This week in class, we focused on Oliver Twist. It was my first time reading the novel, and although some parts of it were definitely lengthy, the novel overall was intriguing. I think the most interesting and complex character of all had to be Nancy, and she was one that I thought was most relatable in a sense to.
Nancy is relatable because she has two sides to her story. She lives these two separate lives and doesn’t have the best of any of the worlds, but she somehow makes it work. She understands and accepts where she is in life, and wants to do whatever she can to save others. For that, I think she deserves recognition that is rarely given to her.
However, the discussions we had in class brought up several good points. Why was Nancy in an abusive relationship if she was given the opportunity to escape from that lifestyle? The unfortunate truth was that she believed she belonged there after falling in too deep, but that didn’t stop her from trying to help Oliver. Nancy took a long trek from the outskirts of the city to the center just to meet with Rose and give her the information she had. In a time that space was divided by the good and the bad, we see a mix with Nancy. She travels to and from both places, which also correlates with her place in society.
It’s quite interesting to hear about how these areas east of London were the slums, and how people used to go there on a whim for fun, and now it has changed to this dark, narrow, and dirty area that people try to avoid. One wrong move and you could end up in a dreary place like this instead of the sparkling metropolis. The displacement of 100,000 people in these areas is a shock because I’m left to wonder where all of these people went and if it was worth the expense to create a newer and better London. Because there was no government, it was more difficult for the poor to have a substantial place to live, and they were pushed out to figure it out themselves. I am, however, interested in seeing how these dirty and grim places become all the rage again once we come to modern day London.
It seems as though we’re following this path of circular time, especially with the history of a place, and who knows, it might even be possible that this cycle is still happening with no intentions of changing.