In the 1800s, a young orphan (Oliver Twist) is forcibly brought to a workhouse in an unidentified town in England on his ninth birthday. He and the other resident children are treated poorly and given very little food. Facing starvation, the boys select Oliver through a lottery to ask for more food at the next meal, which he does. This results in Oliver being chastised, and the workhouse officials, who are wealthy men, decide to get rid of him. After nearly being sold as an apprentice to a cruel chimney sweep, Oliver is sent to Mr. Sowerberry, a coffin-maker, whose wife and senior apprentice take an instant dislike to the newcomer. After more poor treatment, Oliver snaps and attacks Noah, the snotty older apprentice, for having insulted his mother. Noah howls instantly and brings Mrs. Sowerberry and Charlotte rushing in to drag Oliver away and lock him in the cold dark cellar. The violent behavior of the orphan is duly brought to the notice of Mr. Sowerberry. Oliver is beaten, and knowing his life with the Sowerberrys will only get worse, he escapes on foot early the next morning.