Oliver Twist, Dickens, Morality, Nature, Nurture, Nancy, Bumble, Fagin


English Language and Literature


Ashley Shannon


The purpose of this research is to examine the nature-nurture debate In Charles Dickens’ famous novel Oliver Twist. More specifically, this research will examine the ways in which Dickens communicates to the reader how morality is innate, inherent, and immutable, as opposed to being the product of accumulated experience. While this is by no means the first examination of this philosophical debate within the novel, past research has placed greater emphasis on the role Oliver plays in communicating this theme, oftentimes neglecting to investigate the other major characters of the novel. In this sense, this research stands apart by both building off of existing research while simultaneously branching out to include characters such as Fagin, Mr. Bumble, and especially Nancy.