Mrs. Mann: Character Analysis in Oliver Twist

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      Mrs. Mann is an old lady and she is in the incharge of a charitable institution (baby farm) where Oliver had spend the first nine years of his life. She is very indignified, ignoble official of the workhouse like Mr. Bumble. She is ruthless and entirely devoid of human values.

      In the whole novel, we meet her only twice in chapter two and seventeen. At both times she appears inhuman. When Mr. Bumble comes to visit her baby farm she tries to please him because she never properly takes care of the paupers and orphans of her charitable establishment. She does not use all the money for the welfare of them which she receives as a stipend from the workhouse. Dickens writes himself: The elderly female was a woman of wisdom and experience; she knew what was good for children, and she had a very accurate perception of what was good for herself. So she appropriates the greater part of the; weekly stipend to her own use, and consigned the rising parochial generation to even a shorter allowance than was originally provided for them; thereby finding in the lowest depth a deeper still, and proving herself a very great experimental philosopher".

      She not only gives insufficient food to the children but also beats them and locks them in a coal-cellar for 'pressuring to be hungry.' In fact, when Mr. Bumble comes to visit her she has locked Oliver in a coal-cell. A very pungent irony we meet when Mr. Bumble regards her: "You are a humane woman, Mrs. Mann....you feel as a mother."

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