HOME
The Info List - Oliver Twist


--- Advertisement ---



Oliver Twist; or, the Parish Boy's Progress is author Charles Dickens's second novel, and was first published as a serial 1837–39.[1] The story centres on orphan Oliver Twist, born in a workhouse and sold into apprenticeship with an undertaker. After escaping, Twist travels to London, where he meets "The Artful Dodger", a member of a gang of juvenile pickpockets led by the elderly criminal, Fagin. Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
is notable for its unromantic portrayal by Dickens of criminals and their sordid lives, as well as for exposing the cruel treatment of the many orphans in London
London
in the mid-19th century.[2] The alternative title, The Parish Boy's Progress, alludes to Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress, as well as the 18th-century caricature series by William Hogarth, A Rake's Progress
A Rake's Progress
and A Harlot's Progress.[3] In this early example of the social novel, Dickens satirises the hypocrisies of his time, including child labour, the recruitment of children as criminals, and the presence of street children. The novel may have been inspired by the story of Robert Blincoe, an orphan whose account of working as a child labourer in a cotton mill was widely read in the 1830s. It is likely that Dickens's own youthful experiences contributed as well.[4] Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
has been the subject of numerous adaptations for various media, including a highly successful musical play, Oliver!, and the multiple Academy Award-winning 1968 motion picture. Disney also put its spin on the novel with the animated film called Oliver & Company in 1988.[5]

Contents

1 Publications 2 Plot summary

2.1 Workhouse
Workhouse
years 2.2 London, the Artful Dodger
Artful Dodger
and Fagin 2.3 Mystery of a man called "Monks" 2.4 Resolution

3 Characters 4 Major themes and symbols

4.1 Poverty and social class 4.2 Symbolism 4.3 Characters

5 Allegations of antisemitism 6 Film, television and theatrical adaptations

6.1 Film 6.2 Theater

7 References 8 External links

Publications[edit] The novel was originally published in monthly instalments in the Magazine Bentley's Miscellany
Bentley's Miscellany
from February 1837 to April 1839. It was originally intended to form part of Dickens's serial, The Mudfog Papers.[6][7][8] George Cruikshank
George Cruikshank
provided one steel etching per month to illustrate each instalment.[9] The novel first appeared in book form six months before the initial serialisation was completed, in three volumes published by Richard Bentley, the owner of Bentley's Miscellany, under the author's pseudonym, "Boz". It included 24 steel-engraved plates by Cruikshank. The first edition was titled: Oliver Twist, or, The Parish Boy's Progress.

Cover, first edition of serial, entitled "The Adventures of Oliver Twist" January 1846

Serial publication dates:[10]

I – February 1837 (chapters 1–2) II – March 1837 (chapters 3–4) III – April 1837 (chapters 5–6) IV – May 1837 (chapters 7–8) V – July 1837 (chapters 9-11) VI – August 1837 (chapters 12–13) VII – September 1837 (chapters 14–15) VIII – November 1837 (chapters 16–17) IX – December 1837 (chapters 18–19) X – January 1838 (chapters 20–22) XI – February 1838 (chapters 23–25) XII – March 1838 (chapters 26–27) XIII – April 1838 (chapters 28–30) XIV – May 1838 (chapters 31–32) XV – June 1838 (chapters 33–34) XVI – July 1838 (chapters 35–37) XVII – August 1838 (chapters 38-part of 39) XVIII – October 1838 (conclusion of chapter 39–41) XIX – November 1838 (chapters 42–43) XX – December 1838 (chapters 44–46) XXI – January 1839 (chapters 47–49) XXII – February 1839 (chapter 50) XXIII – March 1839 (chapter 51) XXIV – April 1839 (chapters 52–53)

Plot summary[edit] Workhouse
Workhouse
years[edit]

Mr Bumble by Kyd (Joseph Clayton Clarke)

Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
is born and raised into a life of poverty and misfortune in a workhouse in an unnamed town 70 miles north of London. Orphaned by his mother's death in childbirth and his father's mysterious absence, Oliver is meagrely provided for under the terms of the Poor Law and spends the first nine years of his life living at a baby farm in the 'care' of a woman named Mrs Mann. Oliver is brought up with little food and few comforts. Around the time of Oliver's ninth birthday, Mr Bumble, the parish beadle, removes Oliver from the baby farm and puts him to work picking and weaving oakum at the main workhouse. Oliver, who toils with very little food, remains in the workhouse six months. One day, the desperately hungry boys decide to draw lots; the loser must ask for another portion of gruel. The task falls to Oliver, who at the next meal comes forward trembling, bowl in hand, and begs Mr Bumble for gruel with his famous request: "Please, sir, I want some more". A great uproar ensues. The board of well-fed gentlemen who administer the workhouse hypocritically offer £5 to any person wishing to take on the boy as an apprentice. Mr Gamfield, a brutal chimney sweep, almost claims Oliver. However, when he begs despairingly not to be sent away with "that dreadful man", a kindly magistrate refuses to sign the indentures. Later, Mr. Sowerberry, an undertaker employed by the parish, takes Oliver into his service. He treats Oliver better and, because of the boy's sorrowful countenance, uses him as a mourner at children's funerals. Mr Sowerberry is in an unhappy marriage, and his wife looks down on Oliver and loses few opportunities to underfeed and mistreat him. He also suffers torment at the hands of Noah Claypole, an oafish and bullying fellow apprentice and "charity boy" who is jealous of Oliver's promotion to mute, and Charlotte, the Sowerberrys' maidservant, who is in love with Noah. Wanting to bait Oliver, Noah insults the memory of Oliver's mother, calling her "a regular right-down bad 'un". Enraged, Oliver assaults the much bigger boy. Mrs Sowerberry takes Noah's side, helps him to subdue, punch, and beat Oliver, and later compels her husband and Mr Bumble, who has been sent for in the aftermath of the fight, to beat Oliver once again. Once Oliver is sent to his room for the night, he breaks down and weeps. The next day, Oliver escapes from the Sowerberrys' house and later decides to run away to London
London
to seek a better life. London, the Artful Dodger
Artful Dodger
and Fagin[edit]

George Cruikshank
George Cruikshank
original engraving of the Artful Dodger
Artful Dodger
(centre), here introducing Oliver (right) to Fagin
Fagin
(left)

Nearing London, Oliver encounters Jack Dawkins, a pickpocket more commonly known by the nickname the "Artful Dodger", and his sidekick, a boy of a humorous nature, named Charley Bates, but Oliver's innocent and trusting nature fails to see any dishonesty in their actions. Dodger provides Oliver with a free meal and tells him of a gentleman in London
London
who will "give him lodgings for nothing, and never ask for change". Grateful for the unexpected assistance, Oliver follows Dodger to the "old gentleman's" residence. In this way, Oliver unwittingly falls in with an infamous Jewish criminal known as Fagin, the gentleman of whom the Artful Dodger
Artful Dodger
spoke. Ensnared, Oliver lives with Fagin
Fagin
and his gang of juvenile pickpockets in their lair at Saffron Hill for some time, unaware of their criminal occupations. He believes they make wallets and handkerchiefs. Soon, Oliver naively goes out to "make handkerchiefs" with the Artful Dodger and Charley Bates, only to learn that their real mission is to pick pockets. Dodger and Charley steal the handkerchief of an old gentleman named Mr Brownlow and promptly flee. When he finds his handkerchief missing, Mr Brownlow turns round, sees Oliver running away in fright, and pursues him, thinking he was the thief. Others join the chase, capture Oliver, and bring him before the magistrate. Curiously, Mr Brownlow has second thoughts about the boy – he seems reluctant to believe he is a pickpocket. To the judge's evident disappointment, a bookstall holder who saw Dodger commit the crime clears Oliver, who, by now actually ill, faints in the courtroom. Mr Brownlow takes Oliver home and, along with his housekeeper Mrs Bedwin, cares for him.

Bill Sikes
Bill Sikes
by Fred Barnard

Oliver stays with Mr Brownlow, recovers rapidly, and blossoms from the unaccustomed kindness. His bliss is interrupted when Fagin, fearing Oliver might tell the police about his criminal gang, decides that Oliver must be brought back to his hideout. When Mr Brownlow sends Oliver out to pay for some books, one of the gang, a young girl named Nancy, whom Oliver had previously met at Fagin's, accosts him with help from her abusive lover, the robber Bill Sikes, and Oliver is quickly bundled back to Fagin's lair. The thieves take the five-pound note Mr Brownlow had entrusted to him, and strip him of his fine new clothes. Oliver, shocked, flees and attempts to call for police assistance, but is dragged back by the Artful Dodger, Charley, and Fagin. Nancy, alone, is sympathetic towards Oliver and saves him from beatings by Fagin
Fagin
and Sikes. In a renewed attempt to draw Oliver into a life of crime, Fagin
Fagin
forces him to participate in a burglary. Nancy reluctantly assists in recruiting him, all the while assuring the boy that she will help him if she can. Sikes, after threatening to kill him if he does not cooperate, puts Oliver through a small window and orders him to unlock the front door. The robbery goes wrong and Oliver is shot by people in the house and wounded in his left arm. After being abandoned by Sikes, the wounded Oliver makes it back to the house and ends up under the care of the people he was supposed to rob: Miss Rose and her guardian Mrs Maylie. Mystery of a man called "Monks"[edit]

