Mr. Brownlow: Character Analysis in Oliver Twist

Also Read

Dream Figure

      Mr. Brownlow is a highly benevolent, respectable, kind and courageous personality. He was sincerely in love with a girl but when she dies, he does not think of marrying someone else. Oliver's father leaves a portrait of a lady, he was intended to marry and Mr. Brownlow makes all the effort to help their issue Oliver out of danger. But even before knowing the fact that Oliver is his friend's son, he showers great mercy and love upon Oliver. He is not sympathetic to Oliver only but he gives the opportunity to Monks also who squanders all his money and dies into a prison. But the responsibility of Monks' decay and death does not go to him.

      George Orwell's remark regarding the character of Mr. Brow is worth noticing here. He says that Mr. Brownlow sets an example or that recurrent Dickens figure, the good rich man." He further says that Mr. Brownlow is purely a dream figure: "Even Dickens must have reflected occasionally that anyone who was so anxious to give his money away would never have acquired it in the first place." He is quite wise, generous, rich and careful man. He is a dream figure. It is really interesting to notice that Mr. Brownlow is too rich but altogether too generous and benevolent also.

Mr. Brownlow's Sympathy for Oliver

      When Mr. Brownlow pocket was picked by Artful Dodger and Bates, he catches hold of Oliver under the wrong impression that he has picked his pocket. But soon he feels by instinct that Oliver is innocent, thus he makes request to the police magistrate to treat Oliver leniently. When Oliver gets collapsed because of weakness and stress of the circumstances, he takes him to his home by coach and makes proper arrangements for his medical treatment. He directs his housekeeper Mrs. Bedwin to look after Oliver.

      When Mr. Brownlow has first seen the face of Oliver, he recognized his face very much similar to someone. Now, as Oliver is lying in the bed, Mr. Brownlow discovers a close semblance between the face of Oliver and the lady whose portrait is hanging upon the wall opposite. When Oliver recovers from his illness Mr. Brownlow listens his story of past life carefully and feels happy to find Oliver a good and innocent boy. But when Oliver goes to return few books of Mr. Brownlow and pay some money to the owner of the bookstall and caught by Nancy and Sikes, Mr. Brownlow starts thinking like Mr. Griming that Oliver is a mischievous and cunning boy.

Brownlow's Past Life: Unhappy

      Mr. Brownlow wanted to marry a girl. He was genuinely in love with her but everything dashed to the ground when unfortunately that girl was engulfed by death. Then after Mr. Brownlow has never given even a single thought to marry any other girl. When he was talking to Oliver he says that whom he loves and who are his dearest are buried in the graves. He continues that he has yet not buried his heart into the grave. He means to say that whom he loved are dead but inspite of these fatal blows he has succeeded to maintain cheerful temper.

Mr. Brownlow: Several Enigmas are Solved

      Mr. Brownlow, by his painstaking efforts has been able to solve several mysteries in the lives of so many characters. He discovers the
relationship between Monks and Oliver and the reason behind Monk's hostility towards Oliver. He also discloses the relationship between Rose and Oliver. He has to undertake lots of difficulties in collecting information from the workhouse where Oliver was born, and confronting Monks, Mr. and Mrs. Bumble.
Oliver Adopted by Mr. Brownlow. At the end of the novel Mr. Brownlow adopts Oliver as his son and settles down to the place where Rose, Harry and Mrs. Maylie have been living. He does it with the intention to live close to Harry and Rose. Thus Mr. Brownlow has developed deep affection not only for Oliver but for Rose and Harry also. In the meantime he becomes very friendly with Dr. Losberne and Mrs. Maylie also.

Mr. Brownlow, the Representative of Middle Class World

      In the novel Oliver Twist Mr. Brownlow represents the middle class world. As we already know that there are three worlds in the novel—world of workhouse, criminal world and middle class of society. He is presented as a good throughout the novel.

      Several critics have said that Dickens does not have succeeded in the portrayal of good characters as he has very triumphantly and impressively delineated the evil characters. But Mr. Brownlow's character is an exception. He has most convincingly portrayed him though failed in the portrayal of the characters like Mrs. Maylie, Rose, Harry and Dr. Losberne. Mr. Brownlow's character is so lively and carefully drawn that it seems we have encountered him in our life. He is a dynamic vivacious and colorful character.

Previous Post Next Post