Oliver was an orphan, which meant he was poor. One of the bad things with that is that Oliver was cruelly treated by basically everyone. He grew up in a workhouse, so was not fed correctly and was slowly starving. Also, there were no laws to protect the poor in those days so all the violence against Oliver was completely legal.
Oliver Twist is usually described as wanting to be active, and out in the fresh air. He’s usually described in great detail, which is sometimes exaggerated. Most descriptions make us feel sympathetic for Oliver. Dickens uses interesting adjectives. For example, he was describes as suffering slow starvation in the workhouse.
Oliver is always being bullied or beaten. Usually the treatment he receives is bad. In the part where Oliver is being chased because the artful Dodger and Master Bates steal Mr. Brownlow’s handkerchief, Mr. Brownlow shouts “Stop Thief!”
The effect of the opening chapter is unbelievable. It talks about his mother having birth, but then dying after having a baby boy in Oliver. This just sets up the whole story then, because it starts with a bad thing to happen in Oliver’s life, and then go’s on with another, and then another. This makes us feel sympathy for Oliver, and then is carried on, throughout the book.
The setting’s that are described are in huge detail, most times. At the point where Oliver escapes The Sowerberrys, Dickens wrote: “It was a cold, dark night. The stars seemed, to the boys eyes, farther from the earth than he had ever seen them before.” This is exaggerated a little, but that’s a good thing.