Who kidnaps Oliver Twist?

Nancy and Bill Sikes kidnap Oliver Twist.

Expert Answers

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After being arrested for pickpocketing and falling ill at the trial, Oliver is taken in by Mr. Brownlow, the man whose handkerchief was stolen in the first place. Oliver is happy with the generous, kind-hearted Brownlow, and Brownlow finds that Oliver resembles a portrait of a now-deceased young woman hanging in his house. However, their time together is cut short due to the meddling of Fagin's gang, ever determined to bring Oliver back under its power.

Nancy and Bill Sikes end up kidnapping Oliver from his fortunate situation. Claiming to be Oliver's concerned older sister, Nancy initially tries picking the boy up when he is arrested, but Brownlow takes him in before her arrival. Eventually, she is able to snatch Oliver when he is running an errand for Brownlow, making a scene in public and playing upon the sympathy of the people around them, ironically proclaiming that she is trying to save "her brother" from a life of crime among a gang of pickpockets. The crowd immediately takes Nancy's side, making it easier for her to capture Oliver. Bill joins in, beating Oliver publicly and dragging him away, much to the approval of the passersby, who all presume that Oliver is a no-good runaway getting what he deserves.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on March 2, 2021
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