Oliver asks for more -- a scene from Dickens's "Oliver Twist"

You can read this famous scene in Chapter Two of "Oliver Twist" ( http://www.gutenberg.org/files/730/730-h/730-h.htm).
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Explore the Words

definitions & notes only words
  1. gruel
    a thin porridge
    Oliver Twist and his companions suffered the tortures of slow starvation for three months: at last they got so voracious and wild with hunger, that one boy, who was tall for his age, and hadn't been used to that sort of thing (for his father had kept a small cook-shop), hinted darkly to his companions, that unless he had another basin of gruel per diem, he was afraid he might some night happen to eat the boy who slept next him, who happened to be a weakly youth of tender age.
  2. festive
    offering fun and gaiety
    Of this festive composition each boy had one porringer, and no more—except on occasions of great public rejoicing, when he had two ounces and a quarter of bread besides.
  3. occasion
    an event that occurs at a critical time
    Of this festive composition each boy had one porringer, and no more—except on occasions of great public rejoicing, when he had two ounces and a quarter of bread besides.
  4. rejoice
    feel happiness
    Of this festive composition each boy had one porringer, and no more—except on occasions of great public rejoicing, when he had two ounces and a quarter of bread besides.
  5. eager
    having or showing keen interest or intense desire
    The boys polished them with their spoons till they shone again; and when they had performed this operation (which never took very long, the spoons being nearly as large as the bowls), they would sit staring at the copper, with such eager eyes, as if they could have devoured the very bricks of which it was composed; employing themselves, meanwhile, in sucking their fingers most assiduously, with the view of catching up any stray splashes of gruel that might have been cast thereon.
  6. devour
    eat immoderately
    The boys polished them with their spoons till they shone again; and when they had performed this operation (which never took very long, the spoons being nearly as large as the bowls), they would sit staring at the copper, with such eager eyes, as if they could have devoured the very bricks of which it was composed; employing themselves, meanwhile, in sucking their fingers most assiduously, with the view of catching up any stray splashes of gruel that might have been cast thereon.
  7. assiduously
    with care and persistence
    The boys polished them with their spoons till they shone again; and when they had performed this operation (which never took very long, the spoons being nearly as large as the bowls), they would sit staring at the copper, with such eager eyes, as if they could have devoured the very bricks of which it was composed; employing themselves, meanwhile, in sucking their fingers most assiduously, with the view of catching up any stray splashes of gruel that might have been cast thereon.
  8. appetite
    a feeling of craving something
    Boys have generally excellent appetites.
  9. companion
    a friend who is frequently with another
    Oliver Twist and his companions suffered the tortures of slow starvation for three months: at last they got so voracious and wild with hunger, that one boy, who was tall for his age, and hadn't been used to that sort of thing (for his father had kept a small cook-shop), hinted darkly to his companions, that unless he had another basin of gruel per diem, he was afraid he might some night happen to eat the boy who slept next him, who happened to be a weakly youth of tender age.
  10. voracious
    devouring or craving food in great quantities
    Oliver Twist and his companions suffered the tortures of slow starvation for three months: at last they got so voracious and wild with hunger, that one boy, who was tall for his age, and hadn't been used to that sort of thing (for his father had kept a small cook-shop), hinted darkly to his companions, that unless he had another basin of gruel per diem, he was afraid he might some night happen to eat the boy who slept next him, who happened to be a weakly youth of tender age.
  11. basin
    a bowl-shaped vessel used for holding food or liquids
    Oliver Twist and his companions suffered the tortures of slow starvation for three months: at last they got so voracious and wild with hunger, that one boy, who was tall for his age, and hadn't been used to that sort of thing (for his father had kept a small cook-shop), hinted darkly to his companions, that unless he had another basin of gruel per diem, he was afraid he might some night happen to eat the boy who slept next him, who happened to be a weakly youth of tender age.
  12. implicitly
    without ever expressing so clearly
    He had a wild, hungry eye; and they implicitly believed him.
  13. pauper
    a person who is very poor
    The master, in his cook's uniform, stationed himself at the copper; his pauper assistants ranged themselves behind him; the gruel was served out; and a long grace was said over the short commons.
  14. reckless
    marked by defiant disregard for danger or consequences
    Child as he was, he was desperate with hunger, and reckless with misery.
  15. temerity
    fearless daring
    He rose from the table; and advancing to the master, basin and spoon in hand, said: somewhat alarmed at his own temerity:
  16. stupefied
    as if struck dumb with astonishment and surprise
    He gazed in stupefied astonishment on the small rebel for some seconds, and then clung for support to the copper.
  17. rebel
    someone who exhibits independence in thought and action
    He gazed in stupefied astonishment on the small rebel for some seconds, and then clung for support to the copper.
  18. shriek
    utter a shrill cry
    The master aimed a blow at Oliver's head with the ladle; pinioned him in his arm; and shrieked aloud for the beadle.
  19. solemn
    dignified and somber in manner or character
    The board were sitting in solemn conclave, when Mr. Bumble rushed into the room in great excitement, and addressing the gentleman in the high chair, said,
  20. pardon
    a warrant granting release from punishment for an offense
    'Mr. Limbkins, I beg your pardon, sir!
  21. countenance
    the appearance conveyed by a person's face
    Horror was depicted on every countenance.
  22. controvert
    prove to be false or incorrect
    Nobody controverted the prophetic gentleman's opinion.
  23. prophetic
    foretelling events as if by supernatural intervention
    Nobody controverted the prophetic gentleman's opinion.
  24. animated
    having life or vigor or spirit
    An animated discussion took place.
  25. confinement
    the state of being enclosed
    Oliver was ordered into instant confinement; and a bill was next morning pasted on the outside of the gate, offering a reward of five pounds to anybody who would take Oliver Twist off the hands of the parish.
  26. parish
    a local church community
    Oliver was ordered into instant confinement; and a bill was next morning pasted on the outside of the gate, offering a reward of five pounds to anybody who would take Oliver Twist off the hands of the parish.
  27. sequel
    a part added to a book or film that continues and extends it
    As I purpose to show in the sequel whether the white waistcoated gentleman was right or not, I should perhaps mar the interest of this narrative (supposing it to possess any at all), if I ventured to hint just yet, whether the life of Oliver Twist had this violent termination or no.
  28. mar
    cause to become imperfect
    As I purpose to show in the sequel whether the white waistcoated gentleman was right or not, I should perhaps mar the interest of this narrative (supposing it to possess any at all), if I ventured to hint just yet, whether the life of Oliver Twist had this violent termination or no.
  29. narrative
    an account that tells the particulars of an act or event
    As I purpose to show in the sequel whether the white waistcoated gentleman was right or not, I should perhaps mar the interest of this narrative (supposing it to possess any at all), if I ventured to hint just yet, whether the life of Oliver Twist had this violent termination or no.
  30. termination
    the act of ending something
    As I purpose to show in the sequel whether the white waistcoated gentleman was right or not, I should perhaps mar the interest of this narrative (supposing it to possess any at all), if I ventured to hint just yet, whether the life of Oliver Twist had this violent termination or no.
Created on January 27, 2012 (updated January 27, 2012)

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