Friday, June 24, 2016

Little Dorrit

Did I love Little Dorrit? Yes, I think I did. Little Dorrit, by Charles Dickens, is very long. It's full of many colourful, interesting, complex characters. Once or twice, I had to use the internet to look up who someone was, since if they hadn't been mentioned for a while, I might have forgotten. Because Little Dorrit was LONG. Like really long. I thought Middlemarch was long (and it was), but Dickens was very generous with words. My one reprieve was that I could take a break. Little Dorrit is split into too "books", Poverty and Riches. So, when Poverty was done, I took a break. I read three other books, I think, in that time. I still wanted to know, longed to know, what would happen to Little Dorrit and Mr. Clennham, but I needed that break.

To stick it out for over 800 pages of Victoria Literature, the characters need to be compelling, and they were. I adored Amy Dorrit. She worked so hard to make her father happy, to give her siblings something, some meaning to their lives. They knew, but chose to pretend not to know, so much about Little Dorrit, the name she preferred for herself. Little Dorrit is just an amazing person, caring for her family and friends, loving, kind. I just rooted for her the whole time. I wanted her to be happy.

I wanted Arthur Clennham to be happy too. He seemed to long to be loved by his mother, but gave that up. He wanted to right some wrong he believed his father had done. He wanted Daniel Doyce to be a success. He wanted Little Dorrit and her family to be free. He spend time, money and emotion to better the life of the people he cared about. He thought he could be happy with Pet, but I'm kind of glad for him that it didn't work out (though not glad for her). When something terrible happened, though not his fault, he took all the consequences on himself. I was so worried about him, worrying that I might end up with sad ending, like Villette.

Because it was the characters that made the book for me, the last few chapters were the best. Dickens took the time to go back over the characters he introduced. We found out what happened to the Meagles, Merdles, Gowans and Casbys. We learn about Doyce and Pancks, and other residents of Bleeding Heart Yard. Dickens takes us on a journey of goodbyes, where he readers don't have to wonder what happened to all these people.

Though Little Dorrit was a lengthy tome, it was worth every minute. Dickens brought these places and people to life. Life at the Marshalsea, inspired by his father, was depressing, but could also have hope. Though the story didn't always take place there, the debtor's prison was the centre of this tale. How easily a man could end up there, how easily his whole family. How does a person ever get out without a stroke of luck? It was interesting how it was its own community, inside of London, how status was still maintained there. The Marshalsea seemed to have its own personality and change a person, as soon as they entered its walls. It really leaves you thinking about how far a person can fall and how far a person can climb back up.

No comments:

Post a Comment