Similarly, when Fagin is facing up to his death, we see a very different side to him. The reader starts to sympathise as we hear about his experience. In prison, he is described with a “haggard face” suggesting he is exhausted. However, he doesn’t show his emotions when he is in court. He stands for his sentence “Like a marble figure, without a motion of a nerve”. Here, the reader gets the impression that he must be very strong if he shows no emotions when being condemned.
Furthermore, we read Fagin’s last thought was of isolation. For example, “There was nobody there to speak to HIM”, suggesting that as he passed through all the crowds, there was not one person there that loved him. The crowd hated Fagin.
They “Screeched and hissed” as he walked past. The reader begins to imagine how the Jew must of felt, since he is all alone. As Fagin walks through the crowds, he is untouchable. “Prisoners fell back to render him more visible to the people who were clinging to the bars.” No one can get to him.Fagin is now betrayed as pathetic.
He is left in a cell, on a “stone bench” and tries “to collect his thoughts” recalling what the judge has said “though it had seemed to him at the time, that he could not hear a word”. The reader has great concern for Fagin now, and it becomes highly disturbing the way he is treated. Fagin is seen here as being a ordinary man. His thoughts “gradually fell into their proper places, and by degrees suggested more”. Humans are the only living things that can anticipate death and this shows that Fagin has understood how little time he had left. Dickens uses repetition to portray to the reader what is happening to Fagin. He repeats, “To be hanged by the neck, till he was dead”. At this point the reader has great sympathy for the Jew since he is going to die in an awful way.
Dickens uses imagery to make the reader feel sorry for the Jew. “From strong and vigorous men to dangling heaps of clothes”. This shows that once they are hanged they exist no more. They change from men to nothing rapidly. Once again, here we have great sympathy for the Jew. Fagin dreads every minute that passes in the cell. Most people enjoy the passing time since it tells of life and the coming day, but to Fagin “They brought despair”.
This shows that he realises as every second passes, he is getting closer to death. This contrasts with the feelings of other people, since they value time. Fagin knows he is close to dying. There is a sense of fear. For example “There was no day…
and short in its fleeting hours”. We get the impression that to Fagin his life is already over, time is passing and his death is getting closer.In this chapter Fagin is seen to have feelings. For example, “Withering sense of his helpless” and “desperate state came in its full intensity upon his blighted soul”. Inevitably, if Dickens describes him with senses he can be seen to be having humane characteristics. It also shows that maybe because of the torture of the environment, his soul has been destroyed. All of these words are written illustrating great pity for the Jew.In conclusion, there is much evidence to show that Fagin is a stereotypical person since he has all the characteristics of a Jewish thief with his avaricious, miserly, and ugly nature.
The way he abuses the children and other people is totally wrong. However, we can see that Dickens is not totally anti-Jewish since he also describes decent Jews as “Venerable men”. As his humane character comes to light at the end of the novel, we come to feel that Fagin is the product of an unfortunate upbringing rather than a stereotypical Jew