Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist

Fagin Character Analysis

One of the novel's trio of antagonists, Fagin is in charge of the "boys," his thieves, and their exploits pay for his life in London. Fagin attempts to make Oliver a thief, but fails; Fagin is later sentenced to death. Fagin is Jewish, and described in extremely anti-Semitic terms by the narrator.

Fagin Quotes in Oliver Twist

The Oliver Twist quotes below are all either spoken by Fagin or refer to Fagin. 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 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:

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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:

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Chapter 44 Quotes

You have a friend in me, Nance; a staunch friend. I have the means at hand, quiet and close. If you want revenge on those that treat you like a dog . . .come to me. I say, come to me.

Related Characters: Fagin (speaker), Nancy
Page Number: 285
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 45 Quotes

She goes abroad tonight . . . and on the right errand, I'm sure; for she has been alone all da, and the man she is afraid of, will not be back much before daybreak . . . .

Related Characters: Fagin (speaker), Noah Claypole, Sikes, Nancy
Page Number: 288
Explanation and Analysis:

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Fagin Character Timeline in Oliver Twist

The timeline below shows where the character Fagin appears in Oliver Twist. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 8
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Oliver walks into the dirty, grimy apartment, and is introduced by the Dodger to Fagin, a Jewish man described (with great prejudice) by the narrator as being small, shriveled, and... (full context)
Chapter 9
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Oliver sleeps until the late morning, and wakes up slowly to find Fagin boiling coffee for his breakfast. Fagin checks to see if Oliver is awake—Oliver pretends still... (full context)
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Oliver's eyes open for a moment and catch Fagin'sFagin immediately closes the lid and hides the box, asking Oliver how much of the preceding... (full context)
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...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 the Dodger replies he... (full context)
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Fagin then plays a "game" with the Dodger and Bates, wherein he puts on a large... (full context)
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Fagin shows Oliver how easy the life of these young men and women is—they "work" only... (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 Bates on their work. Finally, Fagin... (full context)
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...know what to do. He quickly realizes where all the jewels have come from in Fagin's apartment, and the reason for the "game" he plays with Fagin. Oliver decides to run... (full context)
Chapter 12
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...narrator takes advantage of Oliver's faint to describe the whereabouts of the Dodger, Bates, and Fagin. (full context)
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...Oliver's face when he was taken—Bates finds the incident only funny—while the Dodger worries what Fagin will say, now that Oliver has been nabbed by the police. Bates and the Dodger... (full context)
Chapter 13
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Fagin yells at the Dodger and Bates, asking what has become of Oliver; the Dodger finally... (full context)
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The burly man, who Fagin refers to as Bill Sikes, continues berating Fagin, saying that, if he were Fagin's apprentice,... (full context)
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Fagin worries, aloud, to Sikes, that if Oliver has been caught, and has given up information... (full context)
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Just at this moment, Bet and Nancy return to the apartment. Sikes and Fagin have resolved that someone needs to go to the court to determine where Oliver is,... (full context)
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...by "the gentleman" (Brownlow) into his home near Pentonville. Nancy takes this information back to Fagin, who dispatches Sikes, Nancy, the Dodger, and Bates to find Oliver and Brownlow, before Oliver... (full context)
Chapter 15
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...him, and though the dog fights back he remains loyal, for now, to his master. Fagin enters the apartment and interrupts the battle between Sikes and his dog. He hands over... (full context)
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...Barney: he speaks throughout the novel as though he has a serious head-cold. Barney tells Fagin that Nancy is nearby, and Fagin and Sikes ask to speak with Nancy; they tell... (full context)
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...cannot counteract the combined force of Nancy and Sikes, who begin dragging him back to Fagin's apartment. Meanwhile, Grimwig and Brownlow continue sitting in the parlor, wondering if Oliver will return. (full context)
Chapter 16
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...other men, and Nancy, sensing this, teases Sikes as they head, with Oliver, back to Fagin's. (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 other boys. The Dodger and Bates... (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 Fagin... (full context)
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Oliver leaps up and tries to escape the apartment. Fagin, the Dodger, and Bates run after him. Sikes tries to send his dog after them,... (full context)
