Oliver Twist

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Rose Maylie Character Analysis

Mrs. Maylie's niece, Rose helps nurse Oliver back to health, only to catch sick later herself. Rose is in love with Harry, but social barriers (her low social standing) keep their marriage from occurring until the end of the novel. It is revealed, at the novel's end, that Rose is Oliver's biological aunt. Rose embodies pure goodness and generosity.

Rose Maylie Quotes in Oliver Twist

The Oliver Twist quotes below are all either spoken by Rose Maylie or refer to Rose 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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Chapter 40 Quotes

Do not close your heart against all my efforts to help you . . . I wish to serve you indeed.
You would serve me best, lady . . . if you could take my life at once; for I have felt more grief to think of what I am, tonight, that I ever did before . . . .

Related Characters: Nancy (speaker), Rose Maylie (speaker)
Page Number: 256
Explanation and Analysis:

Rose and Nancy are not so much foils as characters in utter opposition. Rose Maylie, as above, has devoted her life to others, and her sickness, which nearly kills her, is an occasion for much grieving among those in her family. Nancy, on the other hand, has made a life of petty theft - although Fagin and Sikes did help to raise her and care for her, and she is loyal to them because of it. Nancy, Dickens implies, chose her life because she had nothing else to choose - there were no other options available to her that would keep her safe and fed.

Rose seems to understand this and wants to protect Nancy. She believes that Nancy is, at heart, a good person, and, further, that Nancy can change her circumstances, can improve them by leaving Fagin and Sikes behind. But Nancy seems already to know at this point that she can never abandon her life, nor can she leave Sikes - that Sikes would as soon kill her as let her do that. 

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Rose Maylie Character Timeline in Oliver Twist

The timeline below shows where the character Rose Maylie appears in Oliver Twist. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 29
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...servant, there are Mrs. Maylie, an older and distinguished woman, and her seventeen-year-old niece Miss Rose Maylie. A doctor arrives, breathless, having been shocked by the news of the robbery—the narrator... (full context)
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...Oliver, saying that he is all right and stable, considering his wound. Lorsborne asks if Rose would like to see Oliver—Rose had asked previously to do so, but her aunt would... (full context)
Chapter 30
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The doctor leads both Rose and Mrs. Maylie upstairs to see Oliver. On revealing that Oliver is only a young... (full context)
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...get the truth out of Giles and Brittles, but before doing so, he waits, with Rose and her aunt, for Oliver to wake and tell of his life, and how he... (full context)
Chapter 31
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...to Blathers and Duff, they won't take pity on him the way he and the Maylies have. Rose does not understand how anyone couldn't pity Oliver, and Lorsborne tells her that,... (full context)
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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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One evening that summer, Rose sits down to play the piano for her aunt, when suddenly her aunt, noticing that... (full context)
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Oliver asks Mrs. Maylie, when Rose has been safely placed in bed, whether Rose will get better, but Mrs. Maylie fears... (full context)
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When Oliver returns home, Rose's fever has grown worse—Lorsborne, who arrives later, fears that Rose might not survive it. After... (full context)
Chapter 34
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Oliver, relieved to hear that Rose will recover from her fever, takes a walk outside to clear his head. On his... (full context)
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...inside and finds his mother, whom he upbraids, gently, for not telling him sooner of Rose's illness. Mrs. Maylie counters that it would not have mattered—if Rose got worse, she would... (full context)
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...leave off the subject for the time being; Mrs. Maylie goes back to tend to Rose, and Harry entertains Oliver, Losborne, and Giles with stories into the night. Over the next... (full context)
Chapter 35
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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... (full context)
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Rose then listens as Harry reiterates his love for her. After hearing him, she asks if... (full context)
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Harry does not agree with what Rose is saying, but seeing that her resolution is firm on the matter—that this "blight" on... (full context)
Chapter 36
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...day, reporting on how things go in the house, and on how Mrs. Maylie and Rose are doing. Oliver agrees to do so. As Harry and Lorsborne departs, Rose sees that... (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 39
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...after Miss Maylie, to a footman in the hotel, hoping to have a conversation with Rose. Rose, hearing that someone is there to see her, allows Nancy to come upstairs for... (full context)
Chapter 40
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Nancy enters Rose's room at the hotel, where Rose apologizes for Nancy's difficulty in coming to see her.... (full context)
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Nancy reveals to Rose information she has heard from conversations between Fagin and Monks (whom Rose does not know).... (full context)
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Nancy reveals the content of tonight's conversation between Monks and Fagin to Rose: Monks said that the only proof of Oliver's family ties lies at the bottom of... (full context)
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This last piece of information is most shocking to Rose. Monks also told Fagin that the Maylies would die to know their relationship to Oliver,... (full context)
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Rose begs, again, that Nancy stay with them, but Nancy repeats that she is loyal to... (full context)
Chapter 41
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Rose is not sure what to do with Nancy's information. Rose has promised to keep Nancy's... (full context)
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Oliver tells Rose that he has spotted Mr. Brownlow in the street. Oliver wishes desperately to be reunited... (full context)
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Rose claims that she has knowledge of Oliver Twist, can prove that he is in fact... (full context)
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...more, that she never believed that Oliver was a bad boy in the first place. Rose goes out of the parlor with Brownlow to tell him all the information Rose has... (full context)
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Brownlow and Lorsborne go to the hotel to meet with Rose and Mrs. Maylie. Brownlow has a plan for how to proceed, although the plan galls... (full context)
Chapter 42
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On the same night that Nancy dosed Sikes with laudanum and visited Rose, Noah Claypole and his now-partner Charlotte (it is unclear if they are legally married) are... (full context)
Chapter 44
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...over that night, a Sunday, to join Nancy and Sikes. Nancy is eager to meet Rose on the London Bridge, and asks Sikes if she can go out (although of course... (full context)
Chapter 46
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Nancy keeps arrives at the bridge, and Rose and Brownlow arrive just after her. Noah sneaks along the bridge and hides himself in... (full context)
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...relationship with Monks, and therefore does not feel the same loyalty to him. Brownlow and Rose promise that, if they get the information about Oliver they need, no harm will come... (full context)
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Nancy describes Monks to Rose and Brownlow, and tells how he might be found at the pub the Three Cripples.... (full context)
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Rose is deeply upset that Nancy will not go with them, and that Nancy will take... (full context)
Chapter 51
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Oliver tells Rose he looks forward to seeing Dick, and promises that, this time, Oliver will say "God... (full context)
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One final revelation is in order: Rose is brought forward, and it is declared that Rose is the younger daughter of the... (full context)
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Rose agrees to the marriage, and the party appears happy, until, at the end of the... (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... (full context)
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...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 loves so... (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)
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The narrator ends the novel by describing Oliver's happiness with his aunt Rose, his adopted father Brownlow, who educates him in the books he once promised Oliver would... (full context)