OLIVER TWIST, CHAPTER SUMMARIES

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OLIVER TWIST, CHAPTER SUMMARIES

  1. 1. OLIVER TWIST CHARLES DICKENS Dr. M. Fahmy Raiyah CHAPTER SUMMARIES
  2. 2. CHARLES DICKENS  British novelist Charles Dickens was born February 7, 1812, in Portsmouth, England, the second of eight children.  The family’s financial situation had grown dire, as Charles’s father, John Dickens was always living beyond the family’s means. In 1822, the Dickens family moved to Camden Town, a poor neighborhood in London. John was then sent to prison for debt in 1824, when Charles was just 12 years old. All the family, except Charles, went with him.
  3. 3.  To help support the family, Charles Dickens was forced to leave school to work at a boot-blacking factory.  This early degrading experience had a shattering and lasting experience on him. He felt abandoned and neglected. He was also introduced to the world of the working poor, where child laborers were abused and ill-treated.  When his father received a family inheritance and used it to pay off his debts, Dickens was back to school. But in 1827, he had to drop out of school and work as an office boy at an attorney's, while he studied shorthand at night.
  4. 4.  From 1830 he worked as a shorthand reporter in the courts and afterwards as a parliamentary and newspaper reporter.  In 1833 Dickens began to contribute short stories and essays to periodicals under the pseudonym Boz.  Dickens's first book, a collection of stories titled Sketches by Boz, was published in 1836.  In 1836, he married Catherine Hogarth, daughter of the editor of the Evening Chronicle. Together they had 10 children before they separated in 1858.
  5. 5.  In 1836, Dickens became editor for Bentley’s Miscellany of which Pickwick Papers (1836-1837) was first serialized.
  6. 6.  Most of his novels were first serialised in monthly magazines as was a common practice of the time. Oliver Twist between 1837 and 1839 was followed by Nicholas Nickleby (1838- 1839), The Old Curiosity Shop (1840-1841), and Barnaby Rudge (1841) and A Christmas Carol (1843).  From 1849 to 1850, Dickens worked on David Copperfield. He then published Bleak House (1852-53), Hard Times (1854), Little Dorrit (1857), A Tale of Two Cities (1859), and Great Expectations (1861).
  7. 7.  In the closing years of his life, Dickens worsened his declining health by giving numerous readings.  Charles Dickens died at home on June 9, 1870.  Dickens's novels were works of social commentary. He was a harsh critic of the poverty and social division of the Victorian society.
  8. 8. CHAPTER SUMMARIES
  9. 9. CHAPTER 1 Oliver Twist is born in a workhouse, and his mother dies immediately after his birth. Oliver’s mother has been found lying in the streets the night before. The surgeon notices that she is not wearing a wedding ring.
  10. 10. CHAPTER 2 Authorities at the workhouse send Oliver to a branch run by Mrs. Mann, who receives a sum for each child she keeps, but she takes most of the money and lets the children go hungry, or even letting them die. On Oliver’s ninth birthday, Mr. Bumble, the parish beadle, informs Mrs. Mann that Oliver is too old to stay anymore with her and that he must return to the workhouse.
  11. 11. The narrator sarcastically comments on the generosity and kindness of the workhouse authorities, who offer the poor the opportunity to starve slowly instead of starving quickly on the streets. Oliver and the boys with him suffer the “tortures of slow starvation.” One night, a child tells the others that if he does not have another bowl of gruel, he might eat one of them. Terrified, the children cast lots to choose someone to ask for more food for the boy. Oliver is selected to ask for more. Mr. Bumble is shocked and runs to transfer the horrific news to the board. They decide to offer five pounds to anyone who will take Oliver.
  12. 12. CHAPTER 3 In the parish, Oliver has been flogged and locked in a dark room as an example. Mr. Gamfield, a cruel chimneysweep, offers to take Oliver on as an apprentice. Because several boys have died under his supervision, the board considers five pounds too large a reward, and they settle on just three pounds. Oliver begs that they do not send him with this hideous man. The magistrate refuses to give him to the man.
