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Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens | Review, Summary & Analysis

Exploring the World of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens: A Comprehensive Review, Summary, and Analysis

Exploring the World of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens: A Comprehensive Review, Summary, and Analysis.

Delve into the timeless classic of Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist with our comprehensive review, summary, and analysis. 

Charles Dickens, the most famous British realistic writer of the 19th century, wrote more than ten novels in his life. When he wrote Oliver Twist, he was only twenty-five years old. 

This novel has been adapted, filmed, screened, and broadcasted into many kinds of movies and TV shows, and has a wide and far-reaching influence. 

He has written more than ten novels in his life and is known as an outstanding language master. He is good at using irony, humor, and exaggeration. 

The characters and language style in his works is full of strong romantic characteristics. "Oliver Twist" (namely "Oliver Twist") is a great social novel by Dickens, which occupies an important position in the history of world literature.

Oliver Twist is Dickens's first novel of social criticism. Oliver, an abandoned baby of the rich, struggled in the orphanage for nine years and was sent to the coffin shop owner as an apprentice. 

Unbearable hunger, poverty, and humiliation forced Oliver to flee to London, where he was forced to become a pickpocket. 

He was once taken in by the wealthy Mr. Blair, but unfortunately, he was discovered by a pickpocket and entered the den of thieves again. 

In order to rescue Oliver, the kind-hearted female pickpocket Nancy reports to Bradlow that Oliver is the grandson he has been looking for, regardless of the thief's surveillance and threats. 

Nancy was killed by the leader of the den of thieves, and the police immediately surrounded and suppressed the den of thieves. Oliver was finally reunited with his loved ones.

Book: Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Oliver Twist; or, The Parish Boy's Progress, is the second novel by English author Charles Dickens. It was originally published as a serial from 1837 to 1839 and as a three-volume book in 1838. ---Wikipedia

    • Originally published: 1838
    • Author: Charles Dickens
    • Characters: Fagin, Artful Dodger, Bill Sikes, Mr. Bumble, Nancy
    • Genres: Novel, Fiction, Social novel
    • Followed by: Nicholas Nickleby
    • Illustrator: George Cruikshank
    • Original title: Oliver Twist; or, The Parish Boy's Progress


