John O. Jordan’s “The Purloined Handkerchief”. Analysis By: Joshua Kirtley, Stephanie Krumm, Jennie McCully, Tova Salley. Overview. “The Purloined Letter” Handkerchief’s origin Handkerchief’s importance to social classes Nancy Oliver Economy Application to “The Purloined Letter”
Joshua Kirtley, Stephanie Krumm,
Jennie McCully, Tova Salley
- Upper class=Silk, carried in the pocket. Gentlemen wore “neck cloths” and “cravats.”
- Lower class=Cotton, often worn around the neck. Working class wore neckerchiefs.
- Clothes signify social distinctions.
- Power is represented by clothing.
- Clothes help maintain social control.
- The handkerchief exchange signifies the relationship between Nancy and Rose.
- It links Rose, Nancy, and Agnes together.
- He tries to hide the handkerchief.
- The handkerchief is present even when he dies.
- “Because his heart and mind are innocent, the idea of theft never occurs to him.”
- He is circulated throughout the text to be claimed by those around him.
- He’s sometimes treated like an object.
- Bumble and the Police officer name him.
- Fagin tries to teach him thievery.
- His mother imprints a kiss on him when he is born.
- Handkerchief production increases.
- A letter always reaches its destination.
- The handkerchief does not reach its destination.
Jordan, John O. “The Purloined Handkerchief.” Oliver Twist. By Charles Dickens. Ed. Fred Kaplan. New York: Norton, 1993. 580-593.