Oliver Twist: Chapter 18 - Summary & Analysis

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How Oliver passed his Time in the Improving Society of his Reputable Friends.


      Oliver was under the eyes of Fagin, Dodger and Bates. Fagin spent most of the time in delivering lectures to him about the advantages of sincere working for his business which Bates and Dodger were already enjoying. He also warned Oliver several times against running away from his clutches. Fagin told Oliver that if he fell into the hands of police, they would hang him at the old Bailey, (a prison in London). Oliver was full of fear and apprehension after this warning and threat.

      Oliver was spending his days like that. From morning till midnight he had to live almost all alone. After a week Fagin told him that now he could move freely. Dodger and Bates often spoke to Oliver in a sarcastic manner and always made fun of him. At the same time they tried to persuade him for criminal activities and to start working according to Fagin's directions. Dodger said to Oliver that Fagin would make his career bright and he urged him to let himself at Fagin's disposal. But Oliver remained unaffected by the evil counseling of these two boys and Fagin.

      One day a boy reached at Fagin's place in order to meet him. He came back after staying in jail for forty-two days because of committing a crime. He was sentenced to imprisonment with hard labor. The boy asked about Oliver to Fagin. Fagin said that he was his young friend. The name of this boy was Tom Chitling. He said that Oliver was a lucky boy to be fallen in Fagin's hands. Chitling then made few jokes and everybody laughed at them.

Critical Analysis

      Fagin, Dodger and Bates are trying to prepare Oliver for a life a crime. The subtlety of Fagin's technique of instilling evil into the innocent boy gives us a horrible feeling. Fagin is indeed very vile, cruel and satanic. Dodger comes out as a 'philosopher' of evil.

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