Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, reviewed by Akshay Batwara

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Reviewed by
Name: Akshay Batwara
School: Gyan Mandir Public School

About the Author:

Charles Dickens was born on 7th February 1812, the second of eight children in Lordport. Dickens attended private school for a time, after the family relocated to London. He started working at Warren’s blacking warehouse. He earned six shilling a week and work for ten hour. In 1827 he entered his career in law, working as clerk. In 1834 Dickens would start writing political journalism using the pen name ‘Boz’. His first collection was published in 1836, the same year as his first novel ‘The pick wick papers’. In 1869 Dickens was died and was buried in poet’s Corner Westminster Abbey Charles Dickens was most known for writing novels like Oliver Twist but wrote numerous short stories, poetry and articles over the course of his life.

Important Character
Oliver – Oliver is the central character of the novel.
Monks, Mr. Bumble, Fagin, Bill Sikes, Nancy, Mr. Brownlow


Oliver Twist is born in a workhouse near London at a cold winter night. His mother died when he was born before her death. She handed a gold locket to a woman in the workhouse, saying that this gold locket will lead this baby to his family. Oliver was placed in the care of a baby run home for young orphans for his first nine years of his life. At a age of nine he was sent to the workhouse working for a living. Kids there were mistreated as they never get enough food and cloth. After representing his fellow suffers in an attempt to get more cruel at the end of a meal. Oliver is punished and is apprenticed to Sowerberry a local funeral undertaker. When the undertaker’s other apprentice makes disparaging comments about Oliver’s mother, Oliver attacks him to and incurs the Sowerberry’s wrath. Desperate, Oliver runs away at dawn and heads for London. He begged food on his way and sleep rough in the field. Having walked seven day in a row, he arrives at London. Outside London, Oliver starved and exhausted meet Jack Dawkins, a boy of his own age. Jack offers Oliver shelter in London slums with Fagin. Fagin is a career criminal, he trained orphan boys to pick pockets for him. After a few day’s training Oliver is sent out with Jack and another boy on pickpockets expedition. When he sees the two boys steals a handkerchief from an elderly gentleman outside a bookstore, Oliver is horrified and run off before he is caught and sent to the police. Oliver is freed upon proved innocent. Mr. Brownlow the wealthy gentlemen whose handkerchief is stolen and feels sorry for Oliver, takes him to his home and treats him very well. Oliver thrives in Mr. Brownlow home. Fagin ask Bill Sikes and Nancy, two young adults in his gang to capture Oliver on the street and bring him back to the Fagin’s den by force. Bill Sikes makes a living by robbing houses. One night Bill takes Oliver to rob a house. Oliver’s refusal of getting involved in the burglary alarms the inhabitants of the house. Sikes fires at him with great anger and flees hastly. Oliver is taken by the kind hearted Mrs. Mayle the house owner and her adopted niece, Rose. With careful nursing by Mrs. Mayle and Rose, Oliver made a quick recovery from the injury. Meanwhile a mysterious Mr. Monk who is interested in Oliver’s origin manages to get gold locket left behind by Oliver’s mother. As a matter of fact, Oliver is Monk half brother. In the attempt to deprive Oliver’s share of his family ‘inheritance, Monk decides to keep the finding as a secret and sinks the gold locket into the river. Moreover he plot against Oliver with Fagin. Nancy, Sikes’s wife by chance overhears the conversation between Monks and Fagin. To save Oliver she tells Rose on Monk’s plot. Rose bring Mr. Brownlow and tells him the whole story. But after Fagin tells Sikes what Nancy has done against them. Sikes brutally murders Nancy in a rage Mr. Brownlow catches the Monks and brings the truth about Oliver’s parentage from him. Fagin is arrested and condemned to death. While trying to escape, Sikes accidentally hangs himself. Having got his inheritance and been adopted by Mr. Brownlow, Oliver starts his happy life after going through al these misery.

My opinion

In Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens tells of Orphan Oliver, who lived a demoralized life that he cannot control. Passed from orphanage to workhouse, he flees from abusive masters to the streets of London and is sucked into Fagin’s gang – a passed of pickpockets and burglars. People plot to hide the truth about Oliver’s parents and plan his downfall in the end, compassion and truth surmount selfishness and deceit and Oliver Twist finds family and a home. So it is a very interesting book and everyone should read it.

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