Unformatted text preview: Ravi Schwartz Mrs. Reed British Literature 16 May 2016 Mrs. Lovett's Delicious Meat Pies
The String of Pearls, or Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber of Fleet Street,
Written by James Malcolm Rymer, was written as a penny dreadful during the middle 1800’s. The book focuses Multiple stories, none happy all sad, which all find their resolution with the Barber Sweeney Todd in some way or another. It easy to say that one of the most important themes in this book is that of love. Every character loves something, or someone, however this, in almost every case, causes more pain than happiness. The first character that the reader will find sympathy for is a young lad named Tobias Ragg. Tobias is the young lad apprentice of Sweeney Todd who was placed into the occupation because of his mother’s friendship with Sweeney todd, and is forced to stay in his employment due to a matter of blackmail. Todd tells Tobias that he has proof that his mother stole a candle from her former employer and sold it to get out of debt, and that if Tobias wanted to keep his mother alive he would obey all of Todd’s commands and speak nothing of what is going on in his shop. Tobias a child of not a great amount of learning but a in a large in his love for his mother agrees to do all that Sweeney Todd would ask of him. Out of the love Tobias has for his mother he endures a great number of hardships, including mental and physical abuse, and once his purpose was completed, (ie he knew too much) Todd puts him into an insane asylum. The next character worthy of great sympathy is a young miss Johanna Oakley. This young lady lost her lover and discovers that the last place he had been seen was getting a shave in Sweeney Todd’s barber shop. She would then contrive a plan with her good friend, and some naval officers who are much invested in the missing person, to attempt in some way to find out what fate had become her poor man. Her love for the man she lost caused her many days of grief and would put her very life in peril when she decided to dress as a ladd and fill Tobias’s (who is in the madhouse by now) place as Todd’s new helper. To give the other half of Johanna’s story her lover, Mark Ingestrie, was never at Sweeney Todd’s, it was only a messenger. Mark, after his ship being crashed, finally made his way to London only to misinterpret a meeting between Johanna and one of her naval officer helpers as a lovers meeting. With a broken heart and no money he asks to be employed at Mrs. Lovett’s meat pie shop where he is kept prisoner under threat of death should he ever stop making pies. Finally is the demon barber himself, Sweeney Todd. Sweeney Todd has affection for only one thing, money. He being an orphan who was adopted not by a person but the practise of securing material wealth by any means necessary, cares not for any living thing. He lives a simple life of killing people for their valuables. At the end of his time in our story he kills off his cohort in crime Mrs. Lovett because he does not want to split the spoils of their nefarious activities. He is eventually caught, not because of a specific act of his greed, but because of the combined retribution of all his acts and working together of several parties. Love can be the cause for great happiness or great misery, and it all depends upon what one chooses to devote their affections to. While the story may have ended happy for the main characters, there have been over a hundred other murders by the hands of Sweeney Todd that have not been so happily resolved. ...
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