“When It’s Not Your Turn”

The Quintessentially Victorian Vision of Ogden’s “The Wire”

[..] Who could forget “Bubbles”—the lovable drifter, Stringer Bell—the bourgeoisie merchant with pretentions to aristocracy, or Bodie—who, despite lack of education or Victorian “good breeding”, is seen reading and enjoying the likes of Jane Austen? Yet these portrayals of the “criminal element” always maintain a certain realism. We never descend into the divisions of “loveable rogues” and truly evil villains of which Dickens makes such effective use. Odgen’s Bodie, an adult who uses children to perpetrate criminal activity, is not a caricature of an ethnic minority in the mode of Dickens’ Fagin the Jew [..]

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