Orphaned and condemned to a life of poverty and misery before drawing his first breath, Oliver Twist makes his way into our hearts. Brutally beaten by those assigned to care for him, Oliver miraculously survives to see his ninth birthday, when he flees to London. There he falls in with a gang of thieves, and soon the innocent Oliver learns the art of pickpocketing. Throughout the book, Dickens protests against the horrific conditions of the poor and critiques England’s system of “helping” poor people with workhouses and prisons. But it isn’t called Oliver Twist for nothing. There are more cases of mistaken identity, underhanded evil-doing and secret love than a soap-opera.