What happens in Chapter IV of Oliver Twist? 

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Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Chapter IV:  Oliver, Being Offered Another Place, Makes His First Entry Into Public Life

Mr. Sowerberry, "the parochial undertaker," agrees to take Oliver, but only on a trial basis (21).  Oliver reacts unemotionally when he gets the news which leads others to believe that he is truly a hardened youth.  "As the case might be, he evinced so little emotion, that they by common consent pronounced him a hardened young rascal" (24).  The truth of the matter is, however, that Oliver's "sullenness" is a result only of the brutal and harsh treatment he has unjustly received in his young life.

Bumble takes Oliver to his new home where Oliver is allowed to eat only what the dog has left over.  Oliver feasts on the scraps with an avid appetite, alarming Mrs. Sowerberry who then shows Oliver where he is allowed to sleep: amid the coffins under the counter.