English KS2: Oliver Twist - Episode 7
Mr Bumble, his wife and Monks meet in an old warehouse so that Mrs Bumble can relate the circumstances of Oliver's birth. Mrs Bumble tells how 'Old Sally' stole some items from Oliver's mother on her deathbed, including a bracelet inscribed 'Agnes'.
Monks takes the items from Mrs Bumble and drops them through a trapdoor into the river below; he believes he has taken a significant step towards keeping Oliver's identity a secret.
Fagin comes to visit Sikes and Nancy returns to Fagin's den with him to collect some money. Monks is waiting for Fagin there and the two men go upstairs, not realising that Nancy silently follows behind them. Nancy listens to the conversation and learns more of the relationship between Monks and Oliver - including the revelation that Oliver is Monks's younger brother.
Nancy is horrified by what she has heard but is initially unsure what to do. Having drugged Sikes with a sleeping draught she goes to the hotel in central London where she knows the Maylies to be staying. She speaks with Rose and passes on all the information she has learned.
Rose tries to persuade Nancy to give up all further contact with Sikes and Fagin, but Nancy says she must return to them. They agree that future contact will happen on Sunday evenings when Nancy will walk upon London Bridge between 11 and midnight...if she is alive and able.
Ideas for use in the classroom
Understanding, interpreting and responding to texts:
How did Mrs Corney come to have the items which she shows to Monks? (They were passed to her by Old Sally, who stole them from Oliver’s mother).
Why does Monks throw the ring and locket into the river? (They could prove the identity of Oliver, and thus put Monks’s inheritance at risk).
Why did Bill need to be nursed by Nancy? (He is sick after his flight from the failed burglary).
How is Nancy able to go and seek out Rose Maylie at the hotel? (She drugs Bill with a sleeping draught).
Why does Nancy tell Rose what she has learned about Oliver? (It is likely that she feels guilty about her involvement in his earlier kidnapping).
What is the implication of what Nancyreports Monks to have said about Rose Maylie – “it seemed contrived by Heaven, or the devil, against him, that Oliver should come into your hands”? (That Rose should be wary of the threat to Oliver from Monks).
Why does Nancy refuse Rose’s offer of being taken to a safe place? (Open to speculation – she feels herself unable to leave Bill, despite fearing him – perhaps she loves him).
Why does Nancy say that she will walk on London Bridge every Sunday night? (So that Rose Maylie will know where to find her if she wishes to).
Act out an imagined scene between Bumble and Mrs Corney when they return home after their encounter with Monks.
Act out a conversation between the housemaids at the hotel. What do you say about the strange woman who has come to see Mrs Maylie? Why do you suppose she is there?
Write a letter that Rose might have sent to Mrs Maylie after her encounter with Nancy?