Oliver Twist was written by Charles Dickens in the 19th century. It is a story about an orphan Oliver and his hard childhood. This novel is considered to be an early example of the social novel. Charles Dickens wrote a tale about childhood innocence, cruel society and criminal underworld of London. His characters are memorable and vivid. He chronicles the life circumstances of Oliver and describes his life from birth. Oliver is naïve and innocent boy whose life is going to turn upside down. In English literature, character of Oliver Twist is a first child protagonist in a book.
Oliver Twist is born in England in a workhouse. His mother died at birth. He lives in a badly run home for orphans for the first nine years. Other boys in the house tease Oliver to ask for more gruel after the dinner. But Mr. Bumble, the parish beadle, got really angry because he thought his attitude was rude. So, he offers money to anyone who will take the boy away. Oliver was sent to a chimney sweeper for punishment but soon after that he is apprenticed to an undertaker Mr. Sowerberry. Undertaker’s another apprentice makes a bas comment about Oliver’s mother. Oliver got angry, attacks the apprentice and runs away towards London. Outside London, he meets Jack Dawkins also known as Artful Dodger. Dodger is Oliver’s age and he helps him find shelter in the house of his benefactor Fagin. But Fagin is a criminal who trains abandoned children how to be a criminal. He teaches them how to pick pocket. Soon, Oliver is sent to his first pick pocketing with two boys. The boys took a handkerchief from some gentlemen. When Oliver saw that, he got scared and ran away. He did not run very far because he got caught. Oliver got convicted for theft. In court, Oliver meets a gentleman Mr. Brownlow, who decides to help Oliver and saves him from prison. He lived with Mr. Brownlow and for the first time he was happy. Unfortunately his happiness did not last long. Fagin find Oliver and captures him. He wants to bring Oliver back to pick pocketing. There was a reason for this. A criminal William Sikes required a small boy like Oliver, to climb up the tiny window and mugs the house. Sikes’s girlfriend Nancy helps them. Nancy believes that Oliver is not up for the job but Sikes ignores her. He treats him like garbage and even threatens Oliver that he will murder him unless he does not do what he asks of him. Oliver was blackmailed and compelled to do the theft. But everything went wrong. Oliver was injured and the whole gang left him and escaped. The house that Oliver was forced to mug belonged to Rose and Mrs. Maylie who was Oliver’s aunt and Rose was her adopted child. Also Mr. Brownlow knew Rose’s father, they were very good friends. The women decided to help poor Oliver. They helped him with his injury and saved him from court. During his staying with them, Oliver developed certain feelings for the girl. He felt very confused by them. Meanwhile, Monks was following him for all this time. Mr. Bumble, during this time, became the orphanage director. Monks came to the orphanage to pay a visit. He started asking Mr. Bumble questions and he found out that Oliver is his stepbrother. This discovery happened due to Oliver’s medallion which was taken away from him when his mother passed away. Sikes concealed it very good after the theft. Nancy helped him. The truth was discovered by Nancy. Monks gave money to Fagin so he could train Oliver to become a criminal. As a criminal, Oliver will go to prison and he will not get his father’s inheritance. In that case, inheritance will go to Monks who is Oliver’s stepbrother. Nancy decides to tell everything she knows to Rose. When Sikes heard about Nancy’s betrayal, he killed her. He tries to run away but the police was after him. Rose told everything to Mr. Brownlow. They two make a compromise with Monks. He must not go after him, if he does Mr. Brownlow will call the police. While police was after Sikes, he died. Police caught Fagin and the crew. Fagin was sentenced to death. Mr. Bumble is not an orphanage director anymore. Now, he is a part of it because he became homeless. Mr. Brownlow decided to adopt Oliver. Now he can finally be happy and live a life he always wanted.