Fagin
Fagin
by 'Kyd' (1889)

The mysterious man Monks plots with Fagin
Fagin
to destroy Oliver's reputation. Monks denounces Fagin's failure to turn Oliver into a criminal, and the two of them agree on a plan to make sure he does not find out about his past. Monks is apparently related to Oliver in some way. Back in Oliver's hometown, Mr Bumble has married Mrs Corney, the matron of the workhouse where the story first began, only to find himself in an unhappy marriage, constantly arguing with his domineering wife. After one such argument, Mr Bumble walks to a pub where he meets Monks, who questions him about Oliver. Bumble informs Monks that he knows someone who can give Monks more information for a price, and later Monks meets secretly with the Bumbles. After Mrs Bumble tells Monks all she knows for a price, Monks takes the locket and ring proving Oliver's parents, which had once belonged to Oliver's mother, and drops them into the river flowing under his place. Monks relates these events to Fagin, unaware that Nancy is eavesdropping on their conversations and plans to inform Oliver's benefactors. Mr Brownlow returns to London, where Oliver sees him, and brings him to meet the Maylies. Now ashamed of her role in Oliver's kidnapping and worried for the boy's safety, Nancy goes to Rose Maylie, staying in London. She knows that Monks and Fagin
Fagin
are plotting to get their hands on the boy again, and offers to meet again any Sunday night on London
London
bridge. Rose tells Mr Brownlow, and the two then make plans with all their party in London. The first Sunday night, Nancy tries to leave for her walk, but Sikes refuses permission when she declines to state exactly where she is going. Fagin
Fagin
realizes that Nancy is up to something, perhaps has a new boyfriend, and resolves to find out what her secret is. Meanwhile, Noah has fallen out with the undertaker Mr Sowerberry, stolen money from him, and fled to London
London
with Charlotte. Using the name "Morris Bolter", he joins Fagin's gang for protection and becomes a practicer of "the kinchin lay" (robbing of children), and Charlotte is put with the girls. Fagin
Fagin
sends Noah to watch the Artful Dodger
Artful Dodger
on trial, after he is caught with a stolen silver snuff box; the Dodger is convicted while showing his style, with a punishment of transportation to Australia. Next, Noah is sent by Fagin
Fagin
to spy on Nancy, and discovers her meeting with Rose and Mr Brownlow on the bridge, hearing their discussion of why she did not appear the prior week and how to save Oliver from Fagin
Fagin
and Monks. Fagin
Fagin
angrily passes the information on to Sikes, twisting the story to make it sound as if Nancy had informed on him, when she had not. Believing Nancy to be a traitor, Sikes beats her to death in a fit of rage that very night and flees to the countryside to escape from the police and his conscience. There, Sikes is haunted by visions of Nancy and alarmed by news of her murder spreading across the countryside. He returns to London
London
to find a hiding place and intend to steal money from Fagin
Fagin
and flee to France, only to die by accidentally hanging himself while attempting to flee across a rooftop from a mob angry at Nancy's murder. Resolution[edit]

Fagin
Fagin
in his cell, by British caricaturist George Cruikshank

While Sikes is fleeing the mob, Mr Brownlow forces Monks to listen to the story connecting him, once called Edward Leeford, and Oliver as half brothers, or to face the police for his crimes. Their father was once friends with Brownlow. Mr Leeford had fallen in love with Oliver's mother, Agnes, after Monks' parents had separated. Mr Leeford had to help a dying friend in Rome, and then died there himself, leaving Agnes, "his guilty love", in England. Mr Brownlow has a picture of Agnes and had begun making inquiries when he noticed a marked resemblance between her and Oliver. Monks had hunted his brother to destroy him, to gain all in their father's will. Meeting with Monks and the Bumbles in Oliver's native town, Brownlow asks Oliver to give half his inheritance to Monks to give him a second chance; Oliver is more than happy to comply. Monks moves to "the new world", where he squanders his money, reverts to crime, and dies in prison. Fagin
Fagin
is arrested, tried and condemned to the gallows. On the eve of Fagin's hanging, Oliver, accompanied by Mr Brownlow in an emotional scene, visits Fagin
Fagin
in Newgate Prison, in hope of retrieving papers from Monks. Fagin
Fagin
is lost in a world of his own fear of impending death. On a happier note, Rose Maylie
Rose Maylie
is the long-lost sister of Agnes, and thus Oliver's aunt. She marries her sweetheart Harry Maylie, who gives up his political ambitions to become a parson, drawing all their friends to settle near them. Oliver lives happily with Mr Brownlow, who adopts him. Noah becomes a paid, semi-professional police informer. The Bumbles lose their positions and are reduced to poverty, ending up in the workhouse themselves. Charley Bates, horrified by Sikes's murder of Nancy, becomes an honest citizen, moves to the country, and eventually becomes prosperous. Characters[edit]

Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
– an orphan, mother died at his birth; father is dead when paternity is revealed. Mr Bumble – a beadle in the parish workhouse where Oliver was born Mrs Mann – superintendent where the infant Oliver is placed until age 9 Mr. Sowerberry
Mr. Sowerberry
– an undertaker who took Oliver as apprentice Mrs Sowerberry – Mr Sowerberry's wife Noah Claypole – a cowardly bully, Sowerberry's apprentice Charlotte – the Sowerberrys' maid, lover of Noah Mr Gamfield – a chimney sweep in the town where Oliver was born Mr. Brownlow
Mr. Brownlow
– a kindly gentleman who takes Oliver in, his first benefactor Mr Grimwig – a friend of Mr. Brownlow Mrs Bedwin – Mr Brownlow's housekeeper Rose Maylie
Rose Maylie
– Oliver's second benefactor, later found to be his aunt Mrs Lindsay Maylie – Harry Maylie's mother. Rose Maylie's adoptive aunt Harry Maylie – Mrs Maylie's son Mr Losberne – Mrs Maylie's family doctor Mr Giles – Mrs Maylie's butler Mr Brittles – Mrs Maylie's handyman Duff and Blathers – two incompetent policemen

Fagin
Fagin
– fence and boss of a criminal gang of young boys and girls Bill Sikes
Bill Sikes
– a professional burglar Bull's Eye – Bill Sikes's vicious dog The Artful Dodger
Artful Dodger
– Fagin's most adept pickpocket Charley Bates
Charley Bates
– a pickpocket in Fagin's gang Toby Crackit – an associate of Fagin
Fagin
and Sikes, a house-breaker Nancy – one of Fagin's gang, now living with Bill Sikes Bet – a girl in Fagin's gang, sometime friend to Nancy Barney – a Jewish criminal cohort of Fagin Agnes Fleming – Oliver's mother Mr Leeford – father of Oliver and Monks Old Sally – a nurse who attended Oliver's birth Mrs Corney – matron for the women's workhouse Monks – a sickly criminal, an associate of Fagin's, and long-lost half-brother of Oliver Monks' mother – an heiress who did not love her husband Mr Fang – a magistrate Tom Chitling – one of Fagin's gang members, returned from abroad at the time of the murder

Major themes and symbols[edit]

Bill Sikes
Bill Sikes
by Kyd (Joseph Clayton Clarke)

The Artful Dodger
Artful Dodger
by Kyd (Joseph Clayton Clarke)

This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (April 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

In Oliver Twist, Dickens mixes grim realism with merciless satire to describe the effects of industrialism on 19th-century England and to criticise the harsh new Poor Laws. Oliver, an innocent child, is trapped in a world where his only options seem to be the workhouse, a life of crime symbolised by Fagin's gang, a prison, or an early grave. From this unpromising industrial/institutional setting, however, a fairy tale also emerges. In the midst of corruption and degradation, the essentially passive Oliver remains pure-hearted; he steers away from evil when those around him give in to it, and in proper fairy-tale fashion, he eventually receives his reward – leaving for a peaceful life in the country, surrounded by kind friends. On the way to this happy ending, Dickens explores the kind of life an outcast, orphan boy could expect to lead in 1830s London.[11] Poverty and social class[edit] Poverty is a prominent concern in Oliver Twist. Throughout the novel, Dickens enlarged on this theme, describing slums so decrepit that whole rows of houses are on the point of ruin. In an early chapter, Oliver attends a pauper's funeral with Mr. Sowerberry
Mr. Sowerberry
and sees a whole family crowded together in one miserable room. This ubiquitous misery makes Oliver's few encounters with charity and love more poignant. Oliver owes his life several times over to kindness both large and small.[12] The apparent plague of poverty that Dickens describes also conveyed to his middle-class readers how much of the London
London
population was stricken with poverty and disease. Nonetheless, in Oliver Twist, he delivers a somewhat mixed message about social caste and social injustice. Oliver's illegitimate workhouse origins place him at the nadir of society; as an orphan without friends, he is routinely despised. His "sturdy spirit" keeps him alive despite the torment he must endure. Most of his associates, however, deserve their place among society's dregs and seem very much at home in the depths. Noah Claypole, a charity boy like Oliver, is idle, stupid, and cowardly; Sikes is a thug; Fagin
Fagin
lives by corrupting children, and the Artful Dodger
Artful Dodger
seems born for a life of crime. Many of the middle-class people Oliver encounters—Mrs. Sowerberry, Mr. Bumble, and the savagely hypocritical "gentlemen" of the workhouse board, for example—are, if anything, worse. On the other hand, Oliver—who has an air of refinement remarkable for a workhouse boy—proves to be of gentle birth. Although he has been abused and neglected all his life, he recoils, aghast, at the idea of victimising anyone else. This apparently hereditary gentlemanliness makes Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
something of a changeling tale, not just an indictment of social injustice.[citation needed] Oliver, born for better things, struggles to survive in the savage world of the underclass before finally being rescued by his family and returned to his proper place—a commodious country house. One early 21st century film adaptation of the novel dispenses with the paradox of Oliver's genteel origins by eliminating his origin story completely, making him just another anonymous orphan like the rest of Fagin's gang.

