Taken from the following paragraph in Chapter 2:
The evening arrived; the boys took their places. 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. The gruel disappeared; the boys whispered each other, and winked at Oliver; while his next neighbors nudged him. Child as he was, he was desperate with hunger, and reckless with misery. He rose from the table; and advancing to the master, basin and spoon in hand, said: somewhat alarmed at his own temerity:
‘Please, sir, I want some more.’
In the preceding paragraphs, Charles Dickens has described the meagre “starvation” rations that the boys were given in the workhouse. Oliver Twist is elected by the other boys to go up to the master after finishing his evening supper meal and ask for more food.
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