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”
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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.