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Justice and its various forms are very important in Oliver Twist. By the end of the novel, almost all of the characters have faced justice, in one way or another. Mr. and Mrs. Bumble are in a workhouse, Oliver, Rose, and all of the good characters live happily and comfortably, and Sikes and Fagin have both been hanged. Yet, Dickens does not seem completely comfortable with the way that justice has been meted out. Although the good characters clearly deserve the happiness they get, and the bad characters certainly have done plenty to deserve their own ends, the novel seems ambivalent about the methods and degree of justice involved.
The reader is already wary of the justice system because of how close Oliver comes to becoming an innocent victim of it. Thus, although Fagin’s guilt is clear, the court room is mobbed in such a way as to make the justice system seem to blend with the mob mentality of the audience. This brings up the question of who has the right to deliver justice, as well as whether any system mired in bureaucracy and relying on human purity should have such extreme power as that of life and death.