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Fagin begins to berate and slap Oliver for trying to escape. Nancy stomps her foot and... (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,... (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... (full context)
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...have human company once again. The Dodger admits to Oliver that he, the other boys, Fagin, Nancy, Bet, and Sikes are all criminals and thieves—Oliver seems to have known this is... (full context)
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...and Bates ask Oliver why he doesn't simply apprentice in the trade of thievery with Fagin, but Oliver says he doesn't want to do it, and wishes he were free to... (full context)
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...picking people's pockets, someone else will, and will gain the benefit thereof. At this point Fagin walks in with Bet and a new person, a man of eighteen named Tom Chitling,... (full context)
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For the next several weeks, Fagin surrounds Oliver with Bates and the Dodger, hoping they can convince Oliver to give in... (full context)
Chapter 19
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One night, Fagin leaves his apartment and the boys and travels to Sikes' small, squalid place, where Sikes... (full context)
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Sikes asks Fagin if he will pay extra for Sikes' services in breaking into the home if the... (full context)
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Fagin volunteers that Oliver should be the boy for the job. Fagin wonders for a moment... (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... (full context)
Chapter 20
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Fagin gives Oliver new shoes, the next day, and says he is sending Oliver over to... (full context)
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...is only eleven, and the streets are filled with witnesses who might see Oliver fleeing Fagin. Nancy, sensing this in Oliver, tells him she is doing all she can for his... (full context)
Chapter 25
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Back at Fagin's apartment, Bates, the Dodger, and Chitling are playing hands of whist, a card game, with... (full context)
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...taken a liking to her. Chitling denies this heatedly. After a while, the boys and Fagin hear a bell indicating that someone wishes to come up to the apartment. The Dodger... (full context)
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After eating, Crackit tells Fagin and the boys that the robbery failed, that he and Sikes escaped the property with... (full context)
Chapter 26
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Fagin begins slackening his pace, however, and regaining his cool as he enters a small market... (full context)
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Fagin walks into the smoky pub, filled as it is with criminals whom Fagin recognizes. Fagin... (full context)
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Satisfied with this intelligence received at the Three Cripples, Fagin finds a hack-cab on the street and takes it to near Nancy's and Sikes' apartment.... (full context)
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Fagin asks Nancy where Sikes and Oliver are; Nancy replies that she doesn't know, and she... (full context)
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Fagin leaves Nancy, drunk, in the apartment, and is satisfied, since he has informed Nancy that... (full context)
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The man is Monks, whom Fagin had been seeking out. Fagin takes him into a spare room on a lower floor... (full context)
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...somehow get back to Monks, and Monks wishes to avoid all penalty regarding Oliver's disappearance. Fagin explains to Monks that Nancy has taken a liking to Oliver, but Fagin appears to... (full context)
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Monks, paranoid that someone has heard them speak, tells Fagin they must search the dark abandoned rooms of the tenement for intruders, but after this... (full context)
Chapter 34
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...Oliver is seated in his room, reading and studying, he wakes up, slowly, to spot Fagin and the man he saw on the street (the "strange man," after Oliver had dropped... (full context)
Chapter 35
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Oliver alerts the house that "the Jew" (Fagin) and another man were there. Harry, Giles, and Losborne attempt to find them outside, but... (full context)
Chapter 39
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...get into a fight, for which neither is strong enough, and Nancy faints just as Fagin, Bates, and the Dodger enter—they help Nancy and get her water, while Sikes inquires as... (full context)
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As Fagin begins his explanation, Bates and the Dodger empty food for Sikes and Nancy out of... (full context)
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Nancy goes, with Fagin and the boys, back to Fagin's apartment. There, after clearing out Toby and Chitling and... (full context)
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Nancy looks pale, and, after quickly taking the money from Fagin that he has promised for Sikes, she returns to Sikes, and gives him the money.... (full context)
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...hotel in a genteel neighborhood. Acting on information she has gleaned from the conversation between Fagin and Monks the previous night, she asks after Miss Maylie, to a footman in the... (full context)
Chapter 40
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...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 by this information,... (full context)
