Oliver Twist

People are made not born. Explain in the light of reading Oliver Twist

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The importance of upbringing

Proper upbringing, posited as essential throughout the novel, is illuminated best in the scene where Nancy and Rose first meet. In this scene, Dickens juxtaposes the prostitute Nancy to the angelic and utterly perfect Rose. Nancy’s potential for goodness is clear, made so by her very presence there among other things, but from youth she has been surrounded by liars and thieves, and although she transcends their ranks morally, she cannot escape from them, nor become the person she could have had she had any of the advantages that Rose did. Rose, too, comes from a rather ignominious background, but from an early age she was raised by the kind and loving Mrs. Maylie, who also offered her all the resources she could desire - and so she became an example of the "perfect" female.

Oliver manages to rise above his upbringing. Surrounded by selfish, ignorant and cruel people for most of his childhood, given no love, care, or tenderness, he still manages to maintain his kind disposition, and never gives into the low morals of those around him. He is, however, meant to be the exception that proves the rule. The fact that his happy ending is so very miraculous proves how important it is to be loved and cared for in childhood.