Harry Maylie: Character Analysis in Oliver Twist

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His Significant Role in the Novel

      Though Harry's portraiture is thin and not vividly drawn in the novel, Oliver Twist yet he somehow wins our regard by virtue of his sacrificing spirit and essential unworldliness. Indeed, he is among the group of good characters in the novel. He finally marries a noble beautiful, simple and innocent girl and in order to lead a simple life he discards the life of luxury and sophistication. He starts doing the job of a clergyman in a country. Like Mr. Brownlow and Dr. Losberne he is a thorough gentleman but not dynamic like them.

His Parentage

      Harry Maylie is the son of Mrs. Maylie, the widow who lives close to the town of Chertsy. Harry has not been living with his mother and pursuing his career in London. He appears quite late in the novel (chapter 34) and is drawn as a man of about twenty-five years. He is of average height with a beautiful and magnetic bearing.

Harry's Love for Jewel

      When he learns about Rose's illness he comes at his mother's house from London where Rose is residing. Rose's condition is very critical and he is troubled a lot for her. He says his mother that he has been facing from two days an intensely terrible mental agony. He says that he loves Rose from a very long period and he wants to marry her. It is impossible for him to live without Rose because Rose has become a part of his life and he has formed noble notions about her; without her, his life is meaningless and colorless. Thereupon, Mrs. Maylie says that Rose would not accept his marriage proposal because of the dubious circumstances of her birth. When Rose fully recovers from her illness Harry express his love for her and also makes a proposal to marry her. Though she, too, is in love with Harry yet she feels forced by certain circumstances to reject his marriage proposal. Harry feels much disappointed and says that he would talk to her on this matter again in future. Later on, when the conditions of Rose's birth come in light, Harry again proposes Rose for marriage but Rose says that she has no money to arrange sufficient dowery and also his friends would think that she has used him in order to be rich and go high in society. This time Harry is prepared to face all the objection. He says, that he has abandoned all the worldly ambitions and luxurious life and is going to be a clergyman. Rose agrees to find everything favorable and thus accepts his marriage proposal.

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