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Oliver is a waif brought up in a workhouse where he is ill- treated and sent to work for an undertaker whose family abuses him. He runs away to London where he falls into the hands of criminals. His natural goodness and luck help him to escape from his oppressors and establish himself in the world of respectable people.
On one level, Oliver's antagonist is Monks, who hates Oliver because the boy is his half brother and the heir to a major portion of his father's property. To usurp Oliver's property, Monks drives the boy to the underworld and tries to destroy all traces of evidence about the boy's origin.
On another level, all the forces of evil that oppress him, including the workhouse management and Fagin's underworld, are his antagonists.
The Climax occurs in Chertsey, when the wounded Oliver, seeking help, reaches the same house where he had gone earlier with Sikes to commit robbery. Unable to run away from the scene, he presses the buzzer instead. His reluctant entry into the Maylie household proves to be a turning point in his life.
Oliver finds peace, security and happiness. His oppressors try to reach him but fail in their attempt. His well-wishers help him to get his rightful place in society. His enemies are eliminated and he is reunited with his friends. The tragic-comic melodrama of "Oliver Twist" thus ends on a happy note.