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The story of Oliver Twist begins in 19th century England in a small workhouse where Oliver is born. Shortly after Oliver’s birth, his mother passes away due to starvation. Since the Identity of Oliver’s father was unknown, he was forced to spend the first nine years of his life in an orphanage, later being moved to a workhouse for adults. There he spends a few months until being auctioned off for five pounds by the workhouse parish beadle for asking for more food. From that point on he was bounced from place to place until he eventually decided to run away from his final residence with an undertaker named Mr. Sowerberry.
Oliver was on the run for multiple days until he stumbled upon a young boy named Jack Dawkins. Jack noticed how hungry and exhausted Oliver looked so he offered him housing with his boss Fagin. Later on, Oliver learns that Fagin is a criminal that trains and hires young orphans to pickpocket people for him. After living with Fagin for a few days, Oliver is sent out with the rest of the boys for his first pickpocketing mission. Although after Oliver witnesses the other children steal first hand he runs in the opposite direction in disgust and fear. Due to Oliver’s fleeing the man who was robbed immediately was suspicious of Oliver, leading to him catching and falsely accusing Oliver of theft. Oliver barely escapes conviction, all the while rapidly becoming sick throughout the duration of the trial. Once the verdict was reached Mr. Brownlow, the man who was robbed, decided to take Oliver home allowing him to stay there until he was back to full health. Although after a couple of weeks Oliver’s stay at Mr. Brownlow’s house is interrupted by two members of Fagin’s gang, Nancy, and Bill Sikes, returning him to Fagin.
As punishment for running away from his gang, Fagin sends Oliver with his friend Sikes to help him rob a house. While attempting to sneak in the house, Oliver is shot and afterward abandoned by Sikes in a ditch. Following waking up in a ditch, Oliver hobbles his way back to the house he was forced to rob seeking help. Upon arrival, Oliver apologizes and tells them his life story leading to Mrs. Maylie and her niece Rose taking him in. The story then pans away from Oliver revealing to the reader Fagin’s growing desire to retrieve Oliver back, as well as a mystery man named Monk with the same aspiration. Panning back to the story the Maylies travel to London, where Nancy meets secretly with Rose and informs her of Fagin’s plans. Although when Sikes recognize her betrayal, he brutally murders her, later on hanging himself trying to escape. Eventually, Monks is revealed as Oliver’s biological brother trying to take their family’s inheritance all for himself, later on being forced to sign it over to Oliver by Mr. Brownlow. Who in the end adopts Oliver with the permission of the Maylies.
I would most definitely recommend this book to one of my friends in the future. I enjoyed reading the novel; some of the things that happened to Oliver reminded me of the plot of the Lemony Snicket series. Both Oliver and the children from “A Series of Unfortunate Events” are orphans and throughout their story are running from a criminal who causes “unfortunate” things to happen in their lives. For Oliver it was Fagin, and for the other children, it is Count Olaf. I believe that any kid my age will immediately make the reference I made with this book allowing them to enjoy it as much as I did.
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