What graphic insight into criminality does Dickens provide in Chapters 19 through 22 of Oliver Twist as "a service to society"?
The Chertsey burglary has been well planned. Even before Fagin discusses it with Sikes in Chapter 19, Toby has been surveilling the house to determine its layout and the characters of the servants. Fagin knows exactly what objects he wants, and he mentions the silver plate specifically. Toby and Barney have stocked a nearby safe house with food and drink and assembled all the necessary equipment in advance. Dickens contrasts the burglars' work with that of most other people. While in Chapter 21 Bill and Oliver pass through the streets of London as it grows light and witness the bustle of Smithfield market, the burglars' work in Chapter 22 takes place under cover of darkness—not only at night, but on a moonless night—another aspect of their planning. Although the men take care to dress Oliver warmly and make sure he is fed and rested, this is purely pragmatic. Their plan depends on him. When he wants to back out, Bill reaches for his pistol. Toby stops Bill, but not to save Oliver. He is equally willing to kill Oliver, but would do it quietly. It is clear that these criminals are careful, pragmatic professionals who understand their work. Dickens sees his fictional details as informational to the reading public.