Sikes journey home doesn’t take to long, just one paragraph. There is no description of the surroundings which is very different to the rest of the story or the entire book at that matter.
I think the reason for why Dickens kept the journey so short was to show how Sikes is feeling, the journey home itself focuses on how Sikes is feeling. ‘Without one pause or moment’s consideration;’. This shows that Bill Sikes is not thinking what so ever and putting actions before thoughts. ‘his teeth so tightly compressed that the strained jam seemed starting though his skin’. This gives an image of determination and anger in Sikes face making him lose is concentration.
When Sikes returns home, he locked the door, and puts a door against it. ‘It is you Bill!’ said the girl but with an expression of pleasure at his return’. Nancy is obviously pleased to see Bill and does not know he knows of what she has done. When Sikes extinguishes the candle, this could represent Nancy’s life.
Up to the death of Nancy, Nancy is trying to beg for forgiveness from her killer and is trying to explain to him that she never told anyone of him. ‘The certainty of immediate detection if he fired…’ this is giving Sikes the idea to just kill her straight away and cleanly with his gun, but as he draws it, he decides to beat her down.
Dickens calls Nancy ‘it’ at this point. This ‘it’ is representing of what Sikes thought of her now. She is nothing to him anymore. When comparing the two characters, Sikes and Nancy, there is a lot of difference.When Sikes enters the room, he is fully dressed where Nancy is only half dressed. During the chapter, Dickens only refers to them as ‘the man’ and ‘the girl’.
Maybe, Dickens is showing what is in ‘the man’s’ mind is that he wants no one to know what is happening or who they are. ‘The man’ says that he is a bully, which is basically Sikes, and ‘the girl’ could represent innocence and weakness. Bill also never calls Nancy by her name, but as ‘you’ where Nancy calls him by his true name, Bill. As Sikes extinguishes the candle, this may be representing Nancy’s life, and does not allow her to open the curtains, as he does not want any one to see the murder.The dark that Dickens has created is the evil in Sikes.
When Sikes is being described, he is very violent. He only talks in short sentences, which shows his lack of education and his haste of thought and raised voice. Nancy on the other hand, uses longer sentences trying to calm down Bill. When Bill enters his bedroom, he thrusts a lit candle into the fireplace, possibly representing Nancy’s life and when she goes to draw back the curtain he stops her saying ‘There’s light enough for wot I’ve got to do’.
Nancy’s death is pretty gory for the period it was written it. Most novels written in Victorian time avoided violence and death where Dickens brings it to light. But even today, Nancy’s murder still looks gruesome to us today.
‘And he beat it twice, with all the force he could summon’. The blood is described as rain ‘down from a deep gash in her forehead’. I think Dickens makes this death so gory to show what death really looks like.
Most people have never seen death and Dickens port For Sikes, he has done it before and should be used to it, but he had to shut the sight out because this kill was Nancy. This was someone he cared about, or used to.After Nancy’s brutal murder, we come to a chapter called ‘The Flight of Sikes’. There is a constant emphasis of how bright the sun. The use of short sentences builds the tension on what Sikes will do next, plus the use of light is being repeated. When Bill firstly leaves he closes the door softly but then leaves very fast but slows down.
Once he has left, he is unsure of where to turn. He can’t go to Fagin and he has no family of his own. Sikes is shown to have lost control by his actions.He is unsure where to go and he constantly slows down, sometimes coming to a halt.
Bill’s aimless walking is showing his state of mind now that Nancy has gone, who really kept him sane. The contrast between ‘Fatal Consequences’ and ‘The Flight of Sikes’ is noticeable. ‘Fatal Consequences’ builds up to the death of Nancy focusing on how Sikes is feeling throughout the chapter and then ‘The Flight of Sikes’ is really the cover up operation. Sikes is has snapped out of his trance and realised what he has done and doesn’t know what to do.
Usually it is a clean job, get in, and get out. But as this one is Nancy, the only person to actually properly care for him, he knows he has to leave for good, which he does.I believe that Charles Dickens wrote Oliver Twist to undercover the sort problems that were happening in Victorian times. The homelessness, orphanage, prostitution (from Nancy) and domestic violence (which still happens these days). Nancy’s murder is the most violent and eye-catching part in the book.
Dickens doesn’t only describe a very brutal murder of Nancy, he also brings the violence that is all around us today.