Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist

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Oliver Twist Character Analysis

The novel's hero, Oliver Twist is aged nine at the beginning of the novel, and several years older by the end (it is not clear exactly how much time elapses; he is probably about twelve). Born of an unwed mother, in a poorhouse, Oliver is raised in the same poorhouse, then apprenticed to a coffin-maker named Sowerberry. After getting in a fight with another apprentice regarding his mother's reputation, Oliver strikes out for London on foot, where he accidentally falls in with a group of thieves led by Fagin. Oliver is briefly saved by Brownlow, only to be retaken by Nancy, and involved, later, in a burglary of the Maylies' house that almost kills him. The Maylies, Rose and her aunt, take Oliver in, and the novel traces the discovery of Oliver's parentage, a secret kept close by Monks, Oliver's half-brother, who wishes to disinherit his brother and eliminate all traces of Oliver's high-born ancestry. Oliver ends the novel happily, having been adopted by Brownlow. Throughout the novel, Oliver remains a boy of good morals, despite his dire financial situation.

Oliver Twist Quotes in Oliver Twist

The Oliver Twist quotes below are all either spoken by Oliver Twist or refer to Oliver Twist. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Thievery and Crime Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Dover Publications edition of Oliver Twist published in 2002.
Chapter 1 Quotes

Wrapped in the blanket which had hitherto formed his only covering, he [Oliver] might have been the child of a nobleman or a beggar . . . . But now that he was enveloped in the old calico robes which had grown yellow in the same service, he was badged and ticketed . . . a parish child . . . the orphan of a workhouse.

Related Characters: Oliver Twist
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:

As the narrator notes here, there is no difference, in a newborn child, between being wealthy and being poor - or, for that matter, being lucky or unlucky, being intelligent or unintelligent. For a newborn, life is utterly a blank slate - and it awaits the impress of the events that happen to a person as he or she ages.

Oliver Twist is, among other things, a novel about how people court fate, and how people change their fates - how both people's decisions and the situations of their environment impact the kinds of lives they lead. Oliver is a child who takes life by the horns, who is willing to attempt scary or dangerous things in order to improve his station. He is also a child who, by any account, has experienced bad luck at an early age - he is here "ticketed" as seemingly headed for a life of poverty and labor. The only way he can change this fate is through more luck, and through the sheer force of his will.

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Chapter 2 Quotes

Mr. Limbkins, I beg your pardon, sir! Oliver Twist has asked for more!
For more! . . . Compose yourself, Bumble, and answer me distinctly. Do I understand that he asked for more, after he had eaten the supper allotted by the dietary?
- - -
That boy will be hung . . . I know that boy will be hung.

Related Characters: Oliver Twist, Mr. Bumble
Page Number: 11
Explanation and Analysis:

This is one of the most famous scenes in the book - one that has seeped into the popular culture, even for those who haven't read Oliver Twist. This is Oliver's first act of rebellion. It is also a polite act, one that is designed not just to better his own circumstances but the circumstances of those around him. Oliver believes that because he is hungry, and because he is fed so very little, it would not be unreasonable to ask those in positions of authority for more food.

But, of course, this is simply not done - not because getting more food would be a bad thing, or a waste of resources, but because those in charge have not thought about the condition of the boys' lives at all. This kind of indifference to the suffering of others is a hallmark of corrupt people in power in Oliver Twist, and indeed throughout Dickens' novels more generally. And it is this indifference that Oliver seeks to push back against.

Chapter 3 Quotes

Oliver fell on his knees, and clasping his hands together, prayed that they would order him back to the dark room—that they would starve him—beat him—kill him if they pleased—rather than send him away with that dreadful man [Gamfield, the chimney-sweep].

Related Characters: Oliver Twist
Page Number: 18
Explanation and Analysis:

This passage is an indication of just how cruel and unfair Gamfield will be. Oliver hates the workhouse, and cannot imagine living there another second--that is, until he realizes he might also have to live with a violent man, whose work is dirty, laborious, and incredibly dangerous for those boys employed to do it.

As throughout the novel, this passage is an instance of the immensely difficult choices Oliver is forced to make at every term. Is it sensible to want to return to the workhouse, where the administrators hate him, and where he has already made a name for himself as a "rabble rouser"? Or is it better to go off with a man Oliver doesn't know, who promises to employ him in a field that has caused many other children to perish? Oliver is forced to make this decision - and to do so at an age when boys of privilege are largely playing with their friends and enjoying their time with their families.

Chapter 4 Quotes

Then come with me . . . your bed's under the counter You don't mind sleeping among the coffins, I suppose? But it doesn't much matter whether you do or don't, for you can't sleep anywhere else. Come . . . !

