Thou art an Angel. Bless thee, bless thee!
More a symbol than a fully developed
character, Rachael is often referred to as an angel by Stephen.
Like Sissy Jupe, whom she later befriends, Rachael represents the
qualities necessary to counteract the dehumanizing, morally corrupting
effects of industrialization. She is compassionate, honest, generous,
and faithful to Stephen, even when everyone else shuns him and considers
him a thief. As this remark illustrates, Rachael also draws out
Stephen’s good qualities, making him realize that joy can be found
even in the moral darkness of Coketown. Rachael and Sissy are both
socially marginal characters—the former is a Hand, and the latter
is the daughter of a circus entertainer. Likewise, they are both
relatively minor characters in the novel. Through their marginal
status, Dickens implies that the self-serving rationalism that dominates
Coketown threatens to exclude the morally pure people who are necessary
to save society from complete corruption.