Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist Chapter 41 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Rose is not sure what to do with Nancy's information. Rose has promised to keep Nancy's information secret, but Rose 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 Harry regarding his assistance in the matter, Oliver comes into Rose's room, greatly agitated.
This is the second time that a letter, intended to be sent to Harry, is not even written—the first was to be written by Mrs. Maylie, when she had found out that Rose had taken ill with fever. It seems that, as regards important family decisions, Harry is often the last to know.
Themes
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Poverty, Institutions, and Class Theme Icon
Individualism and Social Bonds Theme Icon
Social Forces, Fate, and Free Will Theme Icon
Oliver tells Rose that he has spotted Mr. Brownlow in the street. Oliver wishes desperately to be reunited with the man who had given him so much, and who still believes him to be a thief and a rotten boy. Rose hires a cab and she and Oliver drive to the Brownlow residence. Rose enters and is let in to Brownlow's parlor, where he is seated, once again, with Mr. Grimwig.
Another coincidence. It is not noted whether the hotel in which the Maylies, and Oliver, stay is close to the neighborhood in which Brownlow used to live, but in any event, Oliver sees him, and the plot of the novel begins approaching its grand finale.
Themes
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Poverty, Institutions, and Class Theme Icon
Individualism and Social Bonds Theme Icon
Social Forces, Fate, and Free Will Theme Icon
Rose claims that she has knowledge of Oliver Twist, can prove that he is in fact a good boy. Grimwig does not believe that this is possible, but Brownlow is clearly excited by the prospect that Oliver was, after all, telling the truth, and that his leaving Brownlow was not of Oliver's choosing. At this point, Rose asks Oliver to enter the parlor (he has been waiting outside the door).
Oliver finally makes his way back to the parlor, where Grimwig and Brownlow were waiting so many months previous. It will take little, this time, to convince Brownlow that Oliver was virtuous all along, and was merely the victim of terrible circumstances.
Themes
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Poverty, Institutions, and Class Theme Icon
Individualism and Social Bonds Theme Icon
Social Forces, Fate, and Free Will Theme Icon
Brownlow is overjoyed to see Oliver again, as is Mrs. Bedwin, who states, once more, that she never believed that Oliver was a bad boy in the first place. Rose goes out of the parlor with Brownlow to tell him all the information Rose has relayed to her. Brownlow, hearing all, pledges to tell Losborne all that had taken place, while Rose returns to the hotel to inform Mrs. Maylie. Rose and Brownlow part, and Oliver leaves with Nancy.
Mrs. Bedwin has stayed steadfastly in Oliver's corner since his stay at Brownlow's the first time. Bedwin knew, all along, that Oliver possessed a fundamental goodness that could not be taken away. This goodness was also seen, in Oliver, by Rose and Mrs. Maylie, when first they laid eyes on him.
Themes
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Poverty, Institutions, and Class Theme Icon
Individualism and Social Bonds Theme Icon
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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, to be calm, since only by proceeding calmly will they be able to solve the true mystery: that of Oliver's parentage, and of his inheritance, of which Brownlow feels Oliver has been defrauded.
Losborne's characteristic impetuosity is on display in this scene; though Losborne is a kind man, and one with a generous spirit, he has a hard time understanding how someone in Nancy's position could endanger, willfully, the life of a poor child, by leading him back to Fagin.
Themes
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Poverty, Institutions, and Class Theme Icon
Individualism and Social Bonds Theme Icon
Social Forces, Fate, and Free Will Theme Icon
Brownlow and Losborne go to the hotel to meet with Rose and Mrs. Maylie. Brownlow has a plan for how to proceed, although the plan galls Losborne, who is impetuous and wants to act that night: they will wait until the next Sunday (it is Tuesday), and send Rose to speak again with Nancy on London Bridge, with the aim of getting more information about Monks. Brownlow says that all these developments should be kept from Oliver (who has overheard nothing, yet, of their plans), and he agrees that Grimwig and Harry should be brought in to help. With this plan made, the meeting breaks up till morning.
Brownlow's interactions with, and plans about, Oliver might best be characterized as paternal. He withholds certain information from Oliver that he feels would hurt or frighten the small boy, and he hopes that by hiding this information from Oliver he might bring about a plan which ultimately protects the boy. This is a far cry from the kind of information-withholding practices practiced by those in the workhouse, such as Bumble, who wished merely to make money off the "sale" of Oliver as an apprentice.
Themes
Thievery and Crime Theme Icon
Poverty, Institutions, and Class Theme Icon
Individualism and Social Bonds Theme Icon
Social Forces, Fate, and Free Will Theme Icon