Related Characters: Mr. and Mrs. Sowerberry (speaker), Oliver Twist
Related Symbols: Coffins
Page Number: 24
Explanation and Analysis:

This is another famous scene, and one of the more immediately comic depictions of just how deplorable the conditions are in which Oliver is expected to live. Sowerberry, despite the inherent black humor in what he is proposing, is not kidding. He really does expect his young apprentice, who has no family, to sleep among the coffins he is assembling, in which he will inter dead bodies. Sowerberry does not care at all that this might frighten Oliver. Indeed, he seems to delight in the idea that Oliver would be scared and made to suffer.

In the early pages of Oliver Twist, then, Dickens tests the limits of narrative plausibility - the coffin-maker's name is, after all, Sowerberry ("sower" as in planting things in the ground, and "berry" as in "bury") - and the limits of Oliver's own physical and psychological endurance. Indeed, everyone in Oliver's life will test him in this way, and he will continually rise to the challenge that people in positions of authority put to him.

Chapter 9 Quotes

Oliver wondered what picking the old gentleman's pocket in play, had to do with his chances of being a great man. But thinking that the Jew [Fagin], being so much his senior, must know best, he followed him quietly to the table; and was soon deeply involved in his new study.

Related Characters: Oliver Twist, Fagin
Page Number: 54
Explanation and Analysis:

At this point in the text, Oliver is still very naive - he does not entirely understand that Fagin is interested in grooming him to become a pickpocket, a child he can let out onto the street in order to fetch goods. And Fagin is not interested in doing this so that Oliver can make a living. Instead, he works primarily so that he, Fagin, can enrich himself. Oliver is merely a means to an end for Fagin - a new, guileless worker whom he can train to do his bidding.

Fagin's depiction, here as in elsewhere in the novel, is deeply unsympathetic, and Dickens makes no bones about his own racism in describing Fagin using anti-Semitic stereotypes. This is an aspect of the novel that it is important to critique: Dickens, like a great many other famous authors in the history of the English language, have ascribed to Jewish characters traits that, according to contemporary consideration, would be considered defamatory and offensive.

Chapter 12 Quotes

What's this? Bedwin, look there!
As he [Brownlow] spoke, he pointed hastily to the picture above Oliver's head; and then to the boy's face. There was its living coy. The eyes, the head, the mouth; every feature was the same. The expression was, for the instant, so precisely alike, that the minutest line seemed copied with a startling accuracy.

Related Characters: Mr. Brownlow (speaker), Oliver Twist
Page Number: 69
Explanation and Analysis:

This instance of fate, or luck or chance, is of great interest in the novel, and is a fine of example of how coincidence works in Dickens' fictions. Oliver lies below a portrait of a woman he greatly resembles - and he notes that, while asleep and dreaming, he thought about his mother a good deal, wondering if she is safe in another life. What Oliver does not know, and what the reader will not find out till much later, is that the woman in the portrait is indeed Oliver's mother, and that she was quite literally "looking down on him" at this juncture in the novel. In a second reading, this instance of dramatic irony - wherein the reader knows more than the character in the fiction - will be more pronounced. But in the first read, the reader might simply wonder why it is that Oliver's appearance would be likened to that of a woman in a picture, in a house he stumbles into by accident.

Chapter 14 Quotes

Send Oliver with them . . he will be sure to deliver them safely, you know.
Yes; do let me take them, if you please, sir. . . . I'll run all the way, sir.

Related Characters: Oliver Twist (speaker), Mr. Grimwig (speaker)
Page Number: 85
Explanation and Analysis:

Here is another instance in which Oliver's goodwill is tested by those around him, especially by those in positions of authority. Brownlow is inclined to trust Oliver, to believe that he is a young boy in the city without a family, and that he is in need of help. But Grimwig wants proof of Oliver's good will. He wants to know that he is not a con artist, that he is not a boy who will engage in treacherous behavior, or rob his benefactor. Thus Grimwig tells Oliver to go to the bookseller with money to fetch a book - and if Oliver is honest, he will return.

It is exactly this kind of circumstance, however, where Dickens decides to test Oliver's fate. Oliver is caught at the bookseller's by Nancy, and then delivered back to Sikes - he does not have a chance to announce to Brownlow and Grimwig what has happened to him, and so they naturally assume that he's run off with their money, and that they cannot trust him. In this instance, then, Oliver's bad luck has caught up to his good intentions - he is trapped.

Chapter 17 Quotes

I should like . . . to leave my love to poor Oliver Twist, and to let him know how often I have sat by myself and cried to think of his wandering about in the dark night with nobody to help him.

Related Characters: Dick (speaker), Oliver Twist
Page Number: 103
Explanation and Analysis:

DIck is an especially saintly character in the workhouse, and another foil for Oliver - indeed, if the Dodger is the "bad" version of the hero, then Dick is the perfect one, a boy who is so sick he cannot participate in life's events, but who nevertheless has the finest of feelings and the best of intentions (similar to Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol). Dick tells Bumble that he wishes to leave Oliver his "love," because he wants the best for Oliver. And, of course, this infuriates Bumble, who hates that Oliver has whipped up a great deal of support among the other boys in the house.

