iver Twist, The Parish Boy's Progress, is the second novel by Charles Dickens. The story is follows an orphan, Oliver Twist, who endures a miserable existence in a workhouse and then is placed with an undertaker. He escapes and travels to London where he meets the Artful Dodger, leader of a gang of juvenile pickpockets. Naively unaware of their unlawful activities, Oliver is led to the lair of their elderly criminal trainer Fagin.
Oliver was born into a life of poverty in a workhouse. Orphaned almost from his first breath by his mother's death in childbirth and his father's absence, he is meagerly provided for under the terms of the Poor Law, and spends his first nine years at a baby farm. Oliver is brought up with little food and few comforts. Around the time of Oliver's ninth birthday, Mr. Bumble, a parish beadle, removes Oliver from the baby farm and puts him to work picking oakum at the main workhouse. One day, the hungry boys decide to draw lots the loser must ask for another portion of gruel. The task falls to Oliver, who at the next meal comes up forward, bowl in hand, and requests: "Please, sir, I want some more".