Author's Preface/Catalog 

  • Chapter 1 Concerning the Place and Situations of Oliver Twist's Birth
  • Chapter 2 Concerning Oliver Twist's Growth, Education, and Dining Ster almost got a job, but it was by no means an idle job.
  • Chapter 3 Oliver Twist Twist almost got a job, but it is by no means an idle job.
  • Chapter 4 Oliver, who has other careers, steps into society for the first time.
  • In Chapter 5, Oliver deals with new acquaintances. The first time he attended the funeral, he had a bad impression of his master's industry.
  • Chapter 6 Oliver's ridicule of Noah provoked him to stand up and resist, which surprised Noah.
  • Chapter 7 Oliver still did not give in.
  • Chapter 8 Oliver Liver walked up to London. On the way, he met a curious little gentleman.
  • Chapter 9. This chapter gives some further details about the dear old gentleman and his promising students.
  • Chapter 10. What Oliver did to his new companions. He gained a deeper understanding; he gained experience at a high price. This chapter is short, but it is of the utmost importance in the book.
  • Chapter 11 introduces Mr. Finn, the Justice of the Peace, and gives a glimpse of the way he enforces the law.
  • Chapter 12 Oliver is taken care of like never before. The author returns to the account of the merry old gentleman and his apprentice.
  • Chapter 13 introduces some newcomers to the intelligent reader, with a few interesting incidents connected with life. 
  • Chapter 14 further relates Oliver's stay at Mr. Brownlow's, and while he was away on errands Mr. Greenwig made a remarkable prophecy for him. 
  • Chapter 15 This chapter shows how fond the jolly old Jew and Miss Nancy were of Oliver Twist
  • Chapter 16 shows the state of Oliver Twist after Nancy took him back
  • Chapter 17 Fate continues to oppose Oliver and brings a great man to London to discredit him
  • Chapter 18 How Oliver passed his days among those good teachers and good friends
  • Chapter 19 A marvelous plan was discussed and settled in this chapter
  • Chapter 20 Oliver was handed over to Mr. Bill Sikes
  • Chapter 21 Chapter 22 Burglars Chapter 23 This Chapter Contains the Gist of a Pleasant Conversation Between Mr. Bumble and a Lady, Showing Even a Rector's Passion at Certain Points. 
  • Chapter 24 This Chapter Contains A very good exterminator, but not too long, perhaps of some importance in this book. 
  • Chapter 25 The author goes back to explain the situation of Mr. Fagan and his party.
  • Chapter 26 In this chapter there is a mysterious character enters the scene and many events that are inseparable from the biography. What happened to Foo, and what happened to him,
  • Chapter 27 Amends a previous chapter for leaving a lady aside with great impoliteness
  • Chapter 28 See what has become of Oliver and continue his story
  • Chapter 29. The family to which Oliver went for help.
  • Chapter 30. The impression Oliver made on new visitors.
  • Chapter 31. Chapter 32: Oliver begins a happy life with good friends
  • Chapter 33 The Happiness of Oliver and His Friends Is Unexpectedly Frustrated 
  • Chapter 34 This chapter contains an account of a young gentleman who is about to appear and another of Oliver's adventures 
  • Chapter 35 This chapter contains the inconclusive results of Oliver's adventure and Harry's ·An important conversation between Meri and Luzi 
  • Chapter 36 This chapter is extremely short, and it may seem irrelevant here, but it should be read, because it is the continuation of the previous chapter, and it is also the time when readers will read it.  
  • Chapter 37 In which the reader may observe the unusual phenomenon of pre-marriage and post-marriage conditions 
  • Chapter 38 tells the story of the evening meeting between the Bumbles and the Monks. 
  • Chapter 39 re-enters some respectable characters already known to the reader, and then sees how Monks and the old Jew conspired. 
  • Chapter 40 A Strange Meeting Continuing Closely with the Previous 
  • Chapter 41. This chapter contains several new discoveries and shows that the unexpected often follow one another, just as misfortunes never come singly. 
  • Chapter 42. An old acquaintance of Oliver shows Unmistakable traits of genius and suddenly became an important person in the capital. 
  • Chapter 43 This chapter is about how the elusive clever ghost got into trouble. 
  • Chapter 44 When Nancy was due to meet Louie Merry, she couldn't make it 
  • Chapter 45 Noah Crepole Hired to Carry Out a Secret Mission for Fagan Chapter 46 Appointment 
  • Chapter 46 Appointment
  • Chapter 47 Fatal Consequences 
  • Chapter 48 Thicke Escaping
  • Chapter 49 Monks and Mr. Brownlow finally meet. Their conversation and the news that interrupted it
  • Chapter 50 The Pursuit and Escape
  • Chapter 51 This chapter will solve many mysteries and negotiate a marriage without mentioning the money
  • Chapter 52 The Old Jew is Alive The last night of
  • Chapter 53 and the last chapter

About the Author: Charles Dickens

Charles John Huffham Dickens, British writer. Born on February 7, 1812, in the suburbs of Portsmouth, died on June 9, 1870, at Gates Hill near Rochester. 19th-century British critical realist novelist. 

Dickens paid special attention to describing the life experiences of the "little people" living at the bottom of British society, which profoundly reflected the complicated social reality in Britain at that time, and made outstanding contributions to the pioneering and development of British critical realism literature. 

His works are still popular today and have had a profound impact on the development of English literature. 

His main works are The Pickwick Papers, Oliver Twist, The Old Curio Shop, Hard Times, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, and Our Mutual Friend.

Charles Dickens's father lived an intemperate life and was heavily in debt. The young Dickens was forced to be sent to a leather shoe polish shop as an apprentice and suffered a lot of hardships. 

When Dickens was 16, his father was imprisoned for debt. Since then, their lives have become more miserable. 

On the one hand, the Industrial Revolution brought prosperity to the British metropolises in the early nineteenth century, and on the other hand, it brought about the extreme poverty of the common people and the cruel exploitation of child labor. 

The sharp social contradictions and unfair social system made Dickens determined to change his life. At the age of 15, Dickens worked as a scribe in a law firm and learned shorthand. 

After that, he worked as a journalist in a newspaper. When he was a reporter at the "Morning Chronicle", Dickens began to publish some satirical and humorous short plays, mainly reflecting life in London and gradually gained fame. 

He understands the life and customs of the people at the bottom of the city, which are reflected in his passionate writing. 