At this point in the novel Bumble seems aware of Oliver's ability to stand out among the other boys, and indeed among other people in general, and to lead them. Bumble hates that this is the case, and vows to make life even more difficult for Oliver if ever he is to find him - and, of course, Bumble then stumbles upon the notice Brownlow places in the paper, wondering where Oliver is. Bumble decides that he will "set the record straight" with Brownlow, and tell him that Oliver is really a very bad boy.

Chapter 22 Quotes

The cry was repeated—a light appeared—a vision of two terrified half-dressed men at the top of the stairs swam before his eyes—a flash—a loud noise—a smoke—a crash somewhere . . . .

Related Characters: Oliver Twist, Giles and Brittles
Page Number: 137
Explanation and Analysis:

In this scene, Oliver faces his own death - although of course he survives the attempted burglary. But he blacks out entirely, and all that he sees before him is, as the narrator describes, a flash of light. As in many other scenes, especially in the beginning of the novel, Oliver is entirely at the mercy of the older men around him - he must do what they say or suffer the consequences. And thus, although robbing someone is essentially the last thing Oliver would ever do, he is forced along on this mission, and very nearly killed during it.

If Oliver is currently at the prey of the men, often criminals, who control him, he will not always be this way, and as the novel progresses Oliver's fate will not be quite so drawn out by those around him. Instead, Oliver will increasingly find that his fate is in his own hands - or, that the coincidences and strange twists and turns that occur in his life might have something to do with the choices he, as a maturing young man, makes.

Chapter 25 Quotes

Bill had him [Oliver] on his back and scudded like the wind. We stopped to take him between us; his head hung down; and he was cold. . . . We parted company, and left the youngster lying in a ditch. Alive or dead, that's all I know about him.

Related Characters: Toby Crackit (speaker), Oliver Twist, Sikes
Page Number: 153
Explanation and Analysis:

It is interesting that, at this moment in the text, Crackit admits to having "buried" Oliver hastily, in a ditch, not knowing if Oliver will survive - and not particularly caring. Crackit is mostly happy that he has escaped the attempted robbery with his own life, and though Fagin is more concerned with Oliver's fate, it's because Oliver's injury or death would be detrimental to Fagin himself - it would lay him open to the charge that Fagin had endangered the boy and allowed these crimes to happen.

Crackit and some of the other malicious characters in the novel, including Sikes, are mostly concerned with their own safety, and demonstrate time and again their willingness to sacrifice those around them to further their own aims. This, then, is exactly the opposite of Oliver's temperament - Oliver, unlike a great many other characters in the novel, is concerned with the welfare of those around him, and does what he can to improve their circumstances even as he tries desperately, and often fails, to improve his own.

Chapter 26 Quotes

I tell you again, it was badly planned. Why not have kept him here among the rest, and made a sneaking, sniveling pickpocket of him at once?

Related Characters: Monks (speaker), Oliver Twist
Page Number: 161
Explanation and Analysis:

Monks, an associate of Sikes whose relationship to Oliver is, at this point, unclear, is upset that Oliver has been initiated so quickly into serious robbery. He's upset not because he fears that robbery is bad, or thinks that Oliver shouldn't rob things at all. Instead he absolutely supports the idea of Oliver becoming a thief - but he believes that Oliver should be led slowly into the craft, initially via pickpocketing, and then, over time, into larger and larger hauls. Therefore Monks critiques Fagin, in the conversation with Sikes, arguing that Fagin has rushed along Oliver in his "development."

What is interesting to note in this section, too, is how Monks and Fagin are each concerned with Oliver's "development" as a thief, his "education" such as it is. This follows in the tradition of the "Bildungsroman," or coming-of-age novel, in which a character is educated in schools or school-like places, and in which he or she learns the difficulties of life from a young age. For Oliver, this learning often comes outside educational establishments, within the seedy underworld of London.

Chapter 33 Quotes

Death! Who would have thought it! Grind him to ashes! He's start up from a marble coffin, to come in my way!

Related Characters: Monks (speaker), Oliver Twist
Related Symbols: Coffins
Page Number: 204
Explanation and Analysis:

This is an instance of foreshadowing, and of the nature of coincidence and apparent coincidence in the novel. Oliver, running back to the Maylie's house after having delivered a letter for Dr. Losborne, who is to help Rose in her illness, runs straight into the man who will turn out to be Monks. And Monks, though he seems only to "accidentally" be in the same place as Oliver, is indeed following him, and has had his eye on him. Oliver, of course, cannot know this, nor can he know what will be revealed later - that Monks is Oliver's half-brother, and has been trying to frame Oliver as a thief in order to "ruin" Oliver.

Monks brings up the "coffin" again, a symbol that recurs in the novel. The coffin is emblematic, of course, of the omnipresence of death - and it is also a piece of workmanship, and a trade, into which Oliver almost himself enters. Oliver, wherever he turns, cannot seem to avoid the coffin - they surround him, as does violence and death on the difficult streets of London.

