OLIVER TWIST IS BORN oin a workhouse in 1930s England. His mother, whose name no one knows dies just after Oliver’s birth. Oliver spends the first nine years of his life in a badly run home for the young orphans and then is transferred to a workhouse for adults. After the other boys bully Oliver into asking for more gruel at the end of a meal, Mr Bumble, the parish beadle, offers five pounds to anyone who will take the boy away from the workhouse. Oliver narrowly escapes being apprenticed to a brutish chimney sweep and is eventually apprenticed to a local undertaker, Mr. Sowerberry. When the undertaker’s other apprentice, Noah Claypole, makes disparaging comments about Oliver’s mother, Oliver attacks him and incurs the Sowerberry’s wrath. Desperate, Oliver runs away at dawn and travels towards London.
Outside London, Oliver, starved and exhausted, meets Jack Dawkins, also known as the Artful Dodger a boy his own age. Jack offers him shelter in the London house of his benefactor, Fagin. It turns out that Fagin is a career criminal who trains orphan boys to pick pockets for him.
After a few days of training, Oliver is sent on a pickpocketing mission with Jack Dawnkins. When Oliver sees Jack swipe a handkerchief from an elderly gentlemen, Oliver is horrified and runs off. He is caught but narrowly escapes being convicted of the theft. Mr Brownlow, the man whose handkerchief was stolen, and his niece Rose takes the feverish Oliver to his home and nurses him back to health. Mr Brownlow is struck by Oliver’s resemblence to a potrait of a young woman that hangs in his house. Oliver thrives in Mr. Brownlow’s home, but two young adults in Fagin’s gang, Bill Sikes and his lover Nancy capture Oliver and return him to Fagin.
Fagin sends Oliver to assist Sikes in a burglary. Fagin is set on recapturing Oliver. Meanwhile, it is revealed that Oliver’s mother left behind a gold locket when she died. Nancy meets secretly with Rose and informs her of Fagin’s designs, but a member of Fagin’s gang overhears the conversation. When word of Nancy’s disclosure reaches Sikes, he brutally murders Nancy and flees London. Pursued by his guilty conscience and an angry mob, he accidently dies while trying to escape.
Oliver is reunited with Mr. Brownlow and Oliver’s true parentage is revealed. The story ends on a happy note.
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