Please give a character sketch of Noah Claypole in Oliver Twist.

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Noah Claypole is a boy who is first introduced to us in Chapter Five, when Oliver begins his employment with Mr. Sowerberry. Noah works with Mr. Sowerberry as well, but clearly feels that he is superior to Oliver as he is not a "work'us brat," as Noah refers to Oliver. Note how Noah introduces himself to Oliver in this chapter:

"I'm Mister Noah Claypole," said the chairty boy, "and you're under me. Take down the shutters, yer idle young ruffian!" With this, Mr. Claypole administered a kick to Oliver and entered the shop with a dignified air, which did him great credit. It is difficult for a large-headed small-eyed youth of lumbering make and heavy countenance to look dignified under any circumstances, but it is more especially so when superadded to these personal attractions ar a red nose and yellow smalls.

Thus, Noah is a character who, like many others, shows immense cruelty to Oliver in spite of his own humorous appearance. However, as Chapter Six shows, Noah shows himself to be a bully, who, when challenged, reveals his true nature. After taunting Oliver about his mother, Oliver is goaded into thumping Noah, and his response is to show his weakness:

"He'll murder me!" blubbered Noah. "Charlotte! Missis! Here's the new boy a-murdering of me! Help! Help! Oliver's gone mad! Charlotte!"

It is perhaps particularly galling that Noah, who has stressed his superiority over Oliver in every way, is forced to turn to women to help save him.

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Oliver Twist

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