Charles Dickens was a great, great writer. He is the author of a number of famous works, including Great Expectations, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities, and Oliver Twist. It is this last work which I would like to comment on. In it, one of the main villains - a master thief and employer of young pickpocketing boys - named Fagin is a Jew. Not only is he a Jew, but he is constantly known as "the Jew" throughout the novel, making it sound extremely antisemitic and giving Jews a bad name.
I adore Dickens. It really bothers me that he seems to have anti-semitic tones in his novels, especially in Oliver Twist, and in searching around for some article in his defense, I only found one trying to defend him but realizing that there isn't that much to defend. He did write a novel, Our Mutual Friend, with a Jewish protagonist instead of villain, but that's about it. Here is the article, though it is on JSTOR so not everyone will be able to get to it, I don't think. Anyway, here it is for you all to read at your own convenience, but I just want to know, how can I adore Dickens if he was such an anti-semite? I feel bad doing it, but I love his work! It's so awful.