Since then, he has served as editor, editor-in-chief, and publisher of different magazines, during which he has published dozens of novels and short stories. 

His main works include Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, and David Copperfield. and "Great Expectations".

Most of Dickens' works are based on events related to his own personal experience or what he saw and heard. 

In the book, he exposed the appalling living system in the workhouse, uncovered the terrible secrets of the bottom of British society, and vividly described the darkness and evil of the society. 

From the beginning of the book, the protagonist Oliver was born as an orphan and lived a miserable life in a poor house. 

Later, he was forced to work as an apprentice in a funeral parlor and ran away from home because of the unbearable abuse. After coming to London alone, he fell into the hands of thieves again. 

In his works, Dickens described a lot of dark social reality, placed deep affection on the common people, and ruthlessly criticized the social system at that time. 

He has outstanding achievements in the reality of novel description and the personalization of characters. After Shakespeare, he created the most characters in his works.

Oliver Twist's Book Summary

   Oliver Twist is Dickens' second novel and one of his best works in the early stage of creation. 

"It wasn't fashionable to write novels that reflected the sad realities of life, but Dickens set out to shock his readers." 

The novel shows us Oliver Twist Jr., an orphan in a world of poverty and crime, how to be devastated by the horror and violence hidden in the small, dirty back streets of London, and how to get the warm care of some well-meaning people like spring. 

All the characters appearing here represent a profound humanity. The flower of goodness and the flower of evil bloom at the same time, which makes us readers plunge into endless thinking about life while weeping.

    Regarding little Oliver, "the writer poured his infinite sympathy and deep love for the millions of lonely and weak people in the society into this child protagonist." Pure goodness, a desire to do good, and a spirit that strives to resist the dark reality.

    Little Oliver was born in a workhouse, and his mother died of hatred after giving birth to him. The author writes, 

"The two men who were present at his birth gave him little help, which left Oliver to bear his first battle alone." 

The reason was that an old woman was drunk and the doctor was not paid enough, So they don't care about the life or death of this new life. In such an environment of indifference and insensitivity, the child survived tenaciously. 

It is not difficult to see that while exposing the hypocrisy and cruelty of the bourgeois charitable institution "workhouse", the author hints and emphasizes that little Oliver has an innate strong spirit of resistance, struggling in pain is the key to his life. of all. 

If he succumbs to this dark world, he is doomed to be swallowed by the cruel reality. Little Oliver's spirit of rebellion did not arise without a reason. 

It should be said that it was the inevitable result of repeated misfortunes: Once, little Oliver asked the steward for more food, but the steward was very surprised and called this a "dare to be the first in the world" The bitter child was tortured. 

Readers will feel sad for little Oliver's hunger, cold and unfair beating after reading this, but I personally think that this is another strengthening of little Oliver's rebellious spirit-he is different from other people who dare not violate the workhouse steward. 

The children, not only instinctively, but also courageously tried "anti-conventional" behaviors. Those managers who symbolized cruelty were awed by this kind of behavior. 

Their rampant and unrestrained typical dark psychology of the society at that time was for the first time A discordant tone was encountered. Even if this discordant tone is still in its infancy, it is destined to stay and continue to struggle. 

Afterward, little Oliver, who was an apprentice in the coffin shop, was slandered by Noah's vicious words. In his strong anger, he punched the big boy hard, so that the proprietress and other villains were terrified and beat the thin little orphan violently. 

This fact shows that little Oliver's rebellious spirit grows with the gradual maturity of his inner world. After being humiliated and beaten again and again, little Oliver did not bow his head to this dirty and ugly society but still fought bravely and honed his pure heart under his thin body.

    Fleeing to London alone, the poor little Oliver lived in the den of thieves headed by Fagin under the leadership of The Winged Thief. Readers will more likely think that it is little Oliver's bad luck to fall into a den of thieves, but this is not the case. 

"According to Henry Mayhew's statistics in "Those Who Don't Want to Work" (1862)... only one-third of the British labor force People can find jobs... Due to the high unemployment rate, the crime rate is also high. According to statistics, there are 12,000 criminals in London alone."

In other words, it was the British society at that time that created so many thieves Ladies and gentlemen, what happened to little Oliver was not accidental, just like The Winged Thief said, "If you don't steal, someone else will. 

