• Oliver Twist; or, The Parish Boys Progress is thesecond novel by Charles DickensThis autor was born inPortsmouth, on thesouth coast ofEngland, in 1812.
London was the setting of most of hisnovels: he knew and described it inrealistic details.
The firsteditionwastitled:OliverTwist; or,TheParishBoysProgress.The book was originally published in Bentleys Miscellany as aserial. But in 1839 it was published in three volumes by RichardBentley.
The story deals with an orphan, Oliver Twist, whose life wastroubled since his birth.
The day of Olivers ninth birthday,Mr. Bumble, removes Oliver from the babyfarm and puts him in a workhouse .Life in the workhouse was terrible . . .…a lot of children died of hunger in fact they received onlya small portion of gruel for lunch . . .
A day, the desperately hungry boys decide to play a game; the loser can ask for another portion of gruel.We can imagine that it was the turn of the lucky Oliver Twist. . . . . . . . . .
In this period Oliver suffers torments in the handsof Noah ClaypoleOne day, Noah insults Olivers biological mother. Oliver gets angry andattacks and beats a boy. Then Mrs Sowerberry forces her husband to thrashOliver!
The little orphan decides to escapeand after seven days. . .
Here Oliver meets Jack Dawkins known asDodger, who offers him help . . .Dodger talks about an old gentlemanwho can give him boardand lodging for nothing !
Naively Oliver follows Mr. Dawkins in old gentleman’s residence. . .. . . In this way Oliverbecomes part of a gangof young criminals led by aninfamous Jewish known asFagin, the old “gentleman”of whom Dodger spoke
Later Oliver goes out with Dodger and CharleyBates, another thief, and he understands what isthe real job of Dodger and the other children .
As we can image finally Oliver becomes a bit luckierin factfor about a month Oliver is cared by Mr. Brownlow and Mrs. Bedwin with inexplicable love.
But at the same time Fagin decides that Oliver must go back . So he charges Bill Sikes, a brutalrobber, to abduct little orphan with Nancy, Bill Sikes’s lover.
Oliver’s bliss is interrupted in fact he is quickly broughtback to Fagin’s lair.
Nancy . . .It’s important to underline that Nancy issympathetic towards Oliver.
Fagin forces Oliver to participate in a burglary.
The plan fails.Luckily for him, Oliver is hurt.After being abandoned by Sikes, the wounded Oliver ends up under the care of thepeople he was supposed to rob : Miss Rose and her guardian Mrs. Maylie
But in this story there are a lot ofmysteries.
In fact Dickens talks about aman, whose name is Monks, whois determined to kill Oliver
Nancy talks with Oliver’s benefactorUnfortunately Bill Sikes discovers her secret
At the end of the book we discover. . .MONKSBILLSIKESFAGINROSEOLIVER
His real name is Edward Leeford , and he isOliver’s paternal half-brother. In fact Monkswas born from a loveless marriage and Oliver’smother, whose name is Agnese, was their father’strue love. Monks has spent many yearssearching for his fathers child not to be a friendof him, but to destroy him. Then Brownlow asksOliver to give half of his inheritance to Monksbecause he wants to give him a second chance; ofcourse Oliver agrees with the old gentleman andgives Monks his money. Monks then moves toAmerica, where he spends all his money, revertsto crime, and finally dies in prisonMONKS
FAGINANDBILL SIKESFagin is arrested andcondemned and Bill Sikes isassassinated by an angrycrowd.
There is a happier noteRose Maylie turns out to be asister of Agnes; so she is Oliversaunt. Oliver lives happily with Mr.Brownlow.