Oliver Twist: Chapter 52 - Summary & Analysis

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Fagin's Last Night Alive.


Fagin, Sentenced to Death

      Fagin was charged with several offenses. In the court, charges against him were read out, evidences were also presented. The judge directed the jury to hold a consultation and then let him know their decision. Nobody, outside or inside the court was feeling least sympathy for Fagin. The jury told the judge that their verdict was: "guilty". Everyone supported this decision with loud applause. Then after judge asked Fagin to defend himself and offer any plea on his behalf. Fagin said that he was an old man. He repeated it so many times and was sentenced to death.

Mr. Brownlow and Oliver came to Meet Fagin

      Now Fagin was put into a cell in order to wait for death. His condition was very miserable. Mr. Brownlow and Oliver went to meet Fagin 'in the jail and after asking for permission, they were allowed to meet him. But Fagin thought that Oliver had come to save him from death. Mrs. Brownlow now asked Fagin about those papers which Monks had given him to put safely. Fagin replied that papers were in a canvas bag which he had put into a hole that was a little passage up the chimney of his den. After giving this information Fagin now requested Oliver to save him from death. Oliver was moved with pity to see his misery. He uttered a brief prayer: Oh! God, forgive this wretched man." And he burst into tears. He fell down and when recovered felt too weak. At the fixed time Fagin was hanged.

Critical Analysis

      Again Dickens' insight into the psychology of murderer's mind exposed. Fagin, his trial, the horrible cell, his worries etc. are beautifully illustrated.

      Fagin is very much spiritually tormented. His condition becomes very much miserable when in the court he feels himself devoid of any human interest. Everybody wants him to, die, nobody cares for his life but it is justified because all the time he has pursued the destruction of others and now his own destruction is pursued by the people around.

      Both Fagin and Sikes meet an inhuman death.

      Again a good example of artistic restraint is presented in Dickens' not presenting the detailed picture of Fagin's death.

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