Chapter 34 Quotes

It was but an instant, a glance, a flash, before his eyes; and they were gone. But they had recognized him, and he them; and their look was as firmly impressed upon his memory, as if it had been deeply carved in stone . . . .

Related Characters: Oliver Twist, Fagin, Monks
Page Number: 214-5
Explanation and Analysis:

Oliver has been attempting to improve himself - to become educated following a lifetime's lack of formal schooling. He does this in the Maylie's home, under their supervision, and in his room there is a space for quiet contemplation and a good deal of work. It is, in short, the life he has always wanted - a life of personal and intellectual freedom.

But when Monks and Fagin show up, they do so in part,to remind him that they have not forgotten him - that they will hound him for as long as they can. They want to take Oliver back to them as a point of pride - because they believe they are responsible for Oliver's "education," such as they see it. They are also worried that, if Oliver is free, he might be able to point the authorities to them - and that would be the end of their criminal enterprise.

Chapter 49 Quotes

You must do more than that . . . make restitution to an innocent and unoffending child, for such he is, although the offspring of a guilty and most miserable love . . . .

Related Characters: Mr. Brownlow (speaker), Oliver Twist, Monks
Page Number: 319
Explanation and Analysis:

Brownlow has remained a staunch and dedicated defender of Oliver's throughout the novel, even as other characters have attempted to convince him that Oliver is only using Brownlow for his money and goodwill. Brownlow seems to sense that Oliver has "good" or "noble" (really, wealthy) blood in him - and that, though Oliver might have been the child of an unwed mother, he is nevertheless "deserving," based on his "high birth," of a far greater lot in life than he has already achieved.

That Monks and Brownlow know and have known each other is a surprise to the reader at this stage in the novel - but really should not be, as Dickens has primed the reader to expect coincidences at every turn. The characters in Oliver Twist, as in many Dickens novels, are drawn together in a "net" of overlapping relationships that is often knotted up, or unwound, at the close of the novel - when those relationships are revealed and explained, or else destroyed.

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Oliver Twist Character Timeline in Oliver Twist