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Nancy reveals to Rose information she has heard from conversations between Fagin and Monks (whom Rose does not know). Nancy says that Monks has his own reasons... (full context)
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Nancy reveals the content of tonight's conversation between Monks and Fagin to Rose: Monks said that the only proof of Oliver's family ties lies at the... (full context)
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This last piece of information is most shocking to Rose. Monks also told Fagin that the Maylies would die to know their relationship to Oliver, but that they would... (full context)
Chapter 41
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...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,... (full context)
Chapter 42
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...eating and drinking. Barney then goes in the back of the pub and meets with Fagin; both of them are able to observe Noah and Charlotte through a small and out-of-sight... (full context)
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Fagin comes in just as Noah was discussing how he intended to make money in London... (full context)
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Fagin says he has "a friend" who does some criminal work; Noah realizes that he more... (full context)
Chapter 43
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The next day at Fagin's apartment, when Noah comes to meet Fagin's "friend," with whom he is to work, he... (full context)
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Fagin says that the more Noah values the first, the more he will have to value... (full context)
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Charley Bates comes to Fagin to inform him that the police have additional evidence against the Dodger linking him to... (full context)
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Fagin's description of the Dodger's fame seems to assuage Charley a bit, and they realize they... (full context)
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...taken away by guards in cuffs, and Noah returns, meeting up with Bates halfway, to Fagin's, to tell of the Dodger's glorious rebuke to the courts. (full context)
Chapter 44
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...that she must attempt to protect Oliver while hiding her exertions from both Sikes and Fagin. She does not know how much longer she can do this, and despite her belief... (full context)
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Fagin comes over that night, a Sunday, to join Nancy and Sikes. Nancy is eager to... (full context)
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Fagin believes, as he is walking home, that Nancy was eager to see a new lover,... (full context)
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To this end, Fagin vows to send someone along to follow Nancy the next time she goes out to... (full context)
Chapter 45
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Noah comes to Fagin's the next morning for breakfast. Fagin congratulates Noah on the trinkets he stole from children... (full context)
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Fagin takes Noah to the Cripples pub that Sunday evening, and, through the trick pane of... (full context)
Chapter 46
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Brownlow says that, if they cannot secure Monks, then Nancy will have to hand over Fagin to them. Nancy becomes upset at this, however, saying that, though Fagin and Sikes are... (full context)
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...in a different direction just after. After all three leaves, Noah sneaks back to tell Fagin what he has heard. (full context)
Chapter 47
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The chapter opens with Noah asleep on the floor of Fagin's apartment. Fagin is plotting based on the information Noah has overheard. Fagin is partially upset... (full context)
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Fagin reveals to Sikes, slowly, that Nancy has spoken to "a gentleman and a lady" on... (full context)
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Fagin has therefore spun the turn of events, lying to Sikes that Nancy has sold out... (full context)
Chapter 49
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...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 should make the connection between the... (full context)
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...Sikes, after all, killed Nancy because he feared that Nancy had given away the group (Fagin, Sikes, Monks, and the boys) to the authorities. The accumulation of all this information stuns... (full context)
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...Sikes and capture him. Losborne also says that the authorities are on the lookout for Fagin. (full context)
Chapter 50
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...thief named Kags, trying to avoid detection by the police, who are after all of Fagin's group, after having been alerted to them by Brownlow. Chitling tells Crackit what he knows:... (full context)
Chapter 52
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The chapter opens with Fagin in court, ready to hear the sentence promulgated against him. Though he hopes against hope... (full context)
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Unrepentant and scared, Fagin can barely sleep. He begins hallucinating that he is still commanding the group of boys,... (full context)
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Brownlow says they have come about some papers Fagin has, the location of which Fagin tells them—hidden in a chimney in his apartment. Fagin... (full context)
Chapter 53
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Noah and Charlotte receive pardons for their small role in the crimes of Fagin, but they become a con-man team, faking illness and taking money from people on the... (full context)