“Oliver Asks for More” story follows the adventures of Oliver Twist (played by John Howard Davies), an orphan in 19th-century England, who encounters a number of setbacks in his quest to find security and happiness. He lives in a harshly run orphanage until being sold as an apprentice to a cruel undertaker.
Oliver Asks for More Summary
Oliver, an orphan boy, was brought to a children’s home. Mr. Bumble, the beadle, informed Oliver that he had to appear before the board at once. As he did not have any idea of a live board, he was astonished and was not quite certain whether he ought to laugh or cry. Mr. Bumble took him into a large white-washed room where eight or ten fat gentlemen were sitting round a table. Mr. Bumble ordered Oliver to bow to the board. Seeing no board but the table, Oliver bowed to the table. He was frightened at the sight of them and trembled.
The beadle tapped on his back with his cane and he cried. The gentleman in the high chair asked Oliver if he knew that he was an orphan. Oliver couldn’t understand his question as he had no idea of an orphan. The gentlemen reminded Oliver that he was brought up by the parish and asked him to pray for them and take care of him like a Christian.
The gentleman in the white waistcoat ordered Oliver to begin to pick oakum the following day morning at six o’clock. Oliver made a low bow and hurried away to a large ward sobbing himself to sleep on a rough, hard bed. The members of the board were very wise and philosophical men. They discovered that the workhouse was the regular place of public entertainment for the poorer classes. They opined that the poor should starve quickly outside the workhouse or gradually inside it.
They decided the inmates of the workhouse would be issued three meals of thin gruel a day, with an onion twice a week. As a result, the number of workhouse inmates got smaller and they shrank in size. Oliver and his companions suffered the tortures of slow starvation for three months. They became wild with hunger. One day a tall boy announced that he would eat the boy who slept next to him unless he was given extra gruel. A council was held and it was decided that Oliver should ask the master for more. That evening the gruel was served and they ate it up. The boys winked at Oliver and nudged him. Oliver advanced to the master and requested him for more gruel.
The master got a rage and aimed a blow at Oliver’s head with the ladle. He reported it to the beadle. Mr. Bumble, the beadle rushed into the gentlemen’s room and reported the same. The gentleman in the white waistcoat opined that the boy would be hung. Nobody contradicted his opinion and Oliver was ordered into instant confinement. The following morning a bill was pasted offering five pounds to those who would take Oliver as an apprentice to any trade, business or profession.
In conclusion, Oliver Twist is a compelling novel that explores themes of social injustice, corruption, and the search for identity and redemption. The memorable characters and their intertwining stories make it a timeless literary masterpiece.