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Summary Chapter 7

 

Noah rushes to the workhouse. He puts on a good show of tears and fear, which alarms everyone. Noah tells Mr. Bumble that Oliver tried to murder him, Charlotte, and Mrs. Sowerberry. He wails over his supposed injuries at Oliver’s hands.

A board member, the same one who prophesied that Oliver would be hung, passes by and hears the news. Noah tells Mr. Bumble that his mistress wants him to come and flog Oliver. The board member tells Bumble not to spare Oliver and gives Noah a penny. He tells Bumble that he should advise Sowerberry to give him a good beating as well.

Oliver is still in a fury when Mr. Bumble comes. He isn’t intimidated by the beadle. Mr. Bumble blames Mrs. Sowerberry for turning Oliver vicious by giving him meat. She should have kept him on a diet of gruel. Mrs. Sowerberry had only given Oliver the parts of meat no one else would eat. Mr. Bumble suggests keeping Oiver in the cellar and starving him for a day. He should then be given gruel. Mr. Bumble claims that Oliver comes from a bad family that had excitable natures. The mother had traveled a long way on foot, which should have killed her long before she went into labor.

Oliver becomes more incensed when he hears this and kicks the cellar door harder. Mr. Sowerberry returns and is told what has happened. He takes Oliver out of the cellar. Oliver says that Noah called his mother names, and Mrs. Sowerberry comments that Oliver’s mother deserved it. Oliver defends his mother, causing Mrs. Sowerberry to burst into tears.

When his wife starts crying, Mr. Sowerberry has no choice but to discipline Oliver. Mr. Bumble’s beating is rendered unnecessary. Oliver is shut up in the kitchen for the remainder of the day. Mrs. Sowerberry insults his mother, then orders him to bed.

Oliver had scorned their taunts and hadn’t cried when he was beaten. He felt a sense of pride blossom in his heart. When he is alone, though, he weeps.

He unlocks the front door. He packs his things and waits for dawn, then he leaves.

Oliver goes to Miss Mann’s cottage. He sees a firend of his outside. Oliver tells him that he is running away because he is abused. He’ll seek his fortunes elsewhere. He asks Dick (the other boy) not to tell on him.

Dick tells Oliver he is glad to see him. The doctor told Miss Man that Dick is dying. He urges Oliver to leave. Oliver says he’ll see Dick again—and Dick will be well and happy. Dick tells him that Oliver will—in heaven, but not before then. He dreams of heaven, so he knows that he is dying. He gives Oliver his blessings. No one has ever blessed Oliver, and he never forgets it. 

Charles Dickens