English KS2: Oliver Twist - Episode 8
Rose is wondering what course of action to take - and whether to call upon Harry - when Oliver bursts in with the news that he has seen Mr Brownlow. Rose and Oliver travel to Mr Brownlow's house and she tells him all that has happened.
That night Mr Brownlow comes to visit at the hotel. He and Dr Losberne discuss the best means by which to proceed with Nancy in order to apprehend Monks.
Meanwhile Noah Claypole - once Oliver's colleague at Mr Sowerberry's, the undertaker - is making his way to London having robbed his master. He and his companion, Charlotte, stop at the Three Cripples pub, where they are quickly ensnared by Fagin and return to his den with him. Here they learn that the Artful Dodger has been captured and will, more than likely, be 'transported'.
The scene changes to the home of Sikes and Nancy. It is 11.30 on Sunday evening and Nancy is agitated because she has been unable to make her planned walk to London Bridge to speak with Brownlow and Rose. Fagin makes a brief visit and having noted Nancy's state wonders whether she may have tired of Sikes's brutality and wish to be rid of him - something that would suit Fagin also.
Fagin determines that his first task for Noah (now known as Bolter) will be to 'dodge' Nancy - that is, trail her. The following Sunday evening Noah follows Nancy to London Bridge late in the evening and hides while she meets with Brownlow and Rose. What is the unsuspecting Nancy about to reveal?
Ideas for use in the classroom
Understanding, interpreting and responding to texts:
How does Rose come to meet Mr Brownlow? (Oliver sees him, and therefore knows that he has returned to London).
Why do Oliver’s friends need to capture Monks? (In order to discover the secret of Oliver’s identity).
Why is Nancy’s help necessary to capture Monks? (If the plan is to be kept secret from Oliver, they will need her help to point out Monks).
What do we learn of the character of Noah from the way that he and Charlotte are described as carrying their luggage? (She is carrying nearly all of it, which suggests he is lazy).
What does Noah mean when he says to Charlotte that he would like to be “the captain of some band”? (To head up a criminal gang).
What, do we hear during the course of this chapter, has happened to Dodger? (Caught picking pockets, he has been sentenced to transportation to Australia).
For what reason is it suggested Nancy has grown pale and thin? (She is worried about having spoken to Rose about Oliver).
What does Bill Sikes mean when he says “Dark and heavy it is too – a good night for business”? (A dark night is good for committing crime, which is Bill’s business).
What does Bill Sikes mean when he says, of Nancy, “I’ll let her a little blood, without troubling the doctor, if she’s took that way again”? (He means that he will, himself, carry out a medical procedure known as ‘blood-letting’, in which an amount of blood is taken from the body to aid recovery. The practice was still current in Dickens’s time).
Why does Fagin get Noah to follow Nancy? (He wants to find out why she was keen to leave the house).
Draw up a list of pros and cons for Nancy staying with Bill Sikes. In this context, discuss why you think she stays with him.
Hotseat Fagin. What are you thinking at this point? Where do your loyalties lie, and why?
Retell the story of the chapter, from Nancy’s point of view.