What Is The Novel "Oliver Twist" About?


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Louise Gorman Profile
Louise Gorman answered
Oliver Twist is Charles Dickens’ second published novel. It is noted as being the first novel in the English Language to feature a child as the main character. The story was originally published as a serial from 1837-1839.

Oliver Twist tells the story of a young boy named Oliver, an orphan who is raised in a workhouse after his mother died giving birth to him. For the first eight years of his life, he lives in poverty at a baby farm. On his ninth birthday, he is moved to the main branch warehouse by Mr Bumble, who gives him the task of picking oakum.
Oliver spends his time working with other boys and for meals they are given gruel. Six months after Oliver began working in the workhouse, the boys decide to draw lots in order to make a decision as to who should ask for more gruel. Oliver ends up with the task, and in a famous scene, he takes his bowl to Mr Bumble and asks for more.

Furious, the people who run the workhouse decide to remove Oliver and attempt to sell him as an apprentice. He is taken away by Mr Sowberry, an undertaker. Oliver is treated in a much better manner with Mr Sowberry, but the undertaker’s wife, Mrs Sowberry, is not so keen. Another apprentice, called Noah, is jealous of Oliver and a fight ensues after Noah insults Oliver’s mother. Mrs Sowberry takes Noah’s side. Later that night, Oliver runs away.

He heads towards London, where he runs into a boy called Jack Dawkins, better known as "The Artful Dodger". Dodger promises Oliver free lodgings and takes him to a lair in Saffron Hill, where Oliver is introduced to a man named Fagin. Fagin lives with a group of boys who he regularly goes pick-pocketing with. Oliver is unaware that Fagin’s collection of handkerchiefs and wallets are stolen, believing that they are instead made by Fagin and the boys.

Oliver stays there for a while and eventually ends up being sent with Dodger and another boy to steal more wallets, though Oliver is unaware that the trip will involve stealing and only later realises what the boys intend to do. Whilst out, Dodger and the other boy steal a wallet from a man named Mr Brownlow. Mr Brownlow discovers that his wallet is missing and turns around. Dodger and the other boy run off, leaving Oliver next to Mr Brownlow, who immediately thinks that it was Oliver that stole his wallet. Oliver is chased by Mr Brownlow and a few other people, and is eventually captured and taken to the magistrate. Whilst there, Oliver falls ill and is cleared of the crime after a bookstore owner reveals that he saw Dodger stealing the wallet. Mr Brownlow feels sorry for Oliver and takes him home, where he is treated with much kindness.

Fagin is worried that Oliver will reveal all about his criminal life and that he and the boys will end up in trouble. As a result, he arranges for Oliver to be kidnapped by Bill Sikes, an abusive robber, and Bill’s partner Nancy. Whilst out on an errand for Mr Brownlow, Bill and Nancy manage to successfully kidnap Oliver and take him back to Fagin’s lair.

Whilst there, Fagin and Sikes take a five pound note from Oliver, which he needed for his errand and steal his new clothes. He tries to escape but is unsuccessful and Nancy begins to feel sympathetic towards him after she witnesses Bill and Fagin’s treatment of him. They later force him to participate in a robbery, which goes terribly wrong when Oliver gets shot. Oliver ends up being looked after by the owners of the house that he was supposed to rob.

Fagin plots to kidnap Oliver again and Nancy, who is feeling guilty for helping to kidnap Oliver before, goes to see Mr Brownlow and Rose, the woman who is looking after Oliver, to warm them. Later, Noah, the boy who fought with Oliver back at Mr Sowberry’s place, ends up joining Fagin’s gang after a disagreement between him and Mr Sowberry. Fagin sends Noah to spy on Nancy and is furious to discover that she has informed others of Fagin’s intentions. He informs Bill that Nancy has been passing on information, but alters the story to make it seems as though Nancy has been trying to get Bill into trouble, when really she tried to protect Bill by not giving his name.

Furious, Bill finds Nancy and murders her. His murder of Nancy angers may people and he is chased by a mob. As he tries to escape on a rooftop, he accidentally hangs himself. Fagin is arrested and ends up in prison.
Later it is revealed that Rose is actually Oliver’s aunt – she is the sister of Oliver’s mother. The story ends with Oliver living happily with Mr Brownlow.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Read the book
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
It's about a boy who's mother died after giving birth to him so he lives in a orphanige. He runs away and alltogether finds his family butit is a tough journey meetin the wrong type of people

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