Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
Additional Book Info
Date Added: 2001-03-06
Rating: [Rate this book]
Table of Contents
Add your own review to this book!
A worthy novel and a brilliant satire dealing with important themes
Little Dorrit has been unfairly regarded as Dickens'worst novel... Yes, unfairly! Because in my opinion it's a very interesting and likeable book. To begin, we have to remember that this story has two protagonists. The female protagonist, Amy, unlike you could think, it's not a child, but a young 22 years old woman born in the debtors prison of Marshalsea. Amy is the devoted younger daughter of William, called The Father of Marahalsea, of whom she takes care and she also have a lazy brother and a vain sister which always need Amy's support... The male protagonist of the story is Arthur Clennam: a man in his early forties who, after his father's death, comes back England from China (where he spent 20 years) to his churchy and stern mother, in order to discover what secret troubled his father's last hours of life. Arthur's road will cross Amy's, because our young female protagonist will turn out to be Mrs Clennam's seamstress... A story sparkled with many funny and charming characters such as the silly and loquacious Flora (Arthur's old flame), the disagreable Rigaud, the mysterious and sharp Miss Wade (a character unfairly neglect) and many others... Like other Dickens'novels it deals with many interesting themes such as love, family secrets, forgiveness, religion... But what really worths in this story is Dickens' denunciation of High Society (see Fanny Dorrit and Mrs Merdle) and the accusation at english bureaucracy through the brilliant invention of Circomlocution Office. We can't forget another cery actual theme: financial speculation (and its consequences) and fraud through Merdle family's story. Yes... This novel has also some faults (a too complicated plot or some unconvincing tricks...) but... Dickens is always Dickens and if you love his works you can't help but enjoy this one too!
Breathtaking!!! One of Dickens' beat works! I couldn't wait for each Sunday evening. I hope PBS continues with more of Dickens' works!
Not too well known Dickens work
Little Dorrit is not as famous as Dickens' other works such as Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, and A Christmas Carol. In many of his other works, a male figure tends to be the major focus of the book. Hard Times is one notable exception where a young female is the major character. This one also focuses on a female character who outshines the major male figure in this story and binds the entire story plot together. I think Dickens took not only parts of his personal experience with the story (especially the debtor prison stay), but included other people who were his relatives into the characters in this novel. The storyline takes a very familiar viewpoint against the snobbishness and greed of Victorian England. The ending reinforces the message that what really matters in life is not status, money, or power. The selfless nature of the heroine and hero of this novel is what Dickens probably looked as an ideal person.
A recent film version of the novel was shown in England in late 2008 and is being broadcast on PBS in America during April 2009. The 1988 film version (with Alec Guiness getting a Supporting Actor nomination) did not get much wide publicity. I think the new film version will spark an increased interest in the novel and spur sales of the DVD and book. In my opinion, the recent film is excellent and gives a very complex and intricate picture of life in England in the early 1800's.
By Saad Gul on February 28, 2006
Little Dorrit is by far one of the better books of Charles Dickens. There may not be enough gravity or misery in the book to make it a classic. However the scenes, the atmosphere, the mistery, the characters are all superb and blend in nearly flawlessly.
The characters have been developed wonderfully and come in a good time. Dickens takes liberty with some of the characters in introducing them and in showing the contrast but the characters seem real and very likeable (and equally irritating at times).
The romance is wonderful and thankfully not overdone. It gives a clean, fresh feeling of what pure "love" can be.
It is likely to make considerable impact on your outlook of life.
For me this is one of the best pieces of literature out there. It definitely does not get better.