Describe the overall setting of the novel. What contribution to the novel is made by its overall setting? Is the setting essential, or could the novel have happened anywhere?
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There are contrasting settings which serve to underscore many of the themes in this story. London is the primary setting and then there is the country village where the Maylies visit on vacation. While London is described as a labyrinth or maze, the country side has a sense of freedom, a sense that it is far from the "maddening crowd." The setting of London gives the sense of being swallowed up into a maze of chaos and twisted humanity, never to return. We see Oliver like a little mouse, trying to survive the hazards of the maze that is London. I think the densely populated city is important for the story. Oliver has to navigate through alleys and backstreets as well as navigate through a wide spectrum of humanity, both malignant and benign, to make his way in London.