Arthur reflects on how Little Dorrit inspired him to be a better person. It was due to her he tried to make amends to his partner, though he doesn’t expect to get a gracious word back.
Mr. Chivery asks if there is anything he needs. Arthur says no. The turnkey says Young John will bring up his things. He tells Arthur not to mind his son. He’s difficult but has a good heart.
Young John refuses to shake Arthur’s hand, even though he does kind things for him. Arthur asks if he has offended the man. The turnkey says he would probably beat him up if Arthur was his equal and not in a bad way. However, he is allowing Arthur to have furniture for free that he normally rents out.
Arthur asks what the problem is. Young John tells him how the table used to belong to Mr. Dorrit, who died a gentleman. He tells Arthur how he had visited Mr. Dorrit after his fortunes had changed, who hadn’t appreciated it. Mr. Dorrit had told him he didn’t have any business in inquiring after Amy. He was nicer afterwards, though.
John asks when Arthur plans to eat and drink something. Arthur has no appetite. The turnkey tells him he needs to eat and invites him to tea in his quarters, which is where the Dorrit family lived.
Arthur tries to eat but finds it difficult. John tells him he should eat for someone else’s sake. Arthur doesn’t know who he is referring to, which offends John—who thinks he is being evasive.
John reveals the difficulty he has, for he is jealous of Arthur Clennam. Arthur knew he had loved Amy Dorrit. The turnkey replies she hadn’t felt the same way. He was too below her as far as her family was concerned. He only wishes that Arthur speaks to him freely. Arthur claims he is speaking freely—he doesn’t understand him. John finally realizes that Arthur never knew that Amy loved him. Arthur is stunned but doesn’t believe it.
When he returns to his apartment, Arthur realizes he had loved Amy Dorrit. He thought he was too old for her and didn’t want to take advantage.
Mr. and Mrs. Plornish bring him groceries. Mrs. Plornish tells him how Mr. Nandy feels for him. Mr. Baptist is still pursuing Blandois. Mrs. Plornish is glad that Amy Dorrit is too far away to know about Arthur’s misfortune, for it would break her heart. Arthur is glad he never knew of or returned Amy Dorrit’s love. He would have ruined her too.
Young John decides to conquer his bitterness and befriend Arthur Clennam for Amy Dorrit’s sake.