The timeline below shows where the character Oliver Twist appears in Oliver Twist. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
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The narrator introduces Oliver Twist, the novel's young protagonist, who is born in an unnamed town in 1830s England,... (full context)
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Oliver's mother asks to see Oliver once before she dies. The surgeon places Oliver in her... (full context)
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The narrator states that, when Oliver is simply wrapped in swaddling clothes, he cannot be distinguished from the child of a... (full context)
Chapter 2
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...parish determines that the workhouse does not have a woman in place to care for Oliver, he is "farmed" to a branch-workhouse three miles away, where he plays with twenty or... (full context)
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It is Oliver's ninth birthday, and Mr. Bumble, the beadle, or church official in charge of administering the... (full context)
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Although Oliver finds Mrs. Mann to be a cruel woman, he pretends that he has loved her... (full context)
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...thin oatmeal, and many of the workers starve and die. An episode is then related: Oliver, after three months of near starvation, approaches the master in the dining hall and asks... (full context)
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...board, a "man in a white waistcoat," remarks aloud, over and over, that he believes Oliver, a troublemaker, will eventually be hung. The beadle and the board decide to post a... (full context)
Chapter 3
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Oliver is placed in a small room, in solitary confinement, as punishment for asking for more... (full context)
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...the waistcoat and others on the board, to be a "suitable" and strong-willed master for Oliver. But the board pretends that they have reservations, sending Oliver to such a dangerous trade... (full context)
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Bumble takes Oliver before the magistrate, in order to have papers signed granting Oliver to Gamfield as a... (full context)
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Bumble is immensely angry with Oliver, and he leads him back to the workhouse; Gamfield walks away, wishing he might have... (full context)
Chapter 4
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The board and the beadle decide that they will try to send Oliver to sea, to apprentice him to a captain on a ship. On his way back... (full context)
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The beadle brushes of Sowerberry's criticism aside and informs Oliver, while Sowerberry is meeting with the board, that Oliver will either go as apprentice to... (full context)
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Mrs. Sowerberry remarks that Oliver is very small and thin, when he is dropped off at their house by the... (full context)
Chapter 5
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Oliver spends the night, alone, among the coffins, and can barely sleep, he is so disturbed... (full context)
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One night, after about a month of Oliver's apprenticeship, Sowerberry tells his wife that, because Oliver is an attractive young man with a... (full context)
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...in need of a coffin and a funeral preparation. The beadle does not ask after Oliver, nor does he seem to remember that Oliver is even present at Sowerberry's. Sowerberry decides... (full context)
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Oliver and Sowerberry find the house in squalid, impoverished condition. The husband of the deceased woman... (full context)
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Oliver walks with Sowerberry, the beadle, and four pallbearers the next day, at the woman's funeral;... (full context)
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Sowerberry asks, after the funeral is over, whether Oliver minded being a "mute" mourner; Oliver says he does not like the job very much,... (full context)
Chapter 6
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Oliver continues working for Sowerberry as a "mute," and because it's a time of year when... (full context)
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Noah keeps ordering Oliver around, and Charlotte, following Noah's lead, does so as well. Mr. Sowerberry tends to look... (full context)
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An important episode is recounted: Noah and Oliver descend to the basement to eat dinner (as usual), and Noah asks about Oliver's mother.... (full context)
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...cries out (coward-like) for help, and Charlotte and Mrs. Sowerberry rush to his aid, pulling Oliver away, and remarking that they always knew Oliver was a bad seed. They pledge to... (full context)
Chapter 7
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...runs all the way to the workhouse, and finds Mr. Bumble. Noah informs Bumble that Oliver has "gone vicious" and attempted to kill him; Noah exaggerates the episode, and says also... (full context)
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Bumble heads with Noah back to the Sowerberrys'. He finds Oliver locked in a room, and Oliver tells Bumble he is not afraid of him. Bumble... (full context)
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Sowerberry returns at this point. Mrs. Sowerberry insists that whatever Noah said about Oliver's mother was true, but Oliver becomes enraged at this, and shouts to Mrs. Sowerberry that... (full context)
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Sowerberry beats Oliver to Bumble's and Mrs. Sowerberry's satisfaction, then has him sleep in the coffin workshop alone.... (full context)
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Oliver encounters an old friend named Dick in the workhouse garden. Oliver tells Dick never to... (full context)
Chapter 8
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Oliver decides to walk to London, which is about seventy miles away. He is five miles... (full context)
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On the first day Oliver walks twenty miles and sleeps under a pile of hay; the next morning, he exchanges... (full context)
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Oliver continues walking for days. He encounters a roadworker and his wife, who give him bread... (full context)
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The strange boy purchases ham and bread from a shopkeeper, and takes Oliver to a pub, where Oliver eats ravenously. The boy asks Oliver whether he is heading... (full context)
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Oliver distrusts some aspects of the Dodger's bearing—he senses that the Dodger might be using him... (full context)
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Oliver walks into the dirty, grimy apartment, and is introduced by the Dodger to Fagin, a... (full context)
Chapter 9
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Oliver sleeps until the late morning, and wakes up slowly to find Fagin boiling coffee for... (full context)
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Oliver's eyes open for a moment and catch Fagin's—Fagin immediately closes the lid and hides the... (full context)
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The Dodger returns to the apartment with a "sprightly" boy he introduces to Oliver as Charley Bates. Fagin asks what the Dodger and Bates have "made" that morning, and... (full context)
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...to steal from it without Fagin's noticing. They play this game for a while, and Oliver watches, not understanding how the game relates to their "jobs" in the streets. Two women,... (full context)