Oliver is wounded in a burglary, by George Cruikshank.

Symbolism[edit] Dickens makes considerable use of symbolism. The many symbols Oliver faces are primarily good versus evil, with evil continually trying to corrupt and exploit good, but good winning out in the end. The town of Oliver's birth was Mudfog
Mudfog
in the firsts serialization in Bentley's Miscellany in 1837, but changed to an unnamed town, a 70-mile walk to London, when published in book form. The "merry old gentleman" Fagin, for example, has satanic characteristics: he is a veteran corrupter of young boys who presides over his own corner of the criminal world; he makes his first appearance standing over a fire holding a toasting-fork, and he refuses to pray on the night before his execution.[13] The London
London
slums, too, have a suffocating, infernal aspect; the dark deeds and dark passions are concretely characterised by dim rooms and pitch-black nights, while the governing mood of terror and brutality may be identified with uncommonly cold weather. In contrast, the countryside where the Maylies take Oliver is a bucolic heaven. The novel is also shot through with a related motif, social class, which calls attention to the stark injustice of Oliver's world. When the half-starved child dares to ask for more, the men who punish him are fat. A remarkable number of the novel's characters are overweight. Toward the end of the novel, the gaze of knowing eyes becomes a potent symbol. For years, Fagin
Fagin
avoids daylight, crowds, and open spaces, concealing himself most of the time in a dark lair. When his luck runs out at last, he squirms in the "living light" of too many eyes as he stands in the dock, awaiting sentence. Similarly, after Sikes kills Nancy at dawn, he flees the bright sunlight in their room, out to the countryside, but is unable to escape the memory of her dead eyes. In addition, Charley Bates
Charley Bates
turns his back on crime when he sees the murderous cruelty of the man who has been held up to him as a model. Characters[edit]

The Last Chance, by George Cruikshank.

