Oliver Twist: Chapter: 14 - Summary & Analysis

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Comprising further Particulars of Oliver's Stay at Mr. Brozvnlow's, with the remarkable Prediction which one Mr. Grimwig uttered concerning him, when he went out on an Errand.


Oliver Found the Portrait Removed

      Oliver had now recovered from his illness. But he was still too weak. Still, his curiosity was not satisfied regarding the lady of the portrait. One day he found that portrait removed from the wall. He asked Mrs. Bedwin who informed him that Mr. Brownlow had thought that the portrait was causing mental disturbance to Oliver and this caused delay in his recovery, thus he ordered to remove the portrait. But Oliver said that portrait was giving him a feeling of comfort and peace, not tension or stress.

Oliver's Tragic Story Heard by Mr. Brownlow

      Oliver was quite happy, at ease and far from criminal friends during this period. Everyone around him was kind-hearted and gentle. One day Mr. Brownlow had a talk with Oliver for very long. At the beginning of their conversation, Oliver thought that Mr. Brownlow wanted him to go away but Mr. Brownlow assured him that his apprehension was baseless. He told Oliver that so many persons had deceived him in the past but he did not expect the same out of Oliver. The persons whom he loved were hurried in their graves with his happiness and joy of life. But his heart was yet spared. Then Oliver told very frankly that he possessed a soft corner for Oliver. He asked Oliver to tell about himself, and Oliver told him a detailed story of his past with tears and sorrow.

Grimwig Remarked Oliver Non-trustworthy

      There was a friend of Mr. Brownlow whose name was Mr. Grimwig. He often came to visit Mr. Brownlow. When he came to know about the circumstances under which Oliver was brought to Brownlow's house, he felt the boy not to be ever trusted. Thus he advised Mr. Brownlow not to put complete trust into Oliver.

Oliver sent to return Few Books and given Five Pound

      Meantime, a servant from a book stall came with a bundle of books as ordered by Mr. Brownlow. The servant left after leaving the books. Mr. Brownlow found some books very necessary to be returned but the servant had already gone. Mr. Grimwig suggested that Oliver should be sent for this purpose. Then, Mr. Brownlow gave few books to Oliver and five-pound note to be given to the book-stall keeper. Oliver had to bring back ten shillings from the book-stall. Oliver immediately went to carry out this instruction. Mr. Grimwig now, expressed his view that Oliver would never come back but Brownlow did not agree to him. He was sure that Oliver would come back. Mr. Grimwig went to the extent of saying that he would eat his head if Oliver had returned. Mr. Grimwig had the habit of using this phrase frequently. When he felt sure about something going to happen he affirmed his statement by the use of this phrase. It was his style to express hip strong conviction.

Critical Analysis

      The most prominent feature of the chapter is the role of chance. Mr. Grimwig's entry stops Oliver to go ahead in his story. If he had done so, Fagin and his group would have been exposed to Mr. Brownlow.

      The servant of book-seller also arrives at a very significant moment which gives the opportunity to the old gentleman to test Oliver's honesty.

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