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Oliver Twist | Study Guide

Charles Dickens

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Course Hero Literature Instructor Russell Jaffe explains the main characters in Charles Dickens's novel Oliver Twist.

Oliver Twist | Characters

Character Description Traits
Oliver Twist Oliver Twist, an abused orphan, is the protagonist of the novel. Read More slight, observant, curious, naïve, good-hearted
Fagin Fagin is a fence who trains children to be criminals. Read More old, dirty, ugly, red-haired, sneaky, greedy, vindictive
Rose Maylie Rose is Mrs. Maylie's adopted niece who lives with her. Read More compassionate, young, beautiful, virtuous, sweet-tempered, intelligent
Mr. Brownlow After Oliver is arrested for picking his pocket, Mr. Brownlow takes Oliver in. Read More elderly, well-dressed, kind, generous, impetuous, determined, bookish
Nancy Nancy belongs to Fagin's gang. Read More untidy, highly made-up, clever, resourceful, kind, loving, generous
Bill Sikes A colleague of Fagin, Bill Sikes is a professional burglar. Read More stout, muscular, dirty, broad-faced, violent, intelligent, hot-tempered
Mr. Bumble Mr. Bumble is a parish official—a beadle—who deals with the poor being "cared for" by the parish. Read More tall, fat, pompous
Barney Barney is a waiter at the Cripples who also works with Fagin and Sikes. capable
Charley Bates Charley Bates is one of the young pickpockets living in Fagin's den. cheerful, optimistic
Mrs. Bedwin Mrs. Bedwin is Mr. Brownlow's housekeeper. old, gentle, bespectacled
Bet Bet is a young woman in Fagin's gang and is a close friend of Nancy. untidy, highly made-up
Blathers Blathers is one of the Bow Street officers who investigates the Maylie burglary. stout, medium height, 50s, round-faced, sharp-eyed, talkative
Bookstall Keeper The bookstall keeper witnesses Mr. Brownlow being pickpocketed. elderly, poor, clean, honest, decently dressed
Mr Brittles Mr. Brittles works for Mrs. Maylie doing odd jobs. short, stout, youthful
Bull's-eye Bull's-eye is Bill Sikes's dog. shaggy, white, vicious, loyal
Charlotte Charlotte is the Sowerberrys' servant and Noah Claypole's girlfriend. sturdy, young, foolish
Tom Chitling Tom Chitling is a member of Fagin's gang. small-eyed, pockmarked
Noah Claypole Noah is Mr. Sowerberry's older apprentice. tall, knock-kneed, spiteful, large-headed, small-eyed, bullying, young, selfish
Mrs. Corney The workhouse matron, Mrs. Corney is a widow who later marries Mr. Bumble. flirtatious, widowed, house-proud
Toby Crackit Toby Crackit works as a burglar with Bill Sikes. red-haired, ringleted, dirty, vain, skinny-legged
Jack Dawkins Jack Dawkins, also known as the Artful Dodger, is a boy who's a member of Fagin's gang. short, dirty, bowlegged, small-eyed, swaggerins
Dick Dick is a child at the baby farm and an early friend of Oliver. small, pale, dying
Duff Duff is one of the Bow Street officers who investigates the Maylie burglary. red-haired, skinny, ugly
Mr. Fang Mr. Fang is a police magistrate. bald, thin, red-faced, stern, impatient
Agnes Fleming Agnes Fleming is Oliver's mother, who dies shortly after his birth and whose identity is not discovered until much later. young, beautiful, determined
Mr. Gamfield Mr. Gamfield is a chimney sweep. cruel, violent, poor
Gentleman in the White Waistcoat The gentleman in the white waistcoat is a member of the workhouse board. fat, round-faced, judgmental, cruel
Mr. Giles Mr. Giles is Mrs. Maylie's butler. fat, old
Mr. Grimwig Mr. Grimwig is an old and rather pessimistic friend of Mr. Brownlow. old, stout, slightly lame, large-headed
Kags Kags is an associate of Toby Crackit. 50s, broken-nosed, scarred
Landlord of the Cripples The landlord of the Cripples runs a pub where the local criminals, including Fagin, congregate. nosy, conniving, conspiratorial
Mr. Limbkins Mr. Limbkins is the chair of the workhouse board. fat, red-faced
Mr. Lively Mr. Lively is a shopkeeper and one of Fagin's customers. small
Mr. Losberne A friend of the Maylies, Mr. Losberne is a doctor in Chertsey. fat, kind, hearty, unmarried
Magistrate The magistrate, along with others of his kind, is called on to approve Oliver's indenture as an apprentice. old, independent-minded, kindly
Mrs. Mann Mrs. Mann runs the baby farm where Oliver lives as a child. elderly, cruel, greedy
Harry Maylie Harry Maylie is Mrs. Maylie's son. handsome, relaxed, witty
Mrs. Maylie Mrs. Maylie is an elderly woman with a big house in Chertsey. elderly, old-fashioned, neat, upright, intelligent, practical
Monks Monks is a colleague of Fagin who wants Fagin to turn Oliver into a criminal. dark-haired, dark-eyed, sunken-eyed, epileptic, greedy
Mr. Slout Mr. Slout is the workhouse master. fat, excitable
Mr. Sowerberry Mr. Sowerberry is the parish undertaker who takes Oliver as an apprentice. tall, gaunt, hen-pecked
Mrs. Sowerberry Mrs. Sowerberry is the undertaker's wife. short, thin, petty
Surgeon The surgeon is a doctor paid by the parish to attend to workhouse cases. professional, distant
Mrs. Thingummy Mrs. Thingummy acts as a nurse at Oliver's birth. poor, old
Tinker The tinker, together with his two dogs, joins the chase after the Chertsey burglars. nervous
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