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Fagin shows Oliver how easy the life of these young men and women is—they "work" only in the... (full context)
Chapter 10
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For the next several days, Oliver plays the "wipes" game with Fagin, but is not allowed to accompany the Dodger and... (full context)
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Oliver observes the Dodger steal the old man's handkerchief out of his pocket, and immediately the... (full context)
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...raise the cry of "Stop, thief!" shouted by the old man as he runs after Oliver. Others in the street answer the call as well, and soon Oliver is hunted by... (full context)
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A police officer arrives, and though Oliver pleads that he stole nothing, that it was "the other two boys," the officer says... (full context)
Chapter 11
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The policeman walks Oliver to the magistrate's office, along with the old gentleman. Questioned by a guard at the... (full context)
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Oliver is thrown into a cell, and the old gentleman looks at him as this is... (full context)
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...but before he is allowed to narrate the events of the case—and to plead on Oliver's behalf, since he now thinks Oliver is innocent of the crime—Fang demands that the policeman... (full context)
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Brownlow tells Fang he is worried that Oliver has been injured by the crowd's beating after the "theft." Fang doesn't listen, and asks... (full context)
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...courtroom: the book-stall's owner, who claims to have seen the theft and to know that Oliver is not the culprit. The bookseller states that he saw two other boys with Oliver,... (full context)
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Brownlow is ushered outside by the guard, along with Oliver and the bookseller. Brownlow orders a carriage immediately, as he fears Oliver truly is ill;... (full context)
Chapter 12
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Brownlow takes Oliver with him back to his house near Pentonville, a nice neighborhood of London (the bookseller,... (full context)
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Oliver finally awakes, after several days, to find himself still in Brownlow's house, being looked after... (full context)
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A doctor visits and corroborates the fact that Oliver is on the mend. Oliver spends several ensuing nights lying quietly in bed, and prays... (full context)
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Brownlow enters the parlor soon after to see Oliver; when he does so, he cannot help holding back a few tears, which he attributes,... (full context)
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Then Brownlow immediately notices the likeness between Oliver and the woman in the picture, the one with which Oliver was fascinated. As Brownlow... (full context)
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...of the crime, and once they are clear of the crowd, Bates begins laughing at Oliver's face when he was taken—Bates finds the incident only funny—while the Dodger worries what Fagin... (full context)
Chapter 13
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Fagin yells at the Dodger and Bates, asking what has become of Oliver; the Dodger finally replies that Oliver has been taken by the police, and Fagin, enraged,... (full context)
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Fagin worries, aloud, to Sikes, that if Oliver has been caught, and has given up information about Fagin to the police, then Fagin... (full context)
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...and Fagin have resolved that someone needs to go to the court to determine where Oliver is, and what he has said to the authorities. Fagin asks Bet to do this,... (full context)
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Nancy goes to the court to try to find Oliver, claiming that she is Oliver's sister, and she is looking for her beloved "Nolly." But... (full context)
Chapter 14
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The narrator returns to Oliver, who has just awoken from his fainting fit at Brownlow's home, to discover that the... (full context)
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Oliver and Mrs. Bedwin then bond over the course of several days: she teaches him cards,... (full context)
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Brownlow calls upon Oliver, after a few more days, to talk to him in his office. Oliver comes in... (full context)
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Brownlow asks Oliver to narrate his life's story up till this point, which Oliver begins to do, until... (full context)
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...which he decries repeatedly, as Brownlow laughs inwardly at his friend's strangeness. Brownlow eventually dismisses Oliver, asking him to return at ten the next morning, to the study, so that Oliver... (full context)
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Oliver leaves the study, and Grimwig tells his friend that he believes Oliver is a faker,... (full context)
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Mrs. Bedwin states that it is hard to let Oliver out of her sight, but she does so; Oliver goes out to return the book... (full context)
Chapter 15
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Oliver, meanwhile, has been walking to the book-stall with Brownlow's books. As he nears the stall,... (full context)
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Oliver cannot counteract the combined force of Nancy and Sikes, who begin dragging him back to... (full context)
Chapter 16
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Oliver is dragged by Nancy and Sikes through the back-streets of London—Sikes tells Oliver that, if... (full context)
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Nancy and Sikes eventually lead Oliver to a new safehouse, where Fagin is now hiding with Bates, the Dodger, and the... (full context)
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Sikes demands that he and Nancy deserve the five-pound note, taken from Oliver; Fagin reluctantly allows the far more powerful Sikes to keep the note, and Sikes allows... (full context)
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Oliver leaps up and tries to escape the apartment. Fagin, the Dodger, and Bates run after... (full context)
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Fagin begins to berate and slap Oliver for trying to escape. Nancy stomps her foot and demands that, Oliver having been returned... (full context)
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Nancy starts screaming at Fagin, expressing remorse for aiding in the return of Oliver to the apartment, and realizing, aloud, that she has participated in a capture of the... (full context)
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Bates and the Dodger take Oliver's nice clothes and switch him into shabbier ones. Bet arrives and ministers to Nancy, who... (full context)
Chapter 17
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...tells Bumble that, when he does die, he would like to leave his "love" for Oliver, since he has no other earthly possessions to bequeath anyone. Bumble sends Dick away, and... (full context)
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...rightful jurisdiction, he enters a pub, only to read in the paper a notice regarding Oliver, placed by Brownlow, and offering a five-guinea reward for any information regarding his location or... (full context)
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...where Brownlow and Grimwig are sitting. Brownlow asks Bumble to tell what he knows of Oliver's past life, and Bumble unspools a slander about Oliver, claiming that the boy has always... (full context)
