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