There is no doubt about it!" But what I want to emphasize here is that even in such a Despite harsh environment, little Oliver is still poor and ambitious. 

He has a kind and simple heart, even if Fagin and others try to instigate him to steal, little Oliver will not really do that. 

And when he was rescued twice by kind-hearted people (the first time by Mr. Brownlow, the second time by Mrs. Merry and Rose), he ignored his frail health and was eager to tell those kind-hearted people about his life. His tragic life experience and painful experience. 

In this regard, little Oliver wants to let others know that his inner world has not been polluted by the dark and dirty real life, he still guards the pure land of the soul and wants to be with those kind and caring good people who live together. Little Oliver's kind nature runs through the whole novel. 

In the final part of the novel, when he finds out his parentage and is told that he will get all the remaining property in his father's will, Mr. Brownlow proposes to give half of it to his half-brother Monks, Little Oliver "very gladly accepted the offer". 

According to common sense, there is absolutely no need for little Oliver to give favors to those who always want to kill him, but in fact, he just regards Monks simply as his half-brother, without the slightest hostility. What surged in his heart was only family affection. 

The two diametrically opposite human natures between him and the Monks formed a strong contrast, which heightened the kind image of little Oliver; and as far as the whole novel is concerned, the kindness of little Oliver's nature was in line with the so-called "Victorian prosperity" period in England at that time. 

The decadent and dark society, where the majority of people turn to evil, forms a sharp and vivid comparison, promotes moral thoughts and precious humanistic thoughts, and purifies the spiritual world of readers.

    If little Oliver represents the brightest side of human nature, then the role of Nancy deduces the contradictory side of human nature. 

Nancy, who grew up in a den of thieves, was controlled by Fagin and others on the one hand—for example, once she pretended to be little Oliver’s sister and kidnapped little Oliver who had just escaped from the clutches of the street with her accomplices; but on the other hand, when Fagin When King and Sykes beat little Oliver who was trying to escape, Nancy stepped forward again, "Now that you've got the kid, isn't that enough that you're going to turn him into a thief and a liar? Kill him?" She protected poor little Oliver with an almost crazy act. 

From this pair of contradictory actions, we can clearly see that Nancy still treasures a humanity that has not been completely wiped out in her heart. 

It's just that the ruthless and cruel reality kept torturing her last little kindness, and she was struggling in a deprived environment. 

Maybe little Oliver ignited the bright fire in Nancy's heart, making Nancy rescue him from distress again and again.

    When Nancy overheard the conversation between Monks and Fagin and learned the secret that Monks asked Fagin to try his best to turn little Oliver into a thief and put him to death in order to monopolize all the inheritance, she went Risking his life, he told the kind Rose the secret. 

However, readers have noticed that in the two secret conversations between Nancy and Rose and others, it was mentioned such as "You have to promise me another thing - not to do any harm to this man I can never leave ", she has been trying her best to protect Sykes, who is of the same breed as Fagin. Why? 

Although Sykes is also a villainous guy like Fagin, Nancy's love for him is like the pure love in the heart that every kind woman expresses for her husband. Said to be social factors. 

If a person is entangled with thousands of social factors, others will naturally make value judgments on him, and treat him with different emotions and attitudes from the original. 

Although the world in which Nancy lives is intertwined with pain and darkness, she is pitiful, miserable, and miserable, but she is faithful to the person she loves without complaint or regret.

Therefore, Nancy's love does not become filthy because she has fallen to the bottom of real society, but the instinctive and pure emotion shared by all people. It can even be said that Nancy's love instinct guards her from being completely wiped out. That is part of good humanity. 

Although readers and Nancy both know that her own fate cannot escape the word "death", and although Nancy eventually died at the hands of the man she loved, we can say that Nancy, with her instinctive love and The goodness of that part of human nature frees one's soul from this miserable world and flies to the heaven without darkness and death.

    Fagin and Sussex, the Bumble couple, Monks, and others destroy the two flowers of the goodness of human nature that bloom in the world of ghosts and demons, goodness and love, with their respective evils of human nature.

    Fagin and Sykes are the embodiment of evil, cruelty, and deceit. Readers may have noticed that the English meaning of the name Fagin refers to the abettor (who instigates children to commit crimes), so we can see the author's intention. 

In the preface to "Orphan in the Mist", Dickens clearly pointed out: "It seems to me that it is very necessary to describe such a group of criminals as they actually exist; in all their defects and all their misfortunes. 

To describe them; to describe them in the poverty of their lives; to show them as they really are, stalking uneasily on the dirtiest paths of life, and finally, still not escaping the death of their lives by the black, ghastly gallows. 

"So, in the author's pen, he not only wrote about the cold, damp, dirty, and disordered streets of London-the place where filth is hidden but also used little Oliver as a medium to compare Fagin and Sykes again and again. 

The descriptions of coercion, temptation, and sticks portray their ferocious faces, evil hearts, and depraved lives. 

Thousands of evil souls like them are lurking in every corner of London, using their means to make darkness continue to breed and spread in the entire society-this is a terrifying and serious reality.

    What is even more infuriating is that there were more people who did not belong to the bottom of society at that time, such as the Bumbles, who stink of vitriol and mercenary. 

They don't take a lonely child like little Oliver as a human being at all. Not only did they not feed and clothe the orphans, but they often beat and scolded them, which caused great psychological trauma to these children. 

This kind of devastation is no less than that of villains like Fagin; it is these people who live a relatively comfortable life, who naturally and vividly paint us portraits of money worshipers: For example, Bumble because he does not want to miss Brownlow’s house in a hurry to tell him about little Oliver’s “situation” (as long as there is no conflict of interest with himself, speak ill of little Oliver, etc.).

    When it comes to the character of Monks, what impresses people the most is his frightening jealousy and hatred. 

Monks ignited intense resentment and jealousy towards his half-brother in order to monopolize all the inheritance income - if little Oliver lived well, his greed would never be satisfied. 

So, driven by this perverted psychology, he let little Oliver "experience" the cruelty and horror of reality. 

When he finally confessed the truth to everyone, he was still "cursing secretly" too little Oliver. This kind of abnormal psychology also reflects the moral decline of British society at that time.

    Although many critics believe that this novel has many deficiencies, "the author was in his youth during this period, his career was flourishing, and his understanding of society was still relatively superficial... Especially in terms of novel structure and characterization, the author has not yet fully grasped it. You can live." 

"Dickens only wrote about some of the ugly manifestations of society but failed to see that the root cause of these evils lies in the capitalist system itself. Contradictions." 

In my opinion, this work delicately depicts and profoundly reveals many aspects of human nature, such as kindness, love, benevolence, evil, fraud, jealousy, and hatred, and their contradictions. 

The flower of goodness and the flower of evil bloom together in the wonderful flowers of human nature, so that readers can understand the various aspects of life while clarifying their hearts, and striving to make their lives bloom with flowers of kindness. This is the deep thinking and enlightenment that only good work can bring us.

    Just like the last sentence of this novel says.

    "Throughout their lives, they showed compassion and kindness to others as God shows to all living beings."

Oliver Twist's Book Reviews

Leo Tolstoy wrote at the beginning of "Anna Karenina" that all happy families are alike, and every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

Charles Dickens has a similar line in Oliver Twist: A sad, true story full of tribulations and sorrows is usually very long, and a story of pure joy and happiness is very short.

"Oliver Twist" seems to be somewhere in between, it is not only full of suffering and sorrow, but also brings happiness and joy to people.

In 1837, at the age of 25, Dickens wrote Oliver Twist, his second novel and also his first social novel.

As an early work of Dickens, "Oliver Twist" is a bit thin in terms of plot and character design. If we ignore the age when the story is told, it will be even more difficult to appreciate the beauty of this book.

But as Dickens himself said in the preface of this book, "I don't expect their (referring to the readers) approval, nor do I write for their amusement."

Dickens just told a story he wanted to tell, and what we readers get out of it is no longer his concern.

01. Oliver Crusoe

In England at the beginning of the 19th century, affected by the French Revolution and the Napoleon era, the society was turbulent and the economy was extremely depressed. The work of helping the poor was the main problem in British society at that time.

In 1834, the British government promulgated the "Poor Law", requiring able-bodied poor people to live in workhouses.

While this decree was effective, it also caused countless tragedies. Instead of receiving proper care, the poor living in the workhouse became the target of public shame.

"Oliver Twist," tells a tragedy in this historical background. According to Mr. Huang Shuiqi, the translator of this book, " Dickens in "Oliver Twist" used the "Poor Law" of 1834 as an object of condemnation."

At the beginning of the novel, a baby is born in the workhouse - "a world full of sorrow and distress", and the baby is the protagonist of this book, Oliver Twist.

Oliver's mother died as soon as he was born, and his father is not explained at all at the beginning of the novel. The helpless Oliver is logically included in the ranks of orphans, and the novel calls him "a character who is handcuffed, beaten, despised by everyone but sympathized by no one in the world."

Although "Oliver Twist" is a novel, Dickens referred to it more than once in the book as "the most concise and most credible biographical sample" of Oliver.

This statement undoubtedly strengthens the authenticity of the book. Oliver may be a fictional character of Dickens, but the tragedy written in the book is a true reflection of British society at that time.

In the follow-up episodes, Dickens' description of Oliver's encounter is indeed extremely true.

Although it is called a workhouse, Oliver received no relief at all in his childhood life. The board of directors of the workhouse formulated a specification: let the poor either starve to death slowly in the workhouse or starve to death immediately outside the workhouse.

Oliver, who was too hungry, asked the chef for more porridge under the instigation of his companions.

Oliver's move caused an uproar in the workhouse. The board of directors believed that Oliver's request was outrageous and should be severely punished. Some people even predicted that "the child will be hanged in the future."

Oliver, who made a mistake, was sent out of the workhouse to work as an apprentice in a coffin shop. Not long after he was abused, he fled to London alone.

Oliver was just a kid in his early teens at the time. But the child's life has gone through many ups and downs, and he finally went to London to start another tribulation and adventure.

02. Adventure and adventure

Oliver walked 65 miles to London in winter, in a strange place, cold and hungry, Oliver seemed to be at the end of the road.

At this time, a strange "young gentleman" reached out to Oliver. He treated Oliver to a meal and took Oliver home.

Oliver, who was indifferent, didn't even realize that he had just escaped from a fire pit, and he was tricked into the den of thieves again.

The leader of the den of thieves, Eugene, wanted to train Oliver to join their ranks of deception. Oliver had an accident during his first theft. He was mistaken for a thief and caught, but it was a blessing in disguise that he met the nobleman of his life. Mr. Brownlow.

Mr. Brownlow and Mrs. Bedwin took good care of Oliver, which gave the child a rare warmth in the world.

But not long after, Oliver was brought back to the den of thieves again by the female liar Miss Nancy and returned to Eugene's palm.

As a result, Oliver fell into the most dangerous disaster in his life without realizing it.

A gang led by the liar Eugene, Sykes, and Monks the Mysterious want to train Oliver to be a liar like them; an alliance of Mr. Brownlow, Mrs. Bedwin and Miss Ross, and foster mother Mrs. Merry Do everything possible to rescue Oliver from the clutches. 

When the two forces competed, the mystery of Oliver's life experience gradually surfaced.

In this process, some confusing stories of Miss Nancy are interspersed. She is the female liar who helps Sykes catch Oliver back and is also the core figure who helps Miss Rose rescue Oliver. Miss Nancy's tragedy leaves a layer of tragedy that is difficult to ignore in this comic ending story.

03. Beautiful jade sinks into the ditch

In "Tess of the D'Urbervilles", there is a chapter called "Sink in the mud", which means that the innocent Tess was defiled by the shameless Yalei, and the beautiful jade fell into the ditch, which caused the tragedy of her life.

Tess's story has nothing to do with Miss Nancy's story in terms of plot, but their encounters are so similar.

Miss Nancy is a female liar, she has been following the liar Sayles for more than ten years, and it was she who brought Oliver back to the den of thieves.

However, Miss Nancy is fundamentally different from Eugene, Searles, and others. Even if she is trapped in the mud, she still cannot change her essence of beauty.

Therefore, when she learned of the plan of the Monks and others to harm Oliver, Miss Nancy suppressed her fear and secretly notified Miss Rose to help Oliver escape from the Monks' clutches.

Oliver was saved, but Miss Nancy died at the hands of Sykes because of the leak. This is probably one of the saddest plots in the novel.

Many readers think that Miss Nancy described by Dickens is more embarrassing than Oliver. This is true, in my opinion, Miss Nancy is the most successful character in this book.

