Well, due to the holidays, I’m a bit behind on reading and posting. Thanks to my buddies for more than making up for my shortcomings on the blog end of things. In case you are lagging like me, let me sum up the horrible going’s-on of the first 8 chapters or so:
Oliver is born.
Oliver almost dies.
His mother does die.
Oliver becomes a ward of the church and is sent to “the farm,” where he is treated very much like an animal, indeed.
On the occasion of his 9th birthday he receives the dubious present of being sent to a workhouse where his is starved and mistreated.
Oliver is “sold” to the parish undertaker.
He rises to a challenge from another boy and is beaten, locked up and insulted.
Oliver runs away and decides to go to London with only a crust of bread and a penny to his name.
He journeys 70 miles and almost dies on the way.
The poor boy! A destitute life of misery, drudgery and hunger is all he has known. The quote here is heart-wrenching. I noticed yet another quote in the very next paragraph that I hope is true. Oliver is nearing the end of his journey to London and finally meets a woman who shows him some kindness:
(she) took pity on the poor orphan and gave him what little she could afford – and more – with such kind and gentle words, and such tears of sympathy and compassion, that they sank deeper into Oliver’s soul, than all the sufferings he had ever undergone.
This quote makes me just want to go out and hug a figurative suffering orphan! Seriously, I hope that acts and words of true sympathy do make a deep impression – deeper than the hurts and struggles of life.