Oliver considers running away at multiple points in the novel. For instance, when he is out with Sikes in chapter 22 and he realizes that "housebreaking and robbery, if not murder, were the objects of the expedition," Oliver contemplates running away. He says to Sikes,
"Oh! for God's sake let me go! . . . let me run away and die in the fields. I will never come near London; never, never! Oh! pray have mercy on me, and do not make me steal. For the love of all the bright Angels that rest in Heaven, have mercy upon me!"
Oliver would rather run away and die (since he would have no income or means to buy food or shelter for himself, as an orphaned child) than become a criminal.
Another time he considers running away is soon after he meets Dodger. They were entering London after dark; Oliver begins to notice "drunken men and women [who] were positively wallowing in filth," and he begins to get a bad feeling about the place and the people in this community. They approach the bottom of the hill...
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