Dickens brings happiness to Oliver at the end of the novel but makes Nancy go to death. As a story of truth, goodness, and beauty, in fact, Dickens can completely redeem Nancy. In the novel, Miss Ross has offered to rescue Nancy.

But Nancy refused, she chose to return to Sykes, it can also be said that she took the initiative to her own death.


Nancy's seemingly unreasonable choice is the truest and most painful truth of her life.

In the novel, Nancy took the initiative to say to Ross, "I am the notorious guy you have heard of, living among thieves, since the moment I wandered on the streets of London, except what they (referring to Sykes and others) gave me I never knew a better life or kinder words than my own."

Nancy, living in the darkness of humanity, has long lost the ability to feel love and the chance to be redeemed. Sykes and others are the initiators of the tragedy of her life, but also the only meaning of her life. Nancy's life is all based on Sykes and others, so even though "I hate this kind of life, I hate this kind of life, but I can't leave this kind of life."

I'm hopeless, Nancy used the word to seal the coffin of her life.

Perhaps when she bid farewell to Miss Rose, she had already anticipated her own end, so she said, "Alleys and ditches are my cradles, and they will also be my deathbed."

Miss Nancy finally fell into the ditch, blown by the north wind.

This is not the most embarrassing part of the novel. Miss Nancy described by Dickens does not believe that she can be redeemed, but resolutely gives Oliver the chance of being redeemed, at the cost of her life.

This is the most moving and brilliant part of this book.

04. Do you still believe that what is good is rewarded with good?

Now many readers do not have a high evaluation of "Oliver Twist", and there are probably two reasons for this.

On the one hand, "Oliver Twist" was Dickens's work when he was 25 years old, and it was also his second work. Both the plot and the characters are somewhat simple.

Oliver Twist, on the other hand, ends with comedy. For us readers, we want comedy more in reality, but in the process of reading, tragedy is more impressive and more real.

Therefore, the happy reunion story of "Orphan in the Twist" will make people feel unreal.

Good is rewarded with good, and evil is rewarded with evil. This is what Dickens wanted to tell us, so later generations called it "the light that calls people back to laughter and benevolence."

But now many people no longer believe such words. Compared with truth, goodness, and beauty, people think that poisonous chicken soup is more real.

It is undeniable that in reality, justice does not always come, and light does not always drive out darkness. In the novel "Pan's Labyrinth", it is said that the side of justice will not always win the real victory, they are just holding on.

In this view, Oliver's comedy ending seems to be a failure.

But in fact, in the happy ending of "Orphan Twist", there are also hidden tragedies and regrets that cannot be ignored. Miss Nancy mentioned above is an example.

Another example is Dick. Dick is Oliver's partner in the foster home. Before Oliver fled to London, he went to meet Dick. Dick told Oliver to go forward bravely, " But don't stop, honey, don't stop!"

Dick was the first person to give Oliver a blessing. Even though this blessing only came from a child, it was remembered by Oliver for a lifetime.

But when Oliver was rescued, he went to find Dick but only got the news of Dick's death.

The novel doesn't play up Dick's death in detail, but it's no less sad. Dick's death is matched by Oliver's rescue, and Miss Nancy's death is matched by Miss Rose's luck.

Dickens does not blindly make us believe in truth, goodness, and beauty. As Nancy said to Rose, "Kneel down and thank God, because when you were a child, many friends took care of you and raised you; because you were never hungry or cold."

Nancy wasn't quite right, she didn't know anything about Rose's twisted fate. But indeed, whether it is Rose or Oliver, they should thank God most for not letting them be in the fate of Nancy and Dick.

It can be seen that "Orphan in the Twist" is not unreal, but too real. Life is sometimes a passive multiple-choice question, is it, Nancy or Ross? Is it Oliver or Dick?

We cannot decide the environment we are in, nor can we completely get rid of the imprint of the environment. A good life depends on luck, and personal efforts are sometimes vulnerable.

But even so, we cannot completely deny the existence of light just because we are in darkness. "Orphan in the Twist" is a story of "a beacon that calls people back to laughter and benevolence".

Muhiuddin Alam is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of He serves as a consistent contributor to various websites and publications, including Medium, Quora, Reddit, Linkedin, Substack, Vocal, Flipboard, and Amazon KDP. Alam personally read numerous books and, for the past 10 years, has been providing book recommendations and reviews. Find Me: About Me & Google Knowledge Panel.

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