Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Artful Dodger
The Artful Dodger is a character in the novel, Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens. The Dodger (whose real name is Jack Dawkins) is so called because of his success in avoiding arrest, he being a skillful pickpocket. As a result he has become the leader of the gang of child criminals, trained by the elderly Fagin.
The nickname, "Artful Dodger", is still commonly used to refer to someone who is good at avoiding responsibility or the consequences of his/her actions.
The role of the Artful Dodger was amplified in the musical Oliver!, and launched the careers of Davy Jones and Jack Wild, among others. Another to have played the role (in an amateur production) was Ben Elton.
"Artful Dodger" is Cockney rhyming slang for "lodger".
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