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Mrs. Bedwin refuses to believe that Oliver is bad, but Grimwig is convinced, and Brownlow, with heavy heart, says he never wishes... (full context)
Chapter 18
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Back at Fagin's safehouse, Fagin yells at Oliver, calling him ungrateful, and to keep Oliver from running away again, Fagin goes on at... (full context)
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Slowly, the Dodger and Bates begin visiting Oliver in the locked room, and Oliver shines the Dodger boots and does other small tasks... (full context)
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The Dodger and Bates ask Oliver why he doesn't simply apprentice in the trade of thievery with Fagin, but Oliver says... (full context)
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Bates and the Dodger sing the praises of the criminal lifestyle, and the Dodger tells Oliver that, if Oliver doesn't go around picking people's pockets, someone else will, and will gain... (full context)
Chapter 19
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Fagin volunteers that Oliver should be the boy for the job. Fagin wonders for a moment if Nancy will... (full context)
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Fagin says that Oliver's innate goodness—and his appearance of goodness—would make him an unstoppable thief, since no one would... (full context)
Chapter 20
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Fagin gives Oliver new shoes, the next day, and says he is sending Oliver over to Sikes for... (full context)
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Nancy comes and tells Oliver it is time to go to Sikes. Oliver considers begging Nancy for her compassion, but... (full context)
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Nancy brings Oliver to Sikes' apartment. Sikes, taking Oliver in, shows him a loaded gun, and threatens Oliver... (full context)
Chapter 21
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Sikes and Oliver walk through London in the early morning, reaching the outskirts of the city by the... (full context)
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Sikes wakes Oliver, and tells him they will be getting in another coach; this one, to Sunbury, another... (full context)
Chapter 22
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Sikes and Oliver enter the house, and find Crackit and Barney, the younger Jewish man with the permanent... (full context)
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Crackit, Sikes, and Oliver make their way through the town of Sunbury in the middle of the night—it is... (full context)
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Sikes tells Oliver the plan: Oliver is going to be helped up to a very small window about... (full context)
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Sikes helps Oliver into the house. Once inside, with a lantern, Oliver decides to run up the stairs... (full context)
Chapter 23
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The narrator shifts the scene back to the workhouse where Oliver was born. A woman named Mrs. Corney, who is the matron of the house (the... (full context)
Chapter 24
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...he would be taken care of. Sally tells Mrs. Corney that this boy is named Oliver. (full context)
Chapter 25
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...and the boys that the robbery failed, that he and Sikes escaped the property with Oliver, who was shot in the arm and wounded; and after worrying that they would all... (full context)
Chapter 26
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Fagin asks Nancy where Sikes and Oliver are; Nancy replies that she doesn't know, and she exclaims (coincidentally), that if Oliver is... (full context)
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...in the apartment, and is satisfied, since he has informed Nancy that Sikes has left Oliver (believing he can gain more control of Nancy if she knows that Sikes cares nothing... (full context)
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...their exact conversation), but then the narrator reveals that Monks is chastising Fagin for placing Oliver so quickly into harm's way, and for not raising Oliver in the craft of pickpocketing,... (full context)
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It appears that Monks has a mysterious vested interest in Oliver, and, especially, in Oliver being sent away, but he does not elaborate on what this... (full context)
Chapter 28
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The narrator returns to the scene just after Oliver, Sikes, and Crackit escaped from the Chertsey farmhouse. Crackit is already running away from the... (full context)
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...the third is a tinker living in a nearby house. The men do not see Oliver lying in the ditch, and decide to return to their homes, content that the criminals... (full context)
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The next morning, Oliver awakes, discovering a terrible pain where he has been shot in the arm, but nonetheless... (full context)
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Brittles opens the door and Giles recognizes Oliver as the boy he has shot—the thief, as he claims. He yells into the house... (full context)
Chapter 29
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...asking if Giles shot the intruder—Giles says, proudly, that he did. Losborne then checks on Oliver, saying that he is all right and stable, considering his wound. Losborne asks if Rose... (full context)
Chapter 30
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The doctor leads both Rose and Mrs. Maylie upstairs to see Oliver. On revealing that Oliver is only a young boy, Losborne sees Rose and her aunt's... (full context)
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...Giles and Brittles, but before doing so, he waits, with Rose and her aunt, for Oliver to wake and tell of his life, and how he came to associate with criminals.... (full context)
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...he sees that the village constable has joined Giles and Brittles. Losborne, attempting to protect Oliver, cunningly persuades Giles and Brittles into thinking that, perhaps, Oliver is not the same "robber"... (full context)
Chapter 31
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Losborne is worried that, if Oliver tells the true story of his life to Blathers and Duff, they won't take pity... (full context)
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...that neither Losborne nor the Maylies can follow—Blathers, with Duff, goes upstairs to talk to Oliver. Losborne and Giles go along as well. Introducing Oliver to the two investigators, Losborne lies... (full context)
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Before this interview with Oliver, the doctor also pulled apart a section of Giles' gun, rendering it useless; thus Blathers... (full context)
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Oliver is now safe at the Maylies' home, where he begins to grow stronger, despite his... (full context)
Chapter 32
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Oliver, not only injured by the gunshot wound, also suffers from another fever, which causes him... (full context)
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Once Oliver is hardy enough to make the journey, he takes a wagon with Losborne back to... (full context)
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...Losborne is mistaken. Losborne, cowed by this embarrassing episode, returns to the carriage and to Oliver, convinced that Oliver simply got the house mixed up with another. (full context)
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Losborne and Oliver head to Brownlow's house, where they ring and find a servant. This servant, however, tells... (full context)
