Oliver Twist: Summary


I Content - Characterizations

Oliver Twist - A loving, innocent orphan child; the son of Edwin Leeford and
Agnes Fleming. He is generally quiet and shy rather than aggressive. Oliver\'s
affectionate nature, along with his weakness and innocence, earn him the pity
and love of the good people he meets. Dicken\'s choice of Oliver\'s name is very
revealing, because the boy\'s story is full of "twists" and turns. Dickens uses
his skills at creating character to make Oliver particularly appealing.

Mr. Bumble - The parish beadle; a rat man and a choleric with a great idea of
his oratorical powers and his importance. He has a decided propensity for
bullying. He derived no inconsiderable pressure from the exercise of petty
cruelty and consequently was a coward. Halfway through the book, Bumble changes.
When he marries Mrs. Corney, he loses authority. She makes all the decisions.

The Artful Dodger - A talented pickpocket, recruiter, cheat and wit. Jack
Dawkins, known as the artful dodger, is a charming rogue. Fagin\'s most esteemed
pupil. A dirty snub-nosed, flat-browed, common-faced boy (short for his age).
Dickens makes Dodger look more appealing by describing his outrageous clothes
and uninhibited manners.

Fagin - A master criminal, whose specialty is fenang (selling stolen property).
He employs a gang of thieves and is always looking for new recruits. He is a
man of considerable intelligence, though corrupted by his self-interest. His
conscience bothers him after he is condemned to hang. He does have a wry sense
of humor and an uncanny ability to understand people. He\'s a very old
shrivelled Jew, whose villainous looking repulsive face was obscured by a
quantity of matted red hair.

Mr. Brownlow - A generous man, concerned for other people. A very respectable
looking person with a heart large enough for any six ordinary old gentleman of
humane disposition.

Bill Sikes - A bully, a robber and a murderer. He is an ally of Fagin. Fagin
plans the crimes and Sikes carries them out. Sike\'s evil is so frightening
because it is so physical. He is compares to a beast. A stoutly built fellow
with legs that always look like they are in an unfinished and incomplete state
without a set of fetters to garnish them.

Monks - Also known as Edward Leeford (son of Edwin Leeford and his legal
wife).Oliver\'s half brother. He wants to destroy Olivers chance of inheriting
their fathers estate. Monks is a stock villain, lurking in shadows and uttering
curses with a sneer. He lacks family love and moral upbringing. He is a tall,
dark blackguard, subject to fits of cowardice and epilepsy.

Nancy - She is the hapless product of the slums, the pupil of Fagin, and the
abused mistress of Sikes. Although she is a prostitute and an accomplice of
crooks, she has the instincts of a good person. She is part of a few of the
most memorable scenes (when she visits Fagin\'s Den, when she waits for Bill to
come home or when she meets with Rose Maylie and Brownlow to help save Oliver).
She is untidy and free in manner, but there was something of the woman\'s
original nature left in her still.

Rose Maylie - On the surface, Rose is very different from Nancy. Both were
orphans, but Rose grew up secure and protected. She is compassionate to Oliver,
but unlike Nancy, rose is innocent of the evils of the world. Dickens makes
clear that she is a pure flower. Agnes Flemings younger sister, thus Oliver\'s
aunt. Accepted as Mrs. Maylie\'s niece: later becomes her daughter-in-law.

Sally Thingummy - A pauper, nurses Oliver\'s mother. She steals the locket and
ring that holds the key to the oprhans identity.
Agnes Flemming - Oliver\'s mother; daughter of a retired naval officer.
She left home in shame and died when her illegitimate son was born.
Mr. Sowerberry - An undertaker; He accepts Oliver as an apprentice
mourner. He is forced by his wife\'s cruelty to abuse the boy until Oliver runs
away.
Noah Claypolea - Charity boy. He torments Oliver. He is employed by
Fagin, under the alias of Bolter, and spies on Nancy. He ends up as a police
informer.
Charley Bates - He belongs to Fagin\'s gang. He is so disgusted by
Sike\'s evil ways that he gives up crime and becomes a farmer.

Bet - Her full name is Betsy. She is required to identify Nancy\'s corpse.
Fang - A police magistrate and represents the worst abuses of judicial
power. A lean long-backed, stiff-necked, middle-sized man, with no great
quantity of hair.

Mrs. Bedwin - She is Brownlow\'s housekeeper. She cares for Oliver