Why did Fagin and his boys want Oliver Twist for their gang?

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Fagin and his group want Oliver Twist to join them because he's small and desperate; this will encourage him to be a better thief and make him suited for jobs that require a small person.

Oliver didn't have an easy life. His time in the workhouse and with the undertaker never provided proper nourishment, mentally or physically. As a result, he is a very small boy. His body is an asset to the thieves because not only can he fit into small spaces and squeeze through crowds, but he can go unnoticed.

Oliver's desperation is another factor that makes Fagin and the others want him. He needs resources and friends; Fagin's group can provide both. Desperate people are more willing to bend the rules and do things that aren't morally correct. They know that Oliver doesn't have much to lose but does have much to gain by working with them. It's clear they can intimidate him, like when he's questioned about being awake an hour before. Oliver is also somewhat naive and doesn't even realize they're thieves at first, which is another mark in his favor for them.

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As soon as the Artful Dodger lays eyes on Oliver, he knows that he'd be perfect for Fagin's gang of thieves and pickpockets. For one thing, it's patently obvious that he's new in town and doesn't know his way about. The young waif's also pretty hungry, and people in that condition are liable to do just about anything to fill their empty bellies, even if it means stealing.

The Artful Dodger soon establishes that Oliver has no place to go, and as it's unlikely that no one will be out looking for him, he figures that he'd make an ideal addition to Fagin's crew. Oliver's short stature is another important factor: he's just the right size and build for crawling through windows for burglaries. Indeed, that's precisely why Bill Sikes insists on taking Oliver along on the Chertsey burglary, in which poor Oliver gets shot and almost killed.

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