Homework Help

In Oliver Twist, what is the change in Oliver after he leaves the village?

user profile pic

gentlemental | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted August 1, 2012 at 11:08 PM via web

dislike 1 like

In Oliver Twist, what is the change in Oliver after he leaves the village?

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted September 5, 2013 at 11:14 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 0 like

After leaving the village, Oliver is exposed to criminals and a life of crime but he remains honest and good.

Oliver is sent from the workhouse after asking for more gruel.  He is given to an undertaker, but his lowly condition leads to conflict with his employer and the other servants.  Oliver decides to run away.  He explains this to an old friend before leaving.

I am running away. They beat and ill-use me, Dick; and I am going to seek my fortune, some long way off. I don't know where. (ch 7)

Oliver clearly is not willing to just lie down and take the abuse.  He fights back.  He runs away.  Oliver is ready to make his life better.

As Oliver progresses through his life, he does not really change.  He continues to be innocent and uncorrupted.  Things happen to him.  At this point he runs into Dodger, who tells him he can take him to a kind gentleman who will give him a place to sleep.  Oliver goes, not realizing that Fagin is a criminal.

In Fagin’s lair, Oliver is exposed to the criminal life—but he doesn’t realize it at first.  He is told that Fagin and the boys are just playing a game.

[The] merry old gentlman and the two boys played at a very curious and uncommon game, which was performed in this way. The merry old gentleman, placing a snuff-box in one pocket of his trousers…and trotted up and down the room with a stick… (ch 9)

Oliver learns to play the game, and helps to get merchandise ready for sale without realizing what he is doing.  It is not until he and Dodger go out to pickpocket that Oliver discovers what they are doing, and he is not willing to become a thief.

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes