Oliver Twist

Pdf fan dd71f526917d6085d66d045bd94fb5b55d02a108dd45d836cbdd4abe2d4c043d Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

Oliver Twist Chapter 21 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Sikes and Oliver walk through London in the early morning, reaching the outskirts of the city by the time vendors are setting out wares for the market-day. They get in a cab, with Sikes pretending to the driver that Oliver is his son, and continue traveling from village to village on the city's outskirts; they then stop at a public-house for dinner, and Oliver nods off there, tired from the day's long journey.
This journey through London mimics Oliver's journey by foot en route from his home village to the big city. Oliver exists on the margins of Victorian society, and, similarly Sikes and Oliver do not keep "normal" business hours—instead, their schedule is that of the thief—largely nocturnal, or night-bound.
Themes
Thievery and Crime Theme Icon
Social Forces, Fate, and Free Will Theme Icon
City and Country Theme Icon
Sikes wakes Oliver, and tells him they will be getting in another coach; this one, to Sunbury, another village. After leaving the coach early in the morning, after a full 24-hours of traveling, they walk over a bridge to a dilapidated house; Oliver fears Sikes will throw Oliver in the water and kill him, but Sikes, instead, walks with Oliver into the house, a safehouse being used by Crackit and Sikes to plan the robbery.
There are a series of flophouses present in the novel: Sikes', Fagin's, and this one, inhabited by the three before the robbery outside Chertsey. These houses, just like the band's nighttime activities, reinforce the thieves', and Oliver's, status as a cultural outsider. The house is so beaten down it is barely standing, and no one seems to notice it from the road.
Themes
Thievery and Crime Theme Icon
Social Forces, Fate, and Free Will Theme Icon
City and Country Theme Icon