Summary Of The Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist Book Summary - Charles Dickens
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Oliver Twist is the second novel by English author Charles Dickens, published in 1838. The book tells the story of a boy named Oliver Twist, who is born in a workhouse and faces numerous challenges and adventures

Oliver Twist Book Summary – Charles Dickens

The novel Oliver Twist begins in a workhouse in 1830s England, in an unnamed village where a young woman, Oliver’s mother, dies shortly after giving birth to him. Surviving infancy, Oliver is raised in a “baby farm” for young orphans until the age of nine, after which he is sent to the local workhouse. After working there for some time, Oliver’s innocent request for more food angers Mr. Bumble, the house’s beadle, and Oliver is offered as an apprentice to a local undertaker named Mr. Sowerberry. Oliver works as a “mute” mourner for Sowerberry, sleeping among the coffins at night. After a fight with another apprentice, Noah, Oliver runs away to London in hopes of making his fortune.

Upon arriving in London, Oliver Twist meets a well-dressed young boy who introduces himself as the Artful Dodger. Dodger takes Oliver to Fagin, a local criminal mastermind who trains young boys to pick pockets. Dodger, in reality, kidnaps Oliver, and Fagin forces him to participate in a pickpocketing operation with Dodger and another boy named Bates.

During their theft attempt, Oliver is mistaken for the thief when an elderly man’s handkerchief is stolen, leading to his arrest. However, Mr. Brownlow, the elderly victim, sees Oliver’s innocence and takes him in. Brownlow cares for Oliver and promises to educate him, but when Oliver is sent on an errand, he is captured by Fagin’s accomplice Nancy and taken back to the gang.

The remainder of the novel follows Brownlow’s efforts to find Oliver and Oliver’s attempts to escape Fagin, the ruthless Bill Sikes, and other criminals. Fagin forces Oliver to participate in a burglary at a rural house with Sikes and another thief, Toby Crackit, but the plan goes awry when Oliver is shot by a servant named Giles. Oliver is nursed back to health by the kind-hearted inhabitants of the house, Mrs. Maylie and her niece, Rose, as well as a local doctor, Mr. Losborne.

Oliver and the Maylies later try to find Brownlow, only to discover he has traveled to the West Indies. Meanwhile, in the workhouse, Mrs. Corney, now married to Mr. Bumble, receives a package from a dying woman named Old Sally, who reveals it came from Oliver’s mother. The package contains items revealing Oliver’s family history, catching the interest of Monks, a mysterious associate of Fagin. Nancy secretly meets with Rose and Brownlow to disclose what she knows about Oliver’s lineage, overheard by Noah, who reports it to Fagin. Fagin misleads Sikes into believing Nancy betrayed them entirely, leading to Sikes murdering Nancy in a fit of rage and then fleeing.

Brownlow uncovers the truth about Oliver’s family: Oliver’s father, Edwin, also fathered Monks. Monks’ mother stole the inheritance Edwin intended for Oliver and his mother, Agnes. Monks sought to conceal this truth to keep the inheritance. Brownlow forces Monks to confess his role in the conspiracy.

The novel concludes with the capture of Fagin and his gang. Sikes dies accidentally while escaping a mob. Brownlow secures half of Oliver’s inheritance for him and gives the other half to Monks, who squanders it on criminal endeavors in the New World. Rose marries her longtime love, Harry, who lowers his social standing to be with her. It is revealed that Rose is Agnes’s sister, making her Oliver’s aunt.

In the end, Oliver is restored to his rightful place in society and is adopted by Brownlow. They, along with Harry, Rose, Losborne, and Mrs. Maylie, live peacefully in the countryside, allowing Oliver to be educated as a gentleman’s son.


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