The story is centered on Oliver is the main character. He is a young orphaned boy who runs away from an orphanage when he finds himself in trouble after asking to be given more food. He finds himself living with a group of boys who have perfected the art of pickpocketing after being trained by a professional. He gets into trouble here too but fate makes him catch a bad man and gets a lot of money that changes his life for the better. Oliver finds himself living amongst pickpockets and is also being trained to be one but he still retains his good nature and is shown to uphold moral values even after his exposure to the evils of the world. This paper looks at his attempt at living a moral life despites exposure to evil nature of the world.
When he is sent to work for Sowerberry, the undertaker, he is exposed to mental as well as physical abuse. Nevertheless, he manages to run away with his virtues intact as he has not been corrupted by the treatment meted on him. He boldly makes a decision to walk the many miles to London with hope for a better future. When he encounters Dick weeding, he tells him that he has been subjected to ill-treatment and has made up his mind to leave. He does not make any ill remarks about anyone nor does he seem bitter or abusive. He depicts humility and meekness in this action.
It is unfortunate that Oliver gets misled into going with Artful Dodger since he was in need of food and he offers him some. Oliver is able to tell from Dodgers manner and speech that he is not one of the good people. He silently hopes to gain favor with the man Dodger promises to introduce him to so that he can cut ties with Dodger. The fact that he wishes to dissociate himself with Dodger shows that he has moral direction and conviction since he does not want to be linked to someone he has noted to possess bad qualities. This, however, fails to happen as he finds himself in the company of professionally trained pickpockets who also want him to participate. When he goes out on the street, he realizes with horror and alarm the implication of the actions he observed. Oliver is said to have realized the whole mystery and got confused and frightened so he takes off. The instance shows that he realizes the wrongness of the actions he was being taught and is horrified since he believes they are not right.
In chapter twenty, Fain leaves young Oliver a book to read as he waits for Sikes, who intends to use him for robbery. When he realizes the intention, he falls own on his knees and pray to heaven to spare him from such actions. He even wishes to die that be spared and be used for such crimes that he finds dreadful. When he realizes that the intention to be used for a robbery, he tries to run away as he wants nothing to do with such criminal actions. This shows that Oliver still has his moral values and has not been corrupted by greed and cruelty. He depicts the virtues of honesty and straightforwardness that are uncharacteristic for a boy who has encountered so much evil.
Olivers attempts at living and leading a moral life are depicted in many instances in the book. The boy upholds virtues even in the face of difficult circumstances and exposure to the evil that should have corrupted his morals. He still retains a pure heart and tries to stay upright in the face of temptation. He still cares to be a good person and is rewarded eventually for it.
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