Critical analysis of the character of the Artful Dodger in Dickens’ Oliver Twist. Would you describe the Dodger only as a victim of circumstances?

Topics: Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens, Victorian era / Pages: 3 (604 words) / Published: Feb 5th, 2014
Charles Dickens is an English writer and social critic. He is considered as one of the greatest novelists of the Nineteenth century. Dickens used his novels to criticize the social order during the Victorian era. His awareness of social and moral injustice is derived from painful experiences during his childhood. One of his most renowned novels is his second one – “Oliver Twist”. The novel has the subtitle “The Parish Boy’s Progress” and was published in 1838 by Richard Bentley. In the novel, Dickens has presented the social degradation in England during the Victorian period through the eyes of a young innocent child left to his fate. The novel also drew the publics’ attention to the large number of orphans and outcast children in London in that period and the cruel treatment they received. One of the minor but rather important characters in the novel is Jack Dawkins. The author uses the alias - Artful Dodger to give us insight into the character’s skills. He is one of the most interesting and controversial characters in the book. He is a reckless young boy who is forced to become a criminal.
The first time the Artful Dodger is mentioned in the book is in chapter eight. Dickens describes him as he emphasizes on his appearance. Jack Dawkins has the size and the body of a young boy but his livery and manners resemble that of a grown man. He wears a man’s coat, a hat and corduroy trousers and is labeled by the author as “the young gentlemen”. Dickens uses all the things mentioned above, to show us how the society and hardships can influence on one’s life. Jack is forced to grow up even though it is not his time yet. He has no other choice but to become a pickpocket in order to survive.
Jack Dawkins is a leader of a group of child criminals. He is the most skilled among them so he has gained their respect. When he first meets Oliver he offers him his help by giving him food and shelter. Later on in the book they become close friends and Jack tries to teach him how

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