The story is of the orphan Oliver Twist, who starts his life in a workhouse and is then apprenticed with an undertaker. He escapes from there and travels to London where he meets the Artful Dodger, a member of a gang of juvenile pickpockets, which is led by the elderly criminal Fagin.
Oliver Twist is notable for Dickens's unromantic portrayal of criminals and their sordid lives, as well as exposing the cruel treatment of the many orphans in London in the mid–nineteenth century.
An early example of the social novel, Dickens satirizes the hypocrisies of his time, including child labor, the recruitment of children as criminals, and the presence of street children.
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