In the tradition of Restoration Comedy
Restoration Comedy
and Henry Fielding, Dickens fits his characters with appropriate names. Oliver himself, though "badged and ticketed" as a lowly orphan and named according to an alphabetical system, is, in fact, "all of a twist."[14] However, Oliver and his name may have been based on a young workhouse boy named Peter Tolliver whom Dickens knew while growing up.[15] Mr. Grimwig is so called because his seemingly "grim", pessimistic outlook is actually a protective cover for his kind, sentimental soul. Other character names mark their bearers as semi-monstrous caricatures. Mrs. Mann, who has charge of the infant Oliver, is not the most motherly of women; Mr. Bumble, despite his impressive sense of his own dignity, continually mangles the King's English he tries to use; and the Sowerberries are, of course, "sour berries", a reference to Mrs. Sowerberry's perpetual scowl, to Mr. Sowerberry's profession as an undertaker, and to the poor provender Oliver receives from them. Rose Maylie's name echoes her association with flowers and springtime, youth and beauty while Toby Crackit's is a reference to his chosen profession of housebreaking. Bill Sikes's dog, Bull's-eye, has "faults of temper in common with his owner" and is an emblem of his owner's character. The dog's viciousness represents Sikes's animal-like brutality while Sikes's self-destructiveness is evident in the dog's many scars. The dog, with its willingness to harm anyone on Sikes's whim, shows the mindless brutality of the master. Sikes himself senses that the dog is a reflection of himself and that is why he tries to drown the dog. He is really trying to run away from who he is.[citation needed] This is also illustrated when Sikes dies and the dog does immediately also.[16] After Sikes murders Nancy, Bull's-eye also comes to represent Sikes's guilt. The dog leaves bloody footprints on the floor of the room where the murder is committed. Not long after, Sikes becomes desperate to get rid of the dog, convinced that the dog's presence will give him away. Yet, just as Sikes cannot shake off his guilt, he cannot shake off Bull's-eye, who arrives at the house of Sikes's demise before Sikes himself does. Bull's-eye's name also conjures up the image of Nancy's eyes, which haunt Sikes until the bitter end and eventually cause him to hang himself accidentally. Dickens employs polarised sets of characters to explore various dual themes throughout the novel;[citation needed] Mr. Brownlow
Mr. Brownlow
and Fagin, for example, personify "good vs. evil". Dickens also juxtaposes honest, law-abiding characters such as Oliver himself with those who, like the Artful Dodger, seem more comfortable on the wrong side of the law. Crime and punishment is another important pair of themes, as is sin and redemption: Dickens describes criminal acts ranging from picking pockets to murder, and the characters are punished severely in the end. Most obviously, he shows Bill Sikes
Bill Sikes
hounded to death by a mob for his brutal acts and sends Fagin
Fagin
to cower in the condemned cell, sentenced to death by due process. Neither character achieves redemption; Sikes dies trying to run away from his guilt, and on his last night alive, the terrified Fagin
Fagin
refuses to see a rabbi or to pray, instead asking Oliver to help him escape. Nancy, by contrast, redeems herself at the cost of her own life and dies in a prayerful pose. She is one of the few characters in Oliver Twist to display much ambivalence. Her storyline in the novel strongly reflects themes of domestic violence and psychological abuse at the hands of Bill, who ultimately murders her. Although she is a full-fledged criminal, indoctrinated and trained by Fagin
Fagin
since childhood, she retains enough empathy to repent her role in Oliver's kidnapping, and to take steps to try to atone. As one of Fagin's victims, corrupted but not yet morally dead, she gives eloquent voice to the horrors of the old man's little criminal empire. She wants to save Oliver from a similar fate; at the same time, she recoils from the idea of turning traitor, especially to Bill Sikes, whom she loves. When he was later criticised for giving a "thieving, whoring slut of the streets" such an unaccountable reversal of character, Dickens ascribed her change of heart to "the last fair drop of water at the bottom of a dried-up, weed-choked well".[17] Allegations of antisemitism[edit] See also: Fagin
Fagin
§ Antisemitism Dickens has been accused of following antisemitic stereotypes because of his portrayal of the Jewish character Fagin
Fagin
in Oliver Twist. Paul Vallely writes that Fagin
Fagin
is widely seen as one of the most grotesque Jews in English literature, and the most vivid of Dickens's 989 characters.[18] Nadia Valdman, who writes about the portrayal of Jews in literature, argues that Fagin's representation was drawn from the image of the Jew as inherently evil, that the imagery associated him with the devil, and with beasts.[19] The novel refers to Fagin
Fagin
257 times in the first 38 chapters as "the Jew", while the ethnicity or religion of the other characters is rarely mentioned.[18] In 1854, The Jewish Chronicle
The Jewish Chronicle
asked why "Jews alone should be excluded from the 'sympathizing heart' of this great author and powerful friend of the oppressed." Dickens (who had extensive knowledge of London
London
street life and child exploitation) explained that he had made Fagin
Fagin
Jewish because "it unfortunately was true, of the time to which the story refers, that that class of criminal almost invariably was a Jew."[20] Dickens commented that by calling Fagin
Fagin
a Jew he had meant no imputation against the Jewish faith, saying in a letter, "I have no feeling towards the Jews but a friendly one. I always speak well of them, whether in public or private, and bear my testimony (as I ought to do) to their perfect good faith in such transactions as I have ever had with them."[21] Eliza Davis, whose husband had purchased Dickens's home in 1860 when he had put it up for sale, wrote to Dickens in protest at his portrayal of Fagin, arguing that he had "encouraged a vile prejudice against the despised Hebrew", and that he had done a great wrong to the Jewish people. While Dickens first reacted defensively upon receiving Davis's letter, he then halted the printing of Oliver Twist, and changed the text for the parts of the book that had not been set, which explains why after the first 38 chapters Fagin
Fagin
is barely called "the Jew" at all in the next 179 references to him.[18] Film, television and theatrical adaptations[edit] ‹ The template below (Incomplete) is being considered for deletion. See templates for discussion to help reach a consensus. ›

