Oliver Twist, or The Parish Boy's Progress, is the second novel by Charles Dickens and one of his most popular works. The story is of the orphan Oliver Twist, who starts his life in a workhouse and is then apprenticed with an undertaker. He escapes from there and travels to London where he meets the Artful Dodger, a member of a gang of juvenile pickpockets, which is led by the elderly criminal Fagin. Oliver Twist is notable for Dickens's unromantic portrayal of criminals and their sordid lives, as well as exposing the cruel treatment of the many orphans in London in the mid–nineteenth century. An early example of the social novel, Dickens satirises the hypocrisies of his time, including child labour, the recruitment of children as criminals, and the presence of street children. The novel features a range of colourful and unforgettable characters. Oliver Twist has been the subject of numerous adaptations, for various media, including a highly successful musical play, Oliver!, and the multiple Academy Award-winning 1968 motion picture.
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