Dickens, Charles: Oliver Twist - or the Parish Boy s Progress

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Oliver Twist or the Parish Boy s Progress A novel by Charles Dickens Introduction Oliver Twist , Dickens second novel, tells the story of the orphan Oliver set against the seamy underside of the London criminal world Published in monthly parts partly concurrent with Pickwick, the novel was illustrated by George Cruikshank. In this departure from the merry world of Pickwick, Dickens targets the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1934 which renewed the importance of the workhouse as a means of relief for the poor. Dickens was severely criticised for introducing criminals and prostitutes in Oliver Twist. The novel was well received but not with the adulation of Pickwick. List of the most important Characters Oliver Twist, an orphan, is the main character of this novel. Mr. Bumble, the beadle, is an unpleasant and slimy guy. His job is to distribute money to the poorhouses. Mr. Fagin, a Jew, is the leader of a professional gang of young criminals. Mr. Bill Sikes is a criminal like Fagin. But he is unscrupulous and does not shrink from killing a person. Mr. Jack Dawkins, called the Artful Dodger, is a member of Fagin s gang. He steals pocket-handkerchiefs and jewellery. Nancy, a young woman, belongs to Mr. Sikes and Mr. Fagin. She is actually a good girl who wants to help Oliver. Mr. Monks, a criminal like Fagin, wants to involve Oliver in criminal affairs. Mr. Brownlow, a friend of Oliver s dead father, is a kind old man. Miss Rose, a young woman, is, like Mr. Brownlow very helpful, and ...

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