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In Oliver Twist, the novel, Dickens uses a variety of language techniques to show how villainous Bill Sikes is. The vocabulary he uses is course and elementary. That, with the use of short, sharp sentences gives a fierce thuggish effect. In the film, Bill Sikes is calm in his words however with brutal with his actions. In the film adaptation he is also presented with a delicate, more human side rather than being pot rayed as a monster all the time, like in the novel.
This is helped with the non-diegetic sound, to help create and eerie and tense atmosphere. In the novel, Dickens describes him as a ‘Robber, Housekeeper’ these negative words add to his person as wanting to be the alpha-male. The language Sikes uses is not thought out properly. He says whatever comes into his head and this is why he is always quick to reply. In the film, even though Nancy explains herself, he hits her, and only after hitting her he realises what he has done.
In conclusion, the way that Bill Sikes is presented as a villain in both the original novel by Charles Dickens and the BBC film adaptation are quite different. The villainy and the traits of Bill Sikes are portrayed by the language used by Charles Dickens which is short and sharp for fast paced action. The interactions of Bill Sikes with the other characters in the scene and chapter in which Bill Sikes completely ignores Fagin’s warnings and is very brutal to Nancy.
Furthermore his villainy is also enhanced by the author’s and the film maker’s craft and use of various devices such as non-diegetic music and how Bill Sikes is called various names in the novel and finally his presentation of a villain is also based upon how he treats Nancy and how he reacts to his surroundings. In the novel he is presented to far more villainous than he is in the BBC film adaptation as in the adaptation there is remorse and regret over Nancy’s death.