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In Chertsey, over the next several weeks, the weather grows warm, and Oliver has a wonderful time recuperating and living with the Maylies. Oliver begins studying with an... (full context)
Chapter 33
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Oliver asks Mrs. Maylie, when Rose has been safely placed in bed, whether Rose will get... (full context)
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Oliver runs all the way to the market, four miles off, with the letter for Losborne... (full context)
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When Oliver returns home, Rose's fever has grown worse—Losborne, who arrives later, fears that Rose might not... (full context)
Chapter 34
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Oliver, relieved to hear that Rose will recover from her fever, takes a walk outside to... (full context)
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...for the time being; Mrs. Maylie goes back to tend to Rose, and Harry entertains Oliver, Losborne, and Giles with stories into the night. Over the next several days, Harry stays... (full context)
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One late afternoon, as the sun is setting and Oliver is seated in his room, reading and studying, he wakes up, slowly, to spot Fagin... (full context)
Chapter 35
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Oliver alerts the house that "the Jew" (Fagin) and another man were there. Harry, Giles, and... (full context)
Chapter 36
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After breakfast, as Harry is preparing to leave with Losborne, Harry pulls Oliver aside and asks him a favor: that Oliver might write to Harry every day, reporting... (full context)
Chapter 37
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...have been waiting to talk to him. The strange man indicates that he knows about Oliver Twist, and more particularly, about the woman Old Sally who nursed Twist's mother before she... (full context)
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...that Mrs. Bumble now has that package, taken from Old Sally (and originally possessed by Oliver's mother). The strange man wishes to arrange a meeting with Mr. and Mrs. Bumble for... (full context)
Chapter 40
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...[Rose], there would be fewer like me." Nancy admits that it was she who dragged Oliver back to Fagin's, when he was carrying books to the bookseller. Although Rose is shocked... (full context)
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...does not know). Nancy says that Monks has his own reasons for wanting to find Oliver, which he has not revealed to Fagin; Monks saw Oliver on the street on the... (full context)
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...tonight's conversation between Monks and Fagin to Rose: Monks said that the only proof of Oliver's family ties lies at the bottom of the river Thames, and that the woman who... (full context)
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...Rose. Monks also told Fagin that the Maylies would die to know their relationship to Oliver, but that they would never learn the nature of this relationship. Rose begs, on hearing... (full context)
Chapter 41
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...knows, also, that she must ask someone's advice in order to untangle the secret of Oliver's birth, and to protect Oliver. As Rose is sitting down to write to her cousin... (full context)
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Oliver tells Rose that he has spotted Mr. Brownlow in the street. Oliver wishes desperately to... (full context)
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Rose claims that she has knowledge of Oliver Twist, can prove that he is in fact a good boy. Grimwig does not believe... (full context)
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Brownlow is overjoyed to see Oliver again, as is Mrs. Bedwin, who states, once more, that she never believed that Oliver... (full context)
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Losborne is furious with Nancy when he hears that she is responsible for dragging Oliver back to Fagin, when Oliver was en route to the bookseller. Brownlow asks him, politely,... (full context)
Chapter 44
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Nancy, back at Sikes' apartment, worries that she must attempt to protect Oliver while hiding her exertions from both Sikes and Fagin. She does not know how much... (full context)
Chapter 46
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...earnestness. Brownlow tells Nancy that they need to formulate a plan to get information about Oliver from the mysterious man Monks. (full context)
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...same loyalty to him. Brownlow and Rose promise that, if they get the information about Oliver they need, no harm will come to Fagin or Sikes without Nancy's consent. Nancy is... (full context)
Chapter 49
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...gave Brownlow the portrait of his love that hangs in the parlor—the picture of which Oliver was so enamored—and on Monks' father's death, Brownlow traveled to see this woman, only to... (full context)
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Brownlow tells Monks that it was he, Brownlow, who took Oliver in off the street, and Fagin purposely withheld from Monks the name Brownlow, lest Monks... (full context)
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Monks hears all this but still refuses to admit to his plans for Oliver. Monks tells Brownlow he cannot prove that Oliver is the child of Monks' father and... (full context)
Chapter 51
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Two days later, Oliver travels by carriage with Rose, Mrs. Maylie, Mrs. Bedwin, and Brownlow. Oliver has been told... (full context)
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Oliver tells Rose he looks forward to seeing Dick, and promises that, this time, Oliver will... (full context)
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After dinner, Brownlow brings Monks before Oliver, and declares that Monks and Oliver are half brothers, that their father is Edward Leeford,... (full context)
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...Mrs. Bumble took the pouch from Sally, given by Agnes, which contains another link between Oliver and his mother—this they gave to Monks in the aforementioned chapter, and Monks threw these... (full context)
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...declared that Rose is the younger daughter of the naval captain—the sister of Agnes Fleming, Oliver's mother. This means that Rose is Oliver's aunt. Rose is thrilled to know this, as... (full context)
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...to the marriage, and the party appears happy, until, at the end of the chapter, Oliver receives word that, in the workhouse, poor Dick has died. This bit of sadness mars... (full context)
Chapter 52
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...sleep. He begins hallucinating that he is still commanding the group of boys, Bates and Oliver included. Then Brownlow arrives with Oliver, and Fagin wonders why they have come to see... (full context)
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...them—hidden in a chimney in his apartment. Fagin has gone mad in his cell, and Oliver, not afraid of him, prays aloud for Fagin's forgiveness. They leave Fagin, and as Brownlow... (full context)
Chapter 53
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...and they move to the country parsonage where Harry works; Mrs. Maylie comes as well. Oliver's inheritance is meted out, by Brownlow, half to Oliver and half to Monks, since Brownlow... (full context)
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Brownlow officially adopts Oliver as his son. He and Oliver move to within a mile of the parsonage where... (full context)
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The narrator ends the novel by describing Oliver's happiness with his aunt Rose, his adopted father Brownlow, who educates him in the books... (full context)