Oliver Twist: Chapter 10 - Summary & Analysis

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Oliver becomes Better Acquainted with the Characters of his New Associates; and Purchases Experience at a High Price. Being a Short, but Very Important Chapter, in this History


An Old Gentleman's Pocket was Picked

      After staying at Fagin's room for so many days and getting the necessary training, one morning Oliver was sent out with Bates and Dodger. They were walking towards an open square in Clerkenwell. Dodger suddenly stopped and indicated towards a book stall where an old gentleman was standing and wrapt in reading a book. Dodger and Bates walked stealthily across the road, and then towards that old gentleman. Oliver was told to stand where he was. He was amazed and silently watched them what they were going to do.

      He felt horrified when he saw Dodger secretly putting his hand into the pocket of that old man and pulling out a handkerchief. Dodger quickly handed over that handkerchief to Bates and then both started running at their fastest speed possible. This time, Oliver had realized the fact and also the meaning of Fagin's watches and jewelry.

Oliver, Caught by few Passers-by

      After realizing the truth, Oliver got stunned for a while. He could not understand what should he do. He also began to run very fast because his friends had already taken to their heels. The moment Oliver started running, the old gentleman found his handkerchief missed, he saw Oliver running away. He misunderstood Oliver that he had picked his handkerchief. Thus, he began to shout 'stop thief' and started running after Oliver with the book in his hand. Few men, who were passing by him joined the old man in order to chase Oliver. Unfortunately, Oliver was caught by them, and thrown down to the ground.

Oliver, taken to the Police Station

      The old gentleman arrived where Oliver had fallen down. Oliver was shabbily covered with mud and dust and the blood was coming out from his mouth. The old gentleman said that he was most probably the boy who had picked his handkerchief from the pocket. A crowd covered the Oliver. Then a policeman arrived there and took the boy (Oliver) under charge of picking pocket to the police station when the old man was talking to Oliver softly and Oliver was lying on the ground miserably.

Critical Analysis

      Dickens has drawn very realistically the picture of criminals and their morals that Dodger and Bates do not try to make Oliver escape. They manage to rescue themselves leaving behind Oliver into the hands of crowd and police.

      Here we notice another turn in Oliver's life. Mr. Brownlow whose pocket was picked turns very lenient and kind to Oliver.

      It is just the coincidence that Oliver falls into the hands of his would be benefactor.

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