Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Dramatization produced by Focus on the Family Theatre Series
In the 19th century, near a workhouse in England, a child is born named Oliver Twist. He becomes an orphan the moment he is born. As he grows into a polite and innocent young boy, it seems he isn’t destined to have any sort of life at all, except one of misery and hopelessness. For being an orphan, he is despised and ill-treated. He’s kicked from one place to another by forces of human nature. Few people in the world that Oliver inhabits show him great kindness and gentleness. However, something always happens that takes away any small bit of happiness Oliver experiences. Yet, hope seems to persist in him, a hope to find out if God really cares for him and will bring Oliver out of his troubles, settled in a life of happiness. Also, Oliver hopes to find out whom or what his mother was and what was it that she seemed to be running from before she died.
The Main Characters
Oliver is a young orphan boy who suffers much in his life, but through his innocence impacts the lives of many in 19th century England, both the lives of those he comes to love and those who mistreat him and turn him away.
Fagin is a thief who runs a small gang of thieves in London that is comprised of him and two young boys. He takes in Oliver and tries to make a thief out of him. Oliver’s innocence causes Fagin to become fond of the boy, but it doesn’t change the way he lives, which will undoubtedly lead Fagin to a bad end as it does with most criminals in this time period.
Bill is in business with Fagin and is sort of the real leader of the small gang of thieves that Oliver ends up with when he comes to London. He is a dark, but not entirely evil person, who mistreats even his own dog if it suits his purpose. If he suspects that someone will give him away to the authorities, he makes threats or even kills that person to continue to roam the streets of London. If he causes real harm to anybody or even commits murder, then his conscience convicts him.
Nancy is female thief in London who is sort of in league with Bill and Fagin, but when she becomes fond of Oliver, her conscience convicts her. She wishes to do some good in the world that she has never really done. However, her intimidation of Bill and whatever bad things she has done will keep her trapped in her present situation: Helping others (including Oliver). She accepts no help from others and wishes to start a new life, but is afraid of leaving her old life.
Mr. Bumble is the owner of the workhouse that Oliver briefly works in and later is kicked out of. He treats Oliver well at first, but when Oliver politely asks for more food, Mr. Bumble mistreats him and later sends him to a funeral home to work there. Because he takes Oliver’s asking for more food as greed, Mr. Bumble is hoping great misfortune comes upon Oliver.
He is a rich, old gentleman who at first accuses Oliver of pick-pocketing, but then shows compassion on him and brings Oliver to live with him. Somehow he is connected to Oliver. For that reason, Mr. Brownlow searches effortlessly to find out more about Oliver’s mother.
Mrs. Maylie is another of the few people who show Oliver compassion and kindness. She takes pity on Oliver after he is accidently shot during a burglary of her house and takes him in to live with her.
Monks is a mysterious man who searches for Oliver for some mysterious reason. Somehow he too is connected to Oliver, but wishes for him to come to a bad end.
About the author
Charles Dickens was born in 1812 and grew up in Portsmouth, England. He became a world-acclaimed author who wrote Oliver Twist, his second novel. His stories captured the heart, pathos, and humor of his time, and today his stories have become classics and inspirations. His other works include A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, A Tale of Two Cities, and many more. He died in 1870.
What I thought about the story
I thought the story was really good. It’s historical and really shows the dark side of industrious England. What many people had to do in order to survive since they had no homes, no work or any other way to make a living is also portrayed. The story is very entertaining because it shows one boy’s journey in his early life. It shows the sheer humanity of Oliver and the friends he made. I really enjoyed the story and highly recommend it to others.
My rating 5 stars.
My rating 5 stars.
Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ . Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457