  13. 13. Mr. Gamfield
  14. 14. CHAPTER 4 Mr. Sowerberry, the parish undertaker, takes Oliver as his apprentice. Mrs. Sowerberry remarks that Oliver is rather small. Mr. Bumble assures her that he will grow, but she grumbles that he will only grow by eating their food. Mrs. Sowerberry serves Oliver the leftovers that the dog has declined to eat. Oliver devours the food as though it were a great feast. After he finishes, Mrs. Sowerberry leads him to his bed, worrying that his appetite seems so large.
  15. 15. CHAPTERS 5-7 In the morning he hears someone kicking at the outside door. It turns out to be Noah Claypole, Sowerberry’s apprentice, who tells Oliver that he is his superior. Noah and Charlotte, the maid, tease Oliver during breakfast. Because of Oliver's melancholy appearance, Sowerberry makes Oliver serve at children's funerals as a mute. Noah Claypole becomes jealous. One day, he insults Oliver’s dead mother. Oliver attacks him in a fury. Charlotte and Mrs. Sowerberry rush to Noah’s aid, and the three of them beat Oliver and lock him in the cellar. Noah rushes to fetch Mr. Bumble. Mr. Bumble says that this is the result of feeding meat to Oliver. When Sowerberry returns home, he beats Oliver, and locks him up again. Early the next morning, Oliver runs away.
  16. 16. Mrs. Sowerberry
  17. 17. The road to London
  18. 18. CHAPTER 8 Oliver takes the long trip to London. At the outskirts of London, he meets a boy named Jack Dawkins, who buys food for Oliver and tells him about a gentleman who will let Oliver stay in his home for free. Jack’s nickname is “the Artful Dodger.” Dawkins takes Oliver to a dirty neighborhood and into an old house. There he meets Fagin and a large group of boys. Oliver is very tired and sleeps.
  19. 19. CHAPTER 9 The next morning, Fagin takes out a box full of jewelry and watches. When he notices that Oliver was observing him, Fagin grabs a knife and asks Oliver if he has seen anything. Oliver says he was not, and Fagin regains his kindly conduct. The Artful Dodger returns with another boy, named Charley Bates. Fagin asks if they worked hard that morning. The Dodger produces two pocketbooks, and Charley pulls out four handkerchiefs. Dodger and Charley practice picking Fagin’s pockets. Two young women, Bet and Nancy, drop in. Fagin lets Oliver practice taking a handkerchief out of his pocket and gives him a shilling for a job well done.
  20. 20. • Why do you think Dodger takes Oliver to Fagin? Why is Fagin angry, to begin with, when Oliver wakes up? • Why do Fagin, Dodger and Charley play a game together?
  21. 21. CHAPTER 10 Finally, Fagin sends Oliver out with the Dodger and Charley to “work.” After some time, the Dodger notices a gentleman absorbed in reading at a bookstall. Oliver watches with horror as Charley and the Dodger sneak up behind the man and steal his handkerchief. Thinking that Oliver is the thief, the gentleman raises a cry. The Dodger and Charley see Oliver running past them, so they join in, crying, “Stop thief!” A large crowd joins the pursuit. A police officer arrives and takes Oliver to the police station. The gentleman who was robbed asks the police officer not to hurt Oliver and follows them to the police station.
  22. 22. CHAPTER 11 Oliver is put in a cell before his appearance before Mr. Fang, the judge. Mr. Brownlow, the gentleman, says that he does not want to press charges. Oliver faints in the courtroom, and Mr. Fang sentences him to three months of hard labor. The owner of the bookstall comes to the court and tells Mr. Fang that he saw two other boys stealing. So, Oliver is cleared of all charges. Brownlow takes Oliver home with him.
  23. 23. Mr. Brownlow
  24. 24. CHAPTER 12 Oliver has a fever for days. When he awakes, Mrs. Bedwin, Brownlow’s housekeeper, is watching over him. because she is so kind to him, Oliver says that he feels as if his mother has come to sit by him. Oliver’s story makes Mrs. Bedwin weep. Oliver sees a portrait of a young woman which affects him greatly. Mr. Brownlow notices with astonishment that Oliver closely resembles the young lady in the portrait.
