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Nicholas feels sorry for the boys.


The boys’ life at the school is very difficult.


Life is hard for Nicholas.


The school building is a nasty place.


The situation of one of the boys is the worst.


The school is closed down.


Away from the school life is better.


Life is easier for one of the boys.

“The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickelby” is a novel by Charles Dickens. In 2002 a film was made on the basis of the story. Here is how the story goes. 



When his father dies, Nicholas and his family are left with nothing. Nicholas hopes that his uncle Ralph can help them, but Ralph is a cold, dangerous man. He is friends with Mr Squeers, who owns a boys’ school called Dotheboys Hall. Nicholas gets a job as a teacher there. 



There is no heating in the school. The boys wear the same clothes everyday, and they are always hungry. Mrs Squeers gives them a thick, horrible soup every day, and Mr Squeers takes all their money and steals their clothes.



The classroom is cold and dirty, with broken windows. In the windows where there is no glass, there are old copy-books and newspapers. There are a couple of old, long desks for the children. They are cut and damaged. There is a separate desk for the teacher. The walls are very dirty.



Mr Squeers gives his son, young Wackford, all the clothes that he steals from the boys. Wackford, of course, is the only boy in school who is never cold and hungry. He is also as nasty as his father. His favourite activity is kicking the other boys and making them cry.



Nicholas has never heard the poor children laughing and there is no hope in their eyes. Nicholas’ heart is filled with pity for them. All the beauty of innocence has disappeared from their faces. He would like to help them. 



Nicholas is especially sorry for a boy called Smike. He is older than the other boys – about 18 years old. He is tall for his age, but he wears children’s clothes that are much too short for him. He doesn’t have lessons, but he has to do all the hard, dirty jobs around the school.



Eventually, Nicholas runs away with Smike, and the two of them set off on an adventure. For a time Nicholas supports himself and Smike as an actor in a provincial company. Mr Crummles, the theatre manager, takes Nicholas under his wing. Things start to look brighter.

adapted  from TEAM, 2005