This section is incomplete. (April 2017)

Film[edit]

Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
a classic 1948 David Lean
David Lean
film adaptation starring Sir Alec Guinness as Fagin. August Rush
August Rush
is a film, set in the present day, which a few critics have suggested is essentially a musical adaptation of Oliver Twist.[22][23] Oliver!
Oliver!
is a 1968 British adaptation, winner in the Best Picture category at the 41st Academy Awards. It is based on the Lionel Bart musical version. Manik is a 1961 Bengali film directed by Bijalibaran Sen which was based on this novel. The film starred Pahari Sanyal, Chhabi Biswas, Sombhu Mitra, Tripti Mitra etc.[24][25] Oliver & Company is a 1988 Disney full-length animated feature inspired by the story of Oliver Twist.[5] The story takes place in modern-day New York City, with Oliver (voiced by Joey Lawrence) portrayed as an orphaned kitten, the Dodger as a street-wise mongrel (voiced by Billy Joel), and Fagin
Fagin
(voiced by Dom Deluise) as a homeless bum who lives on the docks with his pack of stray dogs that he trains to steal so he can survive and repay his debt to loan shark Sykes (voiced by Robert Loggia).[26] Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
(1997 film), director: Tony Bill; starring: Richard Dreyfuss, Elijah Wood. Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
(2005 film), director: Roman Polanski; starring: Barney Clark, Ben Kingsley.

Theater[edit]

Oliver!, a classic West End theatre
West End theatre
stage musical adaptation by Lionel Bart.[27]

References[edit]

^ " Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
Introduction & Summary". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2018-04-04.  ^ Donovan, Frank. The Children of Charles Dickens. London: Leslie Frewin, 1968, pp. 61–62. ^ Dunn, Richard J. Oliver Twist: Heart and Soul (Twayne's Masterwork Series No. 118). New York: Macmillan, p. 37. ^ Dickens, Charles. Oliver Twist. Kiddy Monster Publication. p. Summary.  ^ a b "Oliver and Company". 1988. Retrieved 13 February 2017.  ^ Dickens, Charles. Oliver Twist, or, The Parish Boy's Progress Edited by Philip Horne. Penguin Classics, 2003, p. 486. ISBN 0-14-143974-2. ^ Ackroyd, Peter (1990). Dickens. London: Sinclair-Stevenson. p. 216. ISBN 1-85619-000-5.  ^ Bentley's Miscellany, 1837. ^ Schlicke, Paul (Editor). Oxford Reader's Companion to Dickens. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999, p. 141. ^ Masterpiece Theater on PBS.org ^ Miller, J. Hillis. "The Dark World of Oliver Twist" in Charles Dickens (Harold Bloom, editor), New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1987, p. 35 ^ Walder, Dennis, " Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
and Charity" in Oliver Twist: a Norton Critical Edition (Fred Kaplan, Editor). New York: W.W. Norton, 1993, pp. 515–525 ^ Miller, ibid, p. 48 ^ Ashley, Leonard. What's in a name?: Everything you wanted to know. Genealogical Publishing, 1989, p. 200. ^ Richardson, Ruth. "Dickens and the Workhouse: Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
and the London
London
Poor." Oxford University Press, USA, 2012, p. 56. ^ NovelGuide ^ Donovan, Frank, The Children of Charles Dickens, p. 79. ^ a b c Vallely, Paul (7 October 2005). "Dickens' greatest villain: The faces of Fagin". independent.co.uk. The Independent. Archived from the original on 5 December 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2015.  ^ Valdman, Nadia. Antisemitism, A Historical Encyclopedia of Prejudice and Persecution. ISBN 1-85109-439-3 ^ Howe, Irving. " Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
– introduction".  ^ Johnson, Edgar (1 January 1952). "4 – Intimations of Mortality". Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
His Tragedy And Triumph. Simon & Schuster Inc. Retrieved 8 February 2009.  ^ Smith, Sid (21 November 2007). " August Rush
August Rush
( Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
reset in N.Y.) — 2 stars". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 12 December 2007. Retrieved 15 December 2007. Turn to the master, Charles Dickens, or better yet, update and recycle him. Such must have been the thinking behind August Rush, a thinly disguised retelling of Oliver Twist, transplanted to contemporary New York and sweetened by a theme of the healing magic of music.  ^ Covert, Colin (2007-11-20). "Movie review: Romanticism trumps reason in Rush". Star Tribune. Archived from the original on 10 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-15. If Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
were alive today, he might be writing projects like August Rush, the unabashedly sentimental tale of a plucky orphan lad who falls in with streetwise urchins as he seeks the family he ought to have. Come to think of it, Dickens did write that one, and called it Oliver Twist.  ^ 1961(Bengali). "Manik". Gomolo. Retrieved February 20, 2017.  ^ Souvik Chatterji Master of Law from Warwick University, Coventry, UK, footnote [2] (2007). Influence of Bengali Classic Literature in Bollywood films. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) ^ Howe, Desson (18 November 1988). "Oliver & Company". The Washington Post. Retrieved 1 March 2018.  ^ Coveney, Michael (17 March 2017). "Oliver!: The real story of Britain's greatest musical". The Independent. Retrieved 1 March 2018. 

