命。另一方面,作为一个扒手,在费金的控制下,她犯下了无数的罪行,并忠于扒手团伙组织。南希很小就父母双亡,后由费金收养,从此她别无选择走上了做扒手的道路。尽管成长在扒手团伙中,她善良的人性却一直未曾泯灭,让人不禁心生怜悯。徘徊在善与恶的边缘她,总让读者的心随其跌宕起伏,也让读者更加愿意去研究她那让人难以捉摸的双重性格。双重性格,通常叫做双重人格。从医学上讲,双重人格就是正常人在相同时刻存在两种(或更多)的思维方式,其中,各种思维的运转和决策不受其他思维方式的干扰和影响,完全独立运行。从心理学上讲,双重人格是指一个人具有两个或两个以上的、相对独特的并且相互分开的亚人格。毫无疑问,在《雾都孤儿》这部小说中,南希的种种表现和行为表明,她便是这样拥有双重性格的人。在整部作品当中,南希没有一条非常清楚的界限, 善良与邪恶相溶交织,互作斗争。






(二) 行事罪恶



(三) 善对他人


















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[2] 刘精香.《雾都孤儿》中南希形象剖析[J].中南民族学院学报(哲学社会科学版),1999(03):104-106.

[3] 王晓燕.读《雾都孤儿》解析南希形象特征[J]. 语文建设,2013(23):40-41.

[4] 赵世芬.《雾都孤儿》中的南希形象剖析[J]. 天津职业院校联合学报,2011,13(6):106-108

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[6] 冯涛.《雾都孤儿》中南希形象解读[J].文学教育,2013(5):22

[7] 张蔚.《雾都孤儿》中南希的双重性格分析[J].文教资料,2010(32):10-11

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