Oliver twist

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  • Publicado : 16 de noviembre de 2011
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Oliver Twist Information
Oliver Twist; or, The Parish Boy's Progress is the second novel by English author Charles Dickens, published by Richard Bentley in 1838. The story is about an orphan Oliver Twist, who endures a miserable existence in a workhouse and then is placed with an undertaker. He escapes and travels to London where he meets the Artful Dodger, leader of a gang ofjuvenile pickpockets. Oliver is led to the lair of their elderly criminal trainer Fagin, naively unaware of their unlawful activities.
Oliver Twist is notable for Dickens' unromantic portrayal of criminals and their sordid lives.[1] The book exposed the cruel treatment of many a waif-child in London, which increased international concern in what is sometimes known as "The Great London Waif Crisis": the largenumber of orphans in London in the Dickens era. The book's subtitle, The Parish Boy's Progress, alludes to Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress and also to a pair of popular 18th-century caricature series by William Hogarth, "A Rake's Progress" and "A Harlot's Progress".[2]
An early example of the social novel, the book calls the public's attention to various contemporary evils, including the Poor Law,child labour and the recruitment of children as criminals. Dickens mocks the hypocrisies of his time by surrounding the novel's serious themes with sarcasm and dark humour. The novel may have been inspired by the story of Robert Blincoe, an orphan whose account of hardships as a child labourer in a cotton mill was widely read in the 1830s. It is likely that Dickens's own early youth as a childlabourer contributed to the story's development.
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Plot summary
Workhouse and first jobs
Oliver Twist is born into a life of poverty and misfortune in a workhouse in an unnamed town (although when originally published in Bentley's Miscellany in1837 the town was calledMudfog and said to be within 75 miles north of London). Orphaned almost from his first breath by his mother’s death in childbirth and his father’s unexplained absence, Oliver is meagerly provided for under the terms of the Poor Law, and spends the first nine years of his life at a baby farm in the 'care' of a woman named Mrs. Mann. Along with other juvenile offenders againstthe poor laws, Oliver is brought up with little food and few comforts. Around the time of Oliver's ninth birthday, Mr. Bumble, a parish beadle, removes Oliver from the baby farm and puts him to work picking oakum at the main workhouse. Oliver, who toils with very little food, remains in the workhouse for six months. One day, the desperately hungry boys decide to draw lots; the loser must ask foranother portion of gruel. The task falls to Oliver, who at the next meal tremblingly comes forward, bowl in hand, and makes his famous request: "Please, sir, I want some more."

Oliver: "Please, sir, I want some more."
A great uproar ensues. The board of well-fed gentlemen who administer the workhouse, while eating a meal fit for a mighty king, offer five pounds to any person wishing to take onthe boy as an apprentice. A brutal chimney sweep almost claims Oliver, however, when he begs despairingly not to be sent away with "that dreadful man", a kindly old magistrate refuses to sign the indentures. Later, Mr. Sowerberry, an undertaker employed by the parish, took Oliver into his service. He treats Oliver better, and because of the boy's sorrowful countenance, uses him as a mourner atchildren’s funerals. However, Mr. Sowerberry is in an unhappy marriage, and his wife takes an immediate dislike to Oliver — primarily because her husband seems to like him — and loses few opportunities to underfeed and mistreat him. He also suffers torment at the hands of Noah Claypole, an oafish but bullying fellow apprentice and "charity boy" who is jealous of Oliver’s promotion to mute, and...
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