Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist

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Oliver Twist Chapter 35 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Oliver alerts the house that "the Jew" (Fagin) and another man were there. Harry, Giles, and Losborne attempt to find them outside, but cannot—the two seem to have vanished without a trace. Harry wonders aloud if Oliver didn't possibly dream their arrival, but Oliver insists that they were there, outside his window. Losborne and Harry continue to listen, in the coming days, for rumors of the two men in town, but hear nothing.
Again, it is hard to imagine that Fagin and Monks could disappear so quickly, until one considers the fact that the two are accomplished criminals, people who are exceedingly good at making quick and thorough getaways. Also, were Harry to find the two near the Maylies' property, the novel would have come to its conclusion a great deal sooner.
Themes
Thievery and Crime Theme Icon
Individualism and Social Bonds Theme Icon
Social Forces, Fate, and Free Will Theme Icon
City and Country Theme Icon
A few days later, when Rose is feeling better, Harry comes up to her in the house, and asks to speak with her. Rose, though she likes Harry very much, seems upset, and remarks that she wishes Harry had left sooner—since his professional life is "so high and noble," and Rose feels that she is only keeping Harry from these pursuits, and from the fame they will win him (Harry works as a lawyer, and has an eye toward political office).
Rose's goodness continues even to the realm of self-abnegation—she feels that, because of the accident of her family's "blight," she should not stain the perfect reputation of Harry and his branch of the family by marrying him. One should also note, here, that it was legal and socially acceptable in Victorian England for cousins to marry.
Themes
Poverty, Institutions, and Class Theme Icon
Individualism and Social Bonds Theme Icon
Social Forces, Fate, and Free Will Theme Icon
Rose then listens as Harry reiterates his love for her. After hearing him, she asks if she might say something to Harry: she asks that Harry forget her, and when Harry asks why, Rose explains. She is a woman with no name, no prospects, and with a "blight" on her family (still undescribed); she could not bear the idea, she tells Harry, of feeling that she had caused Harry to lose the brilliant future he is planning for himself.
Harry, for his part, is dead set on Rose; he believes he can love no other woman, and he will stop at nothing to win Rose. But the "winning" here occurs in a curious fashion; Harry must purposefully "lower" his social station in order to "deserve" Rose. This is the inverse of the typical sense of romantic striving, wherein the male hero "wins" the woman.
Themes
Poverty, Institutions, and Class Theme Icon
Individualism and Social Bonds Theme Icon
Social Forces, Fate, and Free Will Theme Icon
Harry does not agree with what Rose is saying, but seeing that her resolution is firm on the matter—that this "blight" on her family would prevent them from the otherwise happy union they both desire—he asks her only one thing: that he might bring the question of their marriage to her once again, in a year's time, and if she says "no" again, at that moment, then Harry will give up all hope of their union. To this, Rose agrees, and Harry parts with some small hope that they might live together happily.
An important part of the novel. Although Harry will largely disappear for the next ten or so chapters, Rose will keep her promise, and Harry his; he will ask her, again, if she will accept him, and this allows for the establishment of a nuclear family, in which Oliver might live comfortably, at the novel's end. Dickens seems to desire this kind of closure for Harry, Rose, and Oliver.
Themes
Poverty, Institutions, and Class Theme Icon
Individualism and Social Bonds Theme Icon
Social Forces, Fate, and Free Will Theme Icon
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