3 Charles Dickens Characters You Don’t Want to Meet

3 Charles Dickens Characters You Don’t Want to Meet
Updated on 20 April 2015

The great English writer Charles Dickens is known for his well-crafted characters. While some of the characters we meet in Dickens’ novels are endearing heroes, others are sinister villains. Here are three Dickens characters you would never want to meet.

Bill Sikes in Oliver Twist A career criminal, violent abuser, and murderer, Bill Sikes is at the top of the list of characters to avoid. This is how Dickens describes him: “…a stoutly-built fellow of about five-and-thirty, in a black velveteen coat, very soiled drab breeches, lace-up half boots, and grey cotton stockings which enclosed a bulky pair of legs, with large swelling calves—the kind of legs, which in such costume, always look in an unfinished and incomplete state without a set of fetters to garnish them. He had a brown hat on his head, and a dirty belcher handkerchief round his neck: with the long frayed ends of which he smeared the beer from his face as he spoke. He disclosed, when he had done so, a broad heavy countenance with a beard of three weeks’ growth, and two scowling eyes; one of which displayed various parti-coloured symptoms of having been recently damaged by a blow.”

Daniel Quilp in The Old Curiosity Shop Daniel Quilp is a sneaky manipulator who uses secrets as currency. A condescending liar, Quilp can’t be trusted. If you met him on the street, it would be wise to keep your head down and walk the other way.

Miss Havisham in Great Expectations Although her cruelty stems from the deep pain of betrayal and rejection, Miss Havisham is cruel nonetheless. She meddles in both Pip and Estella’s lives, encouraging love in one and brutal indifference in the other. Miss Havisham succeeds in hurting everyone close to her and ruins the lives of others as a consequence. She’s destructive, manipulative, and cruel. Watch out!

Which Dickens character is your favorite villain? Let us know in the comments!

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