  25. 25. Mrs. Bedwin
  26. 26. CHAPTER 13 Fagin is enraged when the Dodger and Charley return without Oliver. Bill Sikes, a rough, cruel man, who makes his living by robbing houses, enters. They are determined to find Oliver before he tells about them to the authorities. They want Nancy to go to the police station to find out what happened to him. Nancy goes to the police station, pretending to be Oliver’s sister. She knows that Oliver is taken by the gentleman home because the boy had fallen ill during the trial. Fagin sends Charley, Jack, and Nancy to Pentonville to find Oliver. Fagin prepares to move to another place.
  27. 27. Bill Sikes
  28. 28. CHAPTER 14 Mr. Brownlow wants to send Oliver to the bookstall with some returned books and a payment. Mr. Grimwig, Brownlow’s friend, hints that Oliver might steal the payment and the books. To prove Grimwig wrong, Brownlow sends Oliver on the errand. It grows dark and Oliver does not return.
  29. 29. Mr. Grimwig
  30. 30. CHAPTER 15 Nancy appears in Oliver’s way to the bookstall. She tells everyone on the street that Oliver is her runaway brother who joined a band of thieves, and that she is taking him back home to their parents. Everyone ignores Oliver’s protests. Bill Sikes joins, and he and Nancy drag Oliver through the dark backstreets.
  31. 31. • Mr. Brownlow notices that Oliver bears a close resemblance to whom? • Why are Fagin and Sikes keen to bring Oliver back? • How does Nancy get information about Oliver’s whereabouts? • On what errand does Oliver leave Mr Brownlow’s house? • What happened to Oliver on his errand for Mr. Brownlow?
  32. 32. CHAPTER 16 Nancy, Sikes, and Oliver arrive at an old house. Oliver calls for help and flees, but Sikes threatens to set his vicious dog, Bullseye, on him. Nancy defends Oliver, saying that they have ruined the boy’s life like they did with hers. Fagin tries to beat Oliver for his escape attempt, and Nancy attacks Fagin in a rage. Sikes catches Nancy by the wrists, and she faints. They take Oliver’s new fine clothes, Brownlow’s money, and the books.
  33. 33. Bullseye
  34. 34. CHAPTER 17 Mr. Brownlow publishes an advertisement offering a reward for information about Oliver’s place or his past. Mr. Bumble notices it in the paper and quickly goes to Brownlow’s home. Mr. Bumble tells about Oliver’s immoral behaviour and treachery. Although Mr. Brownlow is deeply hurt by Bumble's information about Oliver, he believes it and says that he never wants to hear Oliver’s name mentioned again. Mrs. Bedwin, however, refuses to believe Mr. Bumble.
  35. 35. CHAPTER 18 For many days, Oliver is locked in his room. Fagin gradually allows Oliver to spend more time in the other boys’ company, who try to convince him of learning to be a thief from Fagin and talk about the profits of their type of life.
  36. 36. CHAPTERS 19- 21 Sikes plans to rob a house, but he needs a small boy for the job. Fagin suggests that Oliver be used in this job. Nancy brings Oliver to Sikes’ home. Oliver considers calling for help on the streets, but Nancy warns him that he could get both of them into deep trouble. They arrive at Sikes’s residence, and Sikes warns Oliver that if he causes any trouble, he will kill him. At five in the morning, they prepare to leave for the job. Sikes takes Oliver on a long journey to the town of Shepperton. They arrive after dark.
  37. 37. CHAPTER 22 Sikes goes with Oliver and Toby Crackit, Sikes’ partner, to rob the house. Sikes tells Oliver to enter the house through a tiny window and open the street door to let them in. Oliver plans to go upstairs and warn the family. Sikes lowers him through the window. However, the residents of the house awake, and one shoots Oliver’s arm. Sikes pulls Oliver back through the window. He flees with the bleeding Oliver.
