Oliver Twist

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Harry Maylie Character Analysis

Rose's cousin, Harry is poised for a "brilliant" career in politics, but he renounces this, and takes on the life of a village parson, in order to marry Rose, who believes she is far too socially inferior to Harry to be an acceptable wife for him. The two live "happily ever after" at the novel's end.

Harry Maylie Quotes in Oliver Twist

The Oliver Twist quotes below are all either spoken by Harry Maylie or refer to Harry Maylie. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Thievery and Crime Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Dover Publications edition of Oliver Twist published in 2002.
Chapter 35 Quotes

The prospect before you . . . is a brilliant one; all the honors to which great talents and powerful connections can help men in public life are in store for you. . . . I will neither mingle with such as hold in scorn the mother who gave me life; nor bring disgrace or failure on the son of her who has so well supplied that mother's place.

Related Characters: Rose Maylie (speaker), Harry Maylie
Page Number: 219
Explanation and Analysis:

Rose is the novel's most selfless character - the one to whom all other characters' generosity, including Oliver's, might be compared favorably. Rose thinks so much of Harry, and indeed loves him so much, that she could not imagine a world in which the unexplained "blight" on her family causes her to alter Harry's promising life's work as a lawyer and politician. She loves so deeply that she cannot be with the person she loves - and she is okay with this.

Harry's devotion to Rose, and Rose's devotion to Harry, is one of the book's underlying romances. In Dickens, romantic entanglements tend either to be like this one - where love is profound but thwarted - or like Nancy and Sikes' relationship, where love exists but is deeply imperfect and haunted by violence. There is a moral element, here, too - Harry and Rose are "chaste" in their life, whereas it is hinted that Nancy and Sikes are not - only adding to the illicit, "criminal" quality of the latter relationship.

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Harry Maylie Character Timeline in Oliver Twist

The timeline below shows where the character Harry Maylie appears in Oliver Twist. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 31
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Social Forces, Fate, and Free Will Theme Icon
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...about a robber he once caught named Conkey Chickweed—a story that neither Lorsborne nor the Maylies can follow—Blathers, with Duff, goes upstairs to talk to Oliver. Lorsborne and Giles go along... (full context)
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Oliver is now safe at the Maylies' home, where he begins to grow stronger, despite his injury. He is looked after by... (full context)
Chapter 32
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...from another fever, which causes him to lie in bed for many days. However the Maylies care for him with great interest, and soon he begins to regain his strength. Oliver... (full context)
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...the weather grows warm, and Oliver has a wonderful time recuperating and living with the Maylies. Oliver begins studying with an old man, a tutor, since he has never had any... (full context)
Chapter 33
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...a note informing him of Rose's fever. Oliver notices another letter for a man named Harry Maylie, but when he inquires of Mrs. Maylie whether he ought to deliver that one,... (full context)
Chapter 34
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...her fever, takes a walk outside to clear his head. On his return to the Maylies' house, he runs into Giles, in a post-chaise (a kind of carriage), with an unnamed... (full context)
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Harry runs inside and finds his mother, whom he upbraids, gently, for not telling him sooner... (full context)
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Harry and his mother leave off the subject for the time being; Mrs. Maylie goes back... (full context)
Chapter 35
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Oliver alerts the house that "the Jew" (Fagin) and another man were there. Harry, Giles, and Lorsborne attempt to find them outside, but cannot—the two seem to have vanished... (full context)
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A few days later, when Rose is feeling better, Harry comes up to her in the house, and asks to speak with her. Rose, though... (full context)
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Rose then listens as Harry reiterates his love for her. After hearing him, she asks if she might say something... (full context)
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Harry does not agree with what Rose is saying, but seeing that her resolution is firm... (full context)
Chapter 36
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After breakfast, as Harry is preparing to leave with Lorsborne, Harry pulls Oliver aside and asks him a favor:... (full context)
Chapter 37
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...to Bumble—Monks, the same man who was seen with Fagin outside Oliver's window, by the Maylies' house. (full context)
Chapter 40
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...last piece of information is most shocking to Rose. Monks also told Fagin that the Maylies would die to know their relationship to Oliver, but that they would never learn the... (full context)
Chapter 41
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...birth, and to protect Oliver. As Rose is sitting down to write to her cousin Harry regarding his assistance in the matter, Oliver comes into Rose's room, greatly agitated. (full context)
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...Oliver (who has overheard nothing, yet, of their plans), and he agrees that Grimwig and Harry should be brought in to help. With this plan made, the meeting breaks up till... (full context)
Chapter 49
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...have found Sikes' dog and have used it to locate the murderer; Losborne, Brownlow, and Harry Maylie make haste to find Sikes and capture him. Losborne also says that the authorities... (full context)
Chapter 51
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...as is Oliver—the bond of kinship had already been strong between them. At this point, Harry Maylie comes in, to reiterate his proposal to Rose. He says that his circumstances have... (full context)
Chapter 53
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The narrator closes out the novel by detailing the fortunes of the characters. Rose and Harry marry, and they move to the country parsonage where Harry works; Mrs. Maylie comes as... (full context)
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...as his son. He and Oliver move to within a mile of the parsonage where Harry and Rose live. And Lorsborne, inventing an excuse to be close to the group he... (full context)
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...in the workhouse they once managed. Giles and Brittles stay on to help in the Maylies' new home, and Bates, having repented for a life of crime, takes on a series... (full context)