Rose Maylie is the lady of the house where Bill Sykes’ failed attempted robbery results in Oliver being shot by the servant Giles and abandoned to die by Bill. When Oliver, weak and ill from loss of blood, arrives on the Maylie’s doorstep, he is immediately identified as the child involved in the robbery. Despite this, Rose Maylie shows the first sign of her endless kindness when she insists that the child be treated with gentleness and nursed to health. Rose is beloved by everyone who knows her – the respect that others have for her is initially noted in Giles’ reaction to her request to show Oliver mercy and care. Although Giles’ own safety was jeopardized in the attempted robbery, and Oliver was undoubtedly a member of the thieving party that shot at Giles and endangered him, he immediately puts aside his concerns and obeys Rose’s demands. While he is her servant, and therefore bound to obey commands, his immediate softening to Oliver shows how much he respects Rose and values her loving disposition.

Giles’ respect for Rose is mirrored in many other characters, from Mrs. Maylie and Harry Maylie to Mr. Losberne and Oliver. Rose is a figure of moral perfection. At 17 years of age, she is caring, forgiving, loving, intelligent, and, perhaps most importantly, selfless. She embodies the ideal personality that would have been a model for Christian Victorian women in Dickens’ time. While her angelic nature sometimes crosses into stereotypical or two-dimensional territory, she represents the Christian sentiments of grace, giving, and kindness that were personally important to Dickens and are strongly woven throughout his body of work. Rose believes in the goodness of everyone in Oliver Twist. Her humane and compassionate nature is perhaps at its strongest in her interactions with Nancy, whom she desperately wishes to see to safety. Rose would willingly have organized and paid for Nancy to escape from London and live out her life in the country or abroad in exchange for the vital information that Nancy exposes, and Nancy’s refusal to accept help, along with her hopeless state of mind, deeply hurts and saddens Rose. She is empathetic toward everyone and feels the pain of others' circumstances as if it were her own. 
Rose’s major flaw is not in her personhood but in her parentage – a concern that may seem trivial by today’s standards but was life-changing in Victorian England. Rose is the ward of the wealthy and elderly Mrs. Maylie, who took a liking to the young, orphaned girl and raised her as part of her own family. Mrs. Maylie’s son, Harry, is of a similar age to Rose, and the two grew up together as children. During Oliver’s stay at the Maylie’s country home, Rose falls ill with a dangerous fever, and Harry rushes to be at her side. After Rose recovers, Harry proposes to her, and it’s clear that Rose returns his feelings of love. However, in her endless selflessness, Rose refuses his proposal. Her reason for doing so is that the mystery of her parentage would stain the Maylie family’s reputation should she become Harry’s wife. Harry wishes to go into politics, and it would have been scandalous for a well-to-do man who worked in governmental office to have a wife with no family line or prestige. The fact that Rose is an orphan doesn’t stop Harry from wanting to marry her, but Rose is not wrong to worry about the effect that their marriage may have on Harry’s career. Their situation is tragic, as both are deserving of happiness and love, but they are held back by the strict societal expectations surrounding birthright and class.

In many ways, Rose is Oliver’s mirror. They are both orphans, unjustly disconnected from their family lineage and forced into a childhood of abuse and poverty, and yet they remain ever positive, loving, and hopeful throughout their suffering. Their bright, kind, and mature personalities lead others – like Mrs. Maylie and Mr. Brownlow – to take an interest in them and give them the opportunities that they deserve. They are both purely good at heart and this goodness carries them through circumstances that many others would not have survived.