  38. 38. Toby Crackit
  39. 39. CHAPTERS 23 - 24 Old Sally, a woman under Mrs. Corney’s care, is close to death and wishes to tell Mrs. Corney, the matron of the workhouse, something. She confesses that she once robbed a woman in her care. The woman had been found pregnant on the road, and Sally had attended the childbirth. The woman had given Sally a gold locket, saying it might lead to people who would care for the child. The child’s name was Oliver.
  40. 40. a gold locket
  41. 41. CHAPTER 25 - 26 Crackit arrives at Fagin’s. Fagin has learned from the newspapers that the robbery has failed. Crackit informs Fagin that Oliver has been shot and that he and Sikes fled, leaving Oliver in a ditch. Fagin tells Nancy what happened to Oliver, and Nancy cries that she hopes Oliver is dead, because she believes that living with Fagin is worse than death. Monks goes to Fagin. Monks was looking for Oliver.
  42. 42. CHAPTER 27-28 Mr. Bumble tells Mrs. Corney that he might become master of the workhouse as the current master is dying. He promises to marry Mrs. Corney. Oliver manages to reach the gate of the house that Sikes took him to rob and knocks at the door. The servants allow him in and the niece of the house owner orders him upstairs.
  43. 43. CHAPTER 29-30 Mrs. Maylie, the mistress of the house at which Oliver is shot is a kindly, elderly woman. Miss Rose, her niece, is a beautiful girl of seventeen. When Miss Rose sees Oliver, she says that he cannot be a burglar. She begs her aunt not to send the child to prison. Oliver tells them his life story. Summoned by the servants, the police officers arrive.
  44. 44. CHAPTER 31-32 The servants tell the police that Oliver is not one of the thieves, and the police officers leave. Oliver slowly begins to recover. Mrs. Maylie and Miss Rose then take him to the countryside, which helps improve Oliver’s health greatly. Oliver learns to read and write with the Maylies. He becomes greatly attached to Mrs Maylie and Rose during the months they spend there.
  45. 45. CHAPTER 33-36 Rose falls ill, and Harry Maylie, Mrs. Maylie’s son, arrives to see her. Rose loves Harry but cannot marry him because of the uncertainty of her birth. One day Oliver dreams that Fagin and a man are pointing at him and whispering. Fagin says, “It is he, sure enough!” Oliver awakes to see Fagin and a stranger peering through the window. They disappear rapidly as Oliver calls for help. Before Harry departs, he asks that Oliver secretly write him a letter every two weeks, telling him everything Oliver and the ladies do and say.
  46. 46. CHAPTER 37 Mr. Bumble has married Mrs. Corney and become master of the workhouse. One day, a man in a dark cape offers Mr. Bumble money for information about Old Sally, the woman who attended Oliver’s birth. Mr. Bumble mentions that he knows a woman who spoke to the old woman on her deathbed. The stranger asks that Mr. Bumble bring this woman to see him the following evening. He gives his name as Monks.
  47. 47. CHAPTER 38 Mr. and Mrs. Bumble meet Monks. Mrs. Bumble wants twenty-five pounds for her information. Mrs. Bumble relates how Old Sally robbed Oliver’s mother. Mrs. Bumble gives Monks a gold locket, inside which he finds a wedding ring and two locks of hair. The name “Agnes” is engraved on the ring. Monks drops it into the river.
  48. 48. CHAPTER 39-40 Monks arrives to meet Fagin alone. Nancy follows them and listens in. Nancy goes to meet Miss Maylie. She tells Rose that she overheard Monks tell Fagin that he is Oliver’s brother. Monks wants Oliver’s identity to remain unknown so that Monks himself can keep their family’s inheritance to himself. Monks would kill Oliver. Rose offers to help Nancy leave her life of crime, but Nancy replies that she cannot because she loves Sikes. She refuses Rose’s money. Before leaving, Nancy informs Rose that she can be found on London Bridge between eleven and twelve every Sunday night.
