Oliver Twist; or The Parish Boy's Progress' is the second novel by Charles Dickens and was originally published as a monthly serial between February 1837 and April 1839.
Oliver is a boy who lives in an orphanage since his parents have passed away. Conditions at the orphanage are not the best and Oliver and the other children are starving. The children invent a game: together they choose who among them will ask for an additional plate of food and Oliver is the one chosen to make the request.
That night, Oliver fulfills his task and asks the director of the orphanage for another ration of food. This does not sit well with the orphanage headmaster and beadle, Mr. Bumble, who labels Oliver a troublemaker and offers him as an apprentice to anyone who wants to hire him.
Oliver is hired as an apprentice to Sowerberry, an undertaker, but soon falls out with an employee of said undertaker and escapes to London. There he meets Jack Dawins, who offers him a place to stay. Oliver, very noble and innocent, is drawn into a gang of thieving and pickpocketing boys, dragging poor Oliver into that lifestyle. It portrays life in the London underworld, between alleys and courtyards, where poverty and crime abound.
13 hours 31 minutes (162301 words)
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Date added: 07-12-2020
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Dignity, and even holiness too, sometimes, are more questions of coat and waistcoat than some people imagine.
We need be careful how we deal with those about us, when every death carries to some small circle of survivors, thoughts of so much omitted, and so little done.
There was the little church, in the morning, with the green leaves fluttering at the windows: the birds singing without: filling the homely building with its fragrance.
I confess I have yet to learn that a lesson of the purest good may not be drawn from the vilest evil.
Although Oliver had been brought up by philosophers, he was not theoretically acquainted with the beautiful axiom that self-preservation is the first law of nature.