Little Dorrit Summary
Little Dorrit, by Charles Dickens, is the story of Amy Dorrit, a kind and compassionate young woman who is born impoverished and becomes wealthy, but retains her goodness and strength of character throughout.
Amy, often called Little Dorrit because of her small stature, is modest and giving, and often taken for granted by her siblings and her father. She is the rock of the family throughout their years in Marshalsea Prison, and through her hard work and diligence, creates a home of comfort and love. As she is growing up in the prison, Amy gathers devoted friends of all types, and becomes known for her good heart.
William Dorrit, Amy's father, has been in the debtors' prison for so many years he is finally promoted to manage the place. William has always fancied himself a gentleman wronged, and behaves as if the tips he receives from released prisoners...
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The Little Dorrit Study Pack contains about 529 pages of study material in 27 products, including:
Little Dorrit Study Guide
Charles Dickens Biographies (8)
17,877 words, approx. 60 pages
Biography EssayThe life story of Charles Dickens is, from several perspectives, a success story. Generally regarded today as one of the greatest novelists in the English language, Dickens had the unus...
2,276 words, approx. 8 pages
The English author Charles John Huffam Dickens (1812-1870) was, and probably still is, the most widely read Victorian novelist. He is now appreciated more for his "dark" novels than for his humorous w...
6,638 words, approx. 23 pages
He was only fifty-eight when he died. His horse had been shot, as he had wanted; his body lay in a casket in his home at Gad's Hill, festooned with scarlet geraniums. Tributes poured in from all over ...
17,117 words, approx. 58 pages
The life story of Charles Dickens is, from several perspectives, a success story. Generally regarded today as one of the greatest novelists in the English language, Dickens had the unusual good fort...
4,336 words, approx. 15 pages
Charles Dickens had one thing in common with his creation Thomas Gradgrind, the heartless utilitarian in Hard Times: a love of facts. Along with fourteen novels, many of them rich in topical allusion,...
2,579 words, approx. 9 pages
Drawing his narrative themes from the sensation novel and the popular stage, Charles Dickens heavily freighted most of his plots with mystery, crime, and suspense. His chief legacies to crime litera...
13,529 words, approx. 46 pages
From the appearance of his first full-length work of prose fiction, The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, in 1836-1837, Charles Dickens has retained his place as one of the best-loved and most...
4,780 words, approx. 16 pages
In October 1844 Charles Dickens was in Genoa working on his second Christmas book, The Chimes: A Goblin Story of Some Bells That Rang an Old Year Out and a New Year In (1845). Hoping that a long forei...
Essays & Analysis (18)
6,802 words, approx. 23 pages
In the following essay, Barnard examines recurring images and motifs in Little Dorrit as clues to Dickens's worldview.
To many critics Little Dorrit is the crowning achievement of Dickens...
9,027 words, approx. 31 pages
In the following essay, Metz discusses Dickens's use of images of the city of London in Little Dorrit.
We usually think of urbanization as a process associated with growth, expansion, construct...
9,461 words, approx. 32 pages
In the following essay, Manning examines the way Dickens undermines the narrator in Little Dorrit and the ideological contradictions that this causes.
Little Dorrit proffers a deal of ideological disc...
4,851 words, approx. 17 pages
In the following essay, Philpotts discusses the London debtor's prison in which Dickens's father was incarcerated and which inspired the dominant symbol of Little Dorrit.
When John Dicke...
18,659 words, approx. 63 pages
In the following essay, Marsh discusses the 1987 film adaptation of Little Dorrit.
1: Interpretation and Adaptation
In 1987, working from a converted warehouse in London's run-down Docklands by...
6,010 words, approx. 21 pages
In the following essay, Rainsford studies characters in Little Dorrit who were adversely affected by childhood trauma well into middle age.
Dickens's early novels typically end with the princip...
5,044 words, approx. 17 pages
In the following essay, Peters proposes that orphans and criminals are represented in Victorian fictional discourse in the same way; she examines two orphans in Little Dorrit to illustrate her point.
7,814 words, approx. 27 pages
In the following excerpt, Rosenberg examines the prominence of contradiction and division within the characters in Little Dorrit.
With the single exception of Little Dorrit there is not one of [Dicken...
14,160 words, approx. 48 pages
In the following essay, Hennelly claims that games and play in Little Dorrit are not redemptive as they tend to be in Dickens's other works, suggesting that this is in keeping with the generall...
7,028 words, approx. 24 pages
In the following essay, Edgecomb explores Dickens's characterization of the gentility as idle and useless.
In the second book of Little Dorrit, Fanny and William Dorrit reproach Amy for relying...
7,552 words, approx. 26 pages
In the following essay, Hollington claims that while Little Dorrit seems to be unconcerned with time, temporal matters are of central importance in the novel.
The purpose of this essay is to suggest t...
5,322 words, approx. 18 pages
In the following essay, Fleishman examines class inequality and the way it determines character in Little Dorrit.
In these people, the social will, the will to status, is the ruling faculty. To be rec...
9,338 words, approx. 32 pages
In the following essay, Carlisle examines the relationship between Little Dorrit as a work of fiction, and the various fictions or illusions created within the novel by its characters.
On the last pag...
7,192 words, approx. 24 pages
In the following essay, Linehan refutes the common critical claim that thematic concerns in Little Dorrit are of much greater importance than plot.
Criticism has rarely been in more agreement about a ...
3,313 words, approx. 12 pages
In the following essay, Page discusses George Bernard Shaw's appraisal of Little Dorrit as a masterpiece, which inspired a marked change in the novel's evaluation by scholars.
In the las...
7,337 words, approx. 25 pages
In the following essay, Holoch discusses the relationship between the individual and the social system in Little Dorrit.
The later novels of Charles Dickens are often concerned with the ways in which ...
8,476 words, approx. 29 pages
In the following essay, Showalter characterizes the shadow motif in Little Dorrit as emblematic of the spiritual darkness of Victorian society.
As J. Hillis Miller has observed, “shadow”...
5,001 words, approx. 17 pages
In the following essay, Winter examines the issue of deference in the character of Amy Dorrit and its relationship to Dickens's criticism of British society.
In his essay on Dickens' Lit...
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