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Summary Chapter 55

Mr. Dorrit arrives home to see his daughter Amy sitting with his brother. He feels jealous.

Amy remarks that her uncle has been happier. He claims he has enjoyed her company. Fanny was always impatient with him. He doesn’t like Mrs. General. He isn’t fit for the Dorrits’ new life. He sees his brother and greets him.

Mr. Dorrit is petulant that nobody was there to greet him when he arrived. Frederick points out that it was very late, and they weren’t expecting him. Mr. Dorrit gets annoyed at Amy for staring at him. She says she thought he looked tired. He claims he is quite refreshed—and then falls asleep. He wakes with a start and orders his brother to go to bed. His brother obeys.

Mr. Dorrit remarks that Frederick is more feeble, but Amy claims she hadn’t noticed any great change in her uncle. She helps her father with his meal like in the days of old. She tells him that Mrs. Merdle has invited them to a farewell party, for she is returning home. Mr. Dorrit gets angry when she offers to escort him upstairs.

Mr. Dorrit dresses nicer than usual and is attentive to Mrs. General. He dozes from time to time. He keeps harping on how much worse Frederick decline is.

Mrs. General inquires after Fanny. He claims she is well, but he is displeased with how jealous she is. Mrs. General excuses herself, saying it is not a good time to have this conversation. She touches up her powder, and later they take a walk together.

Mrs. Merdle, during the party, summons Amy to her father—worried that he is unwell. Mr. Dorrit’s mind has went back into the past. He is asking for one of the turnkeys. He then welcomes the guests to the Marshalsea.

Amy finally manages to get him into a carriage. He continues to be disoriented. He doesn’t recognize Mrs. General. Amy tends to him. He orders her to send items to a pawnbroker, which she pretends to do.

For two weeks, she nurses him. Mr. Dorrit dies, much to the grief of Frederick and Little Dorrit. Frederick soon follows his brother.

Charles Dickens