Noah Claypole

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A Quote: “‘Yer don’t know who I am, I suppose, Work’us?’ said the charity-boy... I’m Mister Noah Claypole... and you’re under me. Take down the shutters yer idle young ruffian.”





The Analysis:
  • Located in a town 75 miles north of London
  • Use of “yer," a perversion of the proper "your" that is used to depict lower class characters
  • Short punctuated sentences, which shed light on his limited education and
  • Work’us = Workhouse, which Noah uses to refer to Oliver, but in general indicates that someone is from a workhouse
The Accent: 
  • Cockney Accent - the use of yer and the fact that Noah is lower class indicates that his accent is probably Cockney. The 1948 version of the movie and the clip of a musical (see video on right starting at 1:00) confirms that.
  •  Full length 1948 Oliver Twist movie: 16:25 Noah says “On the box work’us on the box”


Mr. Brownlow

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A Quote: “I only say this because you have a young heart; and knowing that I have suffered great pain and sorrow, you will be more careful, perhaps, not to would me again. You say you are an orphan wihtout a friend in the world; all the inquiries I have been able to make confirm the statement. Let me hear your story - where you came from, who brought you up, and how you got into the company in which I found you. Speak the truth, and you shall not be friendless while I live.” 
The Analysis:
  • Use of “your” versus “yer,” a perversion of the proper "your" that is used to depict lower class characters.
  • Elegant sentence formation
  • Longer sentences without exclamatory punctuation. In other words, Mr. Brownlow's education allows him a more thorough and eloquent expression of self.
The Accent:



Fagin

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Quotes: 
“but very neat and nicely made. Ingenious workman, ain’t he, Oliver?” 

“ that is, unless they should unexepectedly come across any, when they are out; and they won’t neglect it, if they do, my dear, depend upon it. Make ‘em your models, my dear. Make ‘em your models,” 
The Analysis:
  • Referred to as "The Jew" in Dicken's Oliver Twist
  • Fagin’s den located in Field Lane - southern extension of Saffron Hill
  • Jewish settlers and communities are located in the East End of London

When Oliver Meets Fagin

The Accent:
  • Cockney
  • Examples of a stereotypical Jewish accent can be found here.

Oliver Twist

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Quotes:  

“Please, sir, I want some more.” 

"I think I'd rather read them sir."










The Analysis:
  • Oliver pronounces the word 'sir' as 'suh' and 'more' as 'moh'.
  • The Accent:
    • Standard English
    • Characterized by the non-rhoticity where the 'r" at the end of the word is not pronounced. 

Oliver Twist's Famous Quote


Mr. Gamfield

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Quotes:
  • "That's acause they damped the straw afore they lit it in the chimbley to make 'em come down agin," said Gamfield; "that's all smoke, and no blaze; vereas smoke ain't o' no use at all in making a boy come down, for it only sinds him to sleep, and that's wot he likes. Boys is wery obstinit, and wery lazy, gen'lmen, and there's nothink like a good hot blaze to make 'em come down vith a run. It's humane too, gen'lmen, acause, even if they've stuck in the chimbley, roasting their feet makes 'em struggle to hextricate theirselves."



Analysis:


Nancy

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Quotes:
  • “I thieved for you when I was a child not half as old as this (pointing to Oliver). I have been in the same trade, and in the same service, for twelve years since; don’t you know it? Speak out! don't you know it?" 
Analysis:
  • She, more than any other manner of speech, displays the Queen’s English, also known as Received Pronunciation.



The Artful Dodger

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Quotes: "You may start by jappaning my trotter case. In plain English, clean my boots."
"I am. Sos Charley. Sos Bet. So we all are, down to the dog. And hes the downiest one of the lot."

Analysis: The Artful Dodger (whose real name is Jack Dawkins) uses numerous words and phrases used by criminals of that time.  He acts and even dresses like an adult despite the fact that he is only 12 years old.

Accent: Dodger has a strong Cockney accent.  However, it is sometimes hard to understand what he is saying because of his frequent use of thieving slang.


Barney

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Quotes:
“‘I’b dot certaid you cad,’ said Barney, who was the attendant sprite; ‘but I’ll idquire.’” 

“‘Aye! Ad rub uds too,’ added Barney. ‘Frob the cuttry, but sobthig in your, or I’b bistaked.’”


The Analysis:
  • A bartender in the Three Cripples and one of Fagin's cohorts, Barney is identified as a "young Jew."
  • Use of ‘b’ and ‘d’ to replace ‘m’s and  ‘n’s
  • Aye = yes
  • Stuffy nose or accent?

The Accent:
  • Examples of a stereotypical Jewish accent can be found here.
  • The jewish accent sounds throaty; there is no distinct change of ‘m’ and ‘n’ s to ‘b’ and ‘d’ s in the jewish accent. Therefore, Barney probably has a speech impediment, which causes these distinct speaking patterns. His accent is most likely Cockney given his lower class surroundings.

Bill Sikes

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Quotes: "There's light enough for what I've got to do.""Unless you could pitch over a file and twenty yards of good stout rope, you might as well be walking fifty mile off, or not walking at all, for all the good it would do me. Come on, and don't stand preaching there."

Analysis: It is possible that Dickens based this character off of a criminal in the 1720's named James Sikes.  Besides being brave and mostly honest, Bill Sikes has few redeeming qualities.

 Accent: Sikes, like many other characters in the book has a Cockney accent, although it is somewhat less noticeable.  This is most likely because he uses very short sentences.