Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2067/43577
Titolo: Against the Return of Fagin: Dickens and the Persistence of the Principle of Goodness
Autori: Marroni, Michela 
Data pubblicazione: 2020
Bob Fagin was a boy who helped twelve-year-old Dickens during his traumatic
experience at Warren’s Blacking Factory. Taking the cue from the discrepancy
between the real Fagin and devilish Fagin in Oliver Twist, I will consider the reasons underlying
Dickens’s choice of this particular name for such a villain. At the same time, in
light of the scarcely plausible contrast between Oliver’s innocence and the urban decay
surrounding him, I will argue that the novel should be interpreted as a social metaphor
whose ethical model is The Pilgrim’s Progress. Indeed, as suggested by the novel’s complete
title – The Adventures of Oliver Twist; or, The Parish Boy’s Progress – the eponymous
hero’s experience can be regarded as a transition from the City of Destruction to the
Celestial City where the “principle of good” is ultimately brought into action. However,
unlike Bunyan’s motivated and energetic hero, Oliver is a character whose main traits are
passivity, innocence, and silence. Although melodramatic and awash with sentimentality,
Victorian middle-class readers readily subscribed to the novel’s message based on
the final triumph of goodness.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2067/43577
ISSN: 2499-1562
DOI: 10.30687/AnnOc/2499-1562/2020/54/012
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