  49. 49. CHAPTER 41-46 Rose takes Oliver to Mr. Brownlow’s house. She tells Brownlow Nancy’s story. They decide to contact Nancy the following Sunday on London Bridge. Fagin is visiting Sikes when Nancy tries to leave for London Bridge at eleven on Sunday. Fagin sends Noah Claypole, who had run away from Sowerberry and joined the gang, behind her. Nancy meets Mr. Brownlow and Rose on London Bridge. Noah hears Nancy tell them when and where they can find Monks. They hope to catch Monks and know about Oliver from him. Nancy cries violently and then heads for home. Noah hurries to Fagin’s house.
  50. 50. CHAPTER 47-48 Fagin and Noah tell Sikes about the details of Nancy’s trip. In a rage, Sikes rushes home and beats Nancy to death while she begs for mercy. In the morning, he flees London into the countryside. He then decides to return. He tries to drown Bull’s-eye because he is afraid that his dog, will give him away, but it escapes.
  51. 51. CHAPTER 49 With the help of two other men, Mr. Brownlow manages to kidnap Monks and take him to his home. Brownlow confronts Monks and wrings the truth about Oliver from him. Monks’ real name turns out to be Edward Leeford and that he is Oliver’s half brother. Their father, Mr. Leeford, was unhappily married to a wealthy woman and had an affair with Oliver’s mother, Agnes Fleming. Monks has been pursuing Oliver all along in the hopes of ensuring that his half-brother is deprived of his share of the family inheritance.
  52. 52. CHAPTER 50-53 Mr. Brownlow forces Monks to sign over Oliver’s share to Oliver. Moreover, it is discovered that Rose is Agnes’s younger sister, hence Oliver’s aunt. Followed by the police and a huge crowd of people, Sikes accidently hangs himself with a rope that tries to use to escape. Fagin is tried and hung for his crimes. Mr. Brownlow adopts Oliver, and they and the Maylies retire to the countryside.
  53. 53. SUMMARY OF THE PLOT • Oliver is born in a workhouse. • His mother dies in giving birth to him. • He is ill-treated in the workhouse, especially by Mr Bumble, the beadle. • He asks for food and is given to Mr Sowerberry, the undertaker. • He runs away to London. • In London, he meets the Artful Dodger, who takes him to Fagin. • He joins a gang of thieves, run by Fagin. • Among the boys in the gang, there is the Artful dodger and Charley Bates.
  54. 54. • Nancy, a girl in Fagin’s gang, sympathizes with Oliver. • On his first thieving expedition, Oliver is caught and the other boys run away. • Oliver is brought to trial. He faints and Mr. Brownlow, the man who was robbed, feels pity for him and takes him to his house. • Brownlow trusts Oliver, against the warnings of his friend Mr. Grimwig, to take money and books to the bookstall. • Oliver is kidnapped by Nancy and Bill Sikes and taken back to Fagin. • Sikes takes Oliver to burgle a house. He is shot and Sikes abandons him in a ditch.
  55. 55. • Oliver returns to the house of Mrs Maylie and her niece Rose, who treat him very kindly. • Mr Brownlow makes an ad in the papers, asking for information about Oliver, and Mr Bumble gives him negative reports of him. • Monks gets information from Bumble. Mrs Bumble tells him about the woman who attended the death of Oliver’s mother. Mrs Bumble gives Monks the gold locket and the ring inside it, which were with the mother on her dying. Monks throws them in the river. • Nancy meets Rose Maylie and tells her of the danger that Oliver faces from Fagin and Monks.
  56. 56. • Rose tells Mr Brownlow, who welcomes the good reports about Oliver’s character. • Nancy meets Mr Brownlow and Rose on London Bridge, but she is followed by Noah Claypole, who was sent by Fagin to spy on her. • Nancy is killed by Bill Sikes. • Sikes is followed by the police and accidentally kills himself. • Mr Brownlow captures Monks and gets information from him about Oliver. • Oliver turns out to be Monks half brother. Monk’s father had an affair with Oliver’s mother, Agnes Fleming. Monks wanted to cover this information to get the father’s inheritance alone.