External links[edit]

Wikisource
Wikisource
has original text related to this article: Oliver Twist

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Oliver Twist

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Oliver Twist.

Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
portal Literature portal Novels portal

Online versions

Manuscript material and articles relating to Oliver Twist. From the British Library’s Discovering Literature website. Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
at Internet Archive

Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
at Project Gutenberg Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
public domain audiobook at LibriVox Oliver Twist—easy to read HTML version

Critical analysis

When Is a Book
Book
Not a Book? Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
in Context, a seminar by Robert Patten from the New York Public Library Background information and plot summary for Oliver Twist, with links to other resources Article in British Medical Journal on Oliver Twist's diet

v t e

Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist

Characters

Oliver Twist Bill Sikes Fagin Mr. Brownlow Nancy Rose Maylie Monks The Artful Dodger Charley Bates Mr. Sowerberry

Film adaptations

Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
(1909) Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
(1912) Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
(1912) Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
(1916) Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
(1919) Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
(1922) Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
(1933) Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
(1948) Chitti Tammudu
Chitti Tammudu
(1962) Oliver!
Oliver!
(1968) Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
(1982) Las Aventuras de Oliver Twist (1987) Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
(1997) Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
(2005)

Film retellings

Manik (1961) Oliver & Company (1988) Twisted (1997) Twist (2003) Boy Called Twist (2004)

TV adaptations

Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
(1982 TV film) Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
(1985 TV miniseries) Saban's Adventures of Oliver Twist (1996 TV series) Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
(1999 miniseries) Oliver Twist
Oliver Twist
(2007 miniseries)

Play

Oliver!
Oliver!
(1960)

Songs

"As Long as He Needs Me" "Consider Yourself" D'banj's 2012 song "Food, Glorious Food" "I'd Do Anything" "Oliver!" "Oom-Pah-Pah" Vaughn De Leath's 1921 song "Where Is Love?" "You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two"

Related

Oliver!
Oliver!
(soundtrack to the 1968 film) Escape of the Artful Dodger
Artful Dodger
(2001 TV series retelling) Fagin
Fagin
the Jew (2003 graphic novel) Oliver and the Artful Dodger
Artful Dodger
(1972 TV film) I'd Do Anything (2008 TV series)

v t e

Charles Dickens

Bibliography

Novels

The Pickwick Papers Oliver Twist Nicholas Nickleby The Old Curiosity Shop Barnaby Rudge Martin Chuzzlewit Dombey and Son David Copperfield Bleak House Hard Times Little Dorrit A Tale of Two Cities Great Expectations Our Mutual Friend The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Christmas books

A Christmas Carol The Chimes The Cricket on the Hearth The Battle of Life The Haunted Man and the Ghost's Bargain

Short stories

"The Long Voyage" "The Signal-Man"

Short story collections

Sketches by Boz The Mudfog
Mudfog
Papers Master Humphrey's Clock

Non-fiction

American Notes Pictures from Italy The Life of Our Lord A Child's History of England The Uncommercial Traveller Letters

Plays

The Frozen Deep No Thoroughfare: A Drama: In Five Acts

Journalism

Bentley's Miscellany Master Humphrey's Clock The Daily News Household Words All the Year Round

Collaborations

"A House to Let" "The Haunted House" "A Message from the Sea" "Mugby Junction" No Thoroughfare

See also

Catherine Dickens
Catherine Dickens
(wife) Epitaph of Charles Irving Thornton Bleak House Dickens and Little Nell (statue) Dickens of London
London
(1976 miniseries) Dickens in America (2005 documentary) The Invisible Woman (2013 film) Dickensian (2015 TV series) The Man Who Invented Christmas (2017 film)

Book

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 181459697 GND: 4243817-2 SUDOC: 032574177 BNF: cb12357817m (data) BN

.