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Charles Dickens - Oliver Twist

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Oliver Twist

by Charles Dickens

1. About the author
Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth, England, in 1812 and moved to London with his family when he was about two years old. The family’s circumstances forced him to leave school at the age of twelve. He found a job in a shoe polish factory and, at about the same time, his father was arrested for debt and sent to prison. By the age of twenty-four he became famous for his successful work as journalist for The Pickwick Papers. He wrote novels and adventure stories. 1970 Charles died by a suddenly stroke. Source: book / Introduction Picture:

2. Main characters
Oliver Twist - . Oliver is an orphan born in a workhouse. Oliver is between nine and twelve in the book scenes. Though treated with cruelty and surrounded by violence he is a cheerful child searching for his luck.
Fagin - He trains children to pick pockets for him. He rarely commits crimes himself, preferring to employ others to commit them.
Nancy - She is a pickpocket, which she despites and also Bill Sikes’s lover .
Mr. Brownlow - A well-off, erudite gentleman who serves as Oliver’s first benefactor.
Bill Sikes - A brutal professional burglar brought up in Fagin’s gang. Sikes and Nancy are lovers.
Mr. Bumble - He works for a workhouse, in which Oliver was born. He is a disrespectful and cruel teacher.

3. The story
Oliver Twist is born in a workhouse in 1830s in England. His mother, whose name no one knows, is found on the street and dies just after Oliver’s birth. Oliver spends the first nine years of his life in a badly run home for young orphans and then he is transferred to a workhouse for adults. After he asks for more meal, Mr. Bumble offers five pounds to anyone who will take the boy away from the workhouse. Oliver comes to the undertaker Mr. Sowerberry. When the undertaker’s other apprentice, Noah Claypole, makes disparaging comments about Oliver’s mother, Oliver attacks him. Desperate, Oliver runs away at dawn and travels toward London.
Outside London, Oliver meets Jack Dawkins, a boy his own age. Jack offers him shelter in the London house of his benefactor, Fagin. It turns out that Fagin is a criminal who trains orphan boys to pick pockets for him. After a few days of training, Oliver is sent on a pick pocketing mission with two other boys. When he sees them stole a handkerchief from an elderly gentleman, Oliver is horrified and runs off, but he is caught and the people convicted him as the thief. Mr. Brownlow, the man whose handkerchief was stolen, takes Oliver to his home and nurses him back to health. Oliver lives well 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 criminal plan. Oliver is shot by an owner of the house and, after Sikes escapes, he is taken in by the women who live there, Mrs. Maylie and her beautiful adopted niece Rose. Oliver spends an idyllic summer with them in the countryside. But Fagin and a mysterious man named Monks are set on recapturing Oliver. Meanwhile, it is revealed that Oliver’s mother left behind a gold locket when she died. Monks obtains and destroys that locket. When the Maylies come to London, Nancy meets secretly with Rose and informs her of Fagin’s designs, but a member of Fagin’s gang overhears the conversation. When the words of Nancy reach Sikes, he brutally murders Nancy and flees London. He hangs himself while trying to escape, because he feels sorry for the murder.
Mr. Brownlow, with whom the Maylies have reunited Oliver, confronts Monks and wrings the truth about Oliver’s parentage from him. It shows that Monks is Oliver’s half brother. Their father, Mr. Leeford, was unhappily married to a wealthy woman and had an affair with Oliver’s mother, Agnes Fleming. Moreover, it is discovered that Rose is Agnes’s younger sister. Fagin is hung for his crimes. Finally, Mr. Brownlow adopts Oliver, and they and the Maylies retire to a blissful life.

4. My opinion
I really like the book because it contains many words, which are rarely used in our vocabulary nowadays. In this book Dickens speaks out against social evils, in this case the terrible conditions in the workhouses where poor people were forced to live if they could not pay their debts. It is also interesting how the author describes the London’s criminal underworld in a lively way, showing how poor children so easily enter into a life of crime under the influence of adults who take advantage of them for their own gain. In this book I especially like the scene, where Oliver finally finds his true home, where he is loved. I surely will recommend this book to children but also to adults.
About the autor, main charakters, the story, my opinion (819 Wörter)
03.06.2008 von unbekannt
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  • Bewertung 3.8 von 5 auf Basis von 23 Stimmen
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3.8/5 Punkte (23 Votes)

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