  57. 57. • Fagin is tried and hung for his crimes. • Mr Brownlow adopts Oliver. Rose and Harry, Rose’s cousin, get married. They all retire to the countryside.
  58. 58. ANALYSIS
  59. 59. SETTING The place mainly London, but there are episodes in the English countryside. The time is the nineteenth century. POINT OF VIEW Third personal omniscient
  60. 60. THEMES POVERTY AND THE WORKHOUSE Oliver Twist depicts the conditions of the poor and the miseries of poverty with great realism. The novel shows the spread of poverty during the nineteenth century in England and the failure of social institutions in dealing with this problem. Dickens' description of the workhouses serves to show that the workhouse is not an effective remedy for it. There was a common belief among the Victorians that the poor were responsible for their poverty because they were lazy. According to the 1834 Poor Law, the poor and homeless were provided a place to live and received food. However, the workhouses were very hated and feared by the poor themselves.
  61. 61. The hateful conditions in the workhouse included the splitting of families, unpleasant and hard jobs, and tasteless and meager food. Moreover, workhouses did not provide the poor any chances to improve their conditions. The workhouse was purposefully made horrible so as to discourage the poor from dependence on charity. Charles Dickens exposes the injustices of the workhouse officials, such as Mr. Bumble and Mrs. Corney and their practices through grotesque realism. The workhouse did not even prevent hunger as seen in the episode in which Oliver asks for more, to the horror of the supervisors.
  62. 62. Dickens is also concerned to show that the poor are not necessarily wicked or morally degenerate, as was widely believed during the Victorian period. Oliver is an example of a poor person who is an epitome of innocence and purity in a corrupt environment. Nancy is another example of a good girl who sacrifices herself for the sake of saving Oliver from the world of crime. Vice is rather the outcome of the corrupt environment and the result of upbringing, as shown in the examples of Nancy, Bill Sikes, and the children in Fagin’s gang.
  63. 63. CHILDREN Dickens provides in Oliver Twist a realistic portrayal of the injustices and cruelty against children during the Victorian period. The book begins with Oliver’s experience in the workhouse, revealing the cruelty that children received there, to the point of reducing them to starvation. When Oliver asks for more food, he is sent out of the workhouse into the world of child labor, which is not in any way better than life in the workhouse. Trade masters, as Mr. Gamfield are shown as typically cruel, treating their child apprentices brutally and subjecting them to the most dangerous work conditions, resulting in their death.
  64. 64. Oliver escapes from the world of apprenticeship to find himself in the world of crime. He is taken to Fagin’s gang, to learn pickpocketing and crime. Fagin ruins the lives of those children who find him the only supporter and protector.
  65. 65. CHARACHTERS OLIVER Oliver is an example of abused childhood during the Victorian period. He is mistreated in the workhouse and treated cruelly by his wok master. He then runs off to London, where he is taken in by a gang of thieves. Oliver’s character challenges the Victorian common opinion that the poor are essentially criminal. Good-hearted, and kind, he never loses his sense of morality or kindness. However, Oliver’s is not a believable character, because although he is raised in corrupt surroundings, his purity and virtue are absolute. He is shocked when he sees the Artful Dodger and Charley Bates steal from Mr. Brownlow and when he is forced to participate in a burglary. He also uses standard English instead of the cockney slang that all others with him use.
  66. 66. FAGIN Fagin is the leader of a gang of thieves. He is ugly, miserly, very greedy and vicious Jew. He trains the boys for stealing and takes the stolen goods. He has mad criminals out of a large number of children, ruining their lives forever. Although Dickens relies in his portrayal of Fagin on the stereotypical Jew, Fagin is not a mere stereotype. He is rather a complex character in whom there’s a mixture of the grotesque and the funny. He is often referred to as "the merry old gentleman.“ On many occasions, he shows kindness towards the children and towards Oliver in particular. He is finally tried and executed.

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