Very popular among Charles Dicken’s characters is Oliver Twist, the poor orphan of the homonymous novel.
The plot of the book is quite famous thanks to film and theatre adaptations.
Oliver was born in a pauper home and his mother dies giving him light. At the age of six, he goes to work in a working house where he is starving (= muore di fame) and is beaten (= picchiato). One day he asks for more soup and is sent to work outside, at an undertaker’s (= becchino). There he is ill-treated (= mal trattato) by Noah, a young man jealous of him and he escapes to
. Unfortunately, he comes under the eyes of Fagin the Jew (= l’Ebreo), master teacher of pickpockets (= borsaioli). He is caught by the police and placed in the home of Mr. Brownlow. But Oliver is found by the gang and forced (= obbligato) to accompany Sykes, the housebreaker (= rapinatore). On his first assignment (= compito), Oliver enters the house and tries to warn (= avvertire) the people inside. He is shot while the other burglars (= ladri di case) run away. Mrs. Maylie and her adopted daughter Rose take care (= si occupano) of Oliver.At the end the situation evolves(= si evolve): Oliver is the son of a girl, sister of Mr. Brownlow’s best friend. Fagin’s gang is caught; London helps the gentleman to get Oliver but is murdered by Sikes who dies while escaping. Nancy
Oliver ’s most evident characteristic is his “silence”. He never speaks. His devastating loneliness (= solitudine) prevents him (= gli impedisce) from developing (= sviluppare) any personality at the beginning. He has no identity: his name is invented (Twist means to distort, to change suddenly and its life is rich in turning points), he has no clothes and is without friends. In his life, Oliver meets two sorts of people: the magistrate that takes interest in the boy, the gentleman that takes care of him on one side and the greedy (= avidi) poor people who exploits (= lo sfruttano) him on the other. Between these two sorts of types there are the lower middle-class figures, insensitive and heartless (= senza cuore).Oliver possesses a greater sensitivity (= sensibilità) that in a poor is out of place and he is often punished for this.
The boy has not a childhood. Fagin and the other outlaws (= fuorilegge) try to mould him (= forgiarlo), but the child remains totally innocent, a sincerely good boy in a criminal world. Till the end, in fact, Dickens, keeps awake the anguish (= ansia) of the reader about his destiny. At last he finds his natural place among good and kind people where he can develop his personality.