Oliver Twist Chapter 7 Summary
"Oliver Continues Refractory"
- Noah arrives at the workhouse and dramatically complains to Mr. Bumble that Oliver has almost murdered him.
- When he sees the gentleman in the white waistcoat walk by, he starts wailing even louder. (Kind of like certain professional athletes who collapse writhing in front of referees, trying to get a foul called.)
- Noah gets the foul called: the gentleman in the white waistcoat repeats his prophecy that Oliver will grow up to be hanged, and sends Mr. Bumble to the Sowerberrys’ house to beat Oliver into submission.
- When Mr. Bumble arrives, Oliver’s still so angry that he’s not even afraid of Mr. Bumble.
- Mr. Bumble tells Mrs. Sowerberry that she’s overfed Oliver, and that’s why he’s plucked up the courage to stand up to Noah and is unafraid of Mr. Bumble. His solution is to starve Oliver for a few days so that he won’t have the energy to fight back when they let him out of the cellar.
- When Mr. Sowerberry gets back, his wife’s exaggerations of Oliver’s crimes force him to punish the boy, even though he probably wouldn’t have wanted to without his wife’s pushing.
- Oliver spends the rest of the day shut up in the back kitchen, and finally is ordered up to bed.
- After crying for a while, Oliver stands up and leaves the house. He’s not sure where he’s going to go, but his first stop is Mrs. Mann’s baby farm.
- Oliver stops in front of the gate and sees one of his former playmates and fellow-sufferer, Dick.
- Since Dick is the only one up, Oliver risks staying for a few minutes to say goodbye before leaving "to seek my fortune some long way off."
- Oliver tries to assure Dick that they’ll meet again sometime, but Dick says no – they’ll only meet again after he’s dead. What an optimistic guy. Apparently the doctor thinks that poor little Dick won’t be long for this world, and Dick hugs Oliver, blesses him, and sends him on his way.