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Summary Chapter 5

Mrs. Clennam is wheeled to her desk by Mr. Flintwinch. Her son enters. He inquires if she feels better, but she tells him she never will.

He wishes to discuss business. She tells him she has waited for him since his father’s death. He tells her there was much to resolve after the death, and then he had taken a break. She tells him the accounts are settled and await his inspection.

Mr. Clennam tells her the business is declining. They are out-dated. However, he intends to abandon it—his one act of rebellion out of years conforming to her ways.

He asks her if his father had anything to regret. She ruled the roost, and his father had complied. He knows she would know if there was something. She insists she doesn’t know what he means. He asks if his father wronged someone and never made amends. He got the idea when his father was on his deathbed.

Arthur begs his mother to tell him the truth, for he wants to make restitution in his father’s name. She rings the bell for Flintwinch. She tells the servant bitterly what has transpired. She then threatens to renounce Arthur if he ever mentions it again.

Jeremiah tells Arthur that he has no reason to mistrust his father. He asks Mrs. Clennam if she is aware that Arthur has given up the business. She tells him she is aware of this fact. He asks who her son has given it to, and Arthur replies to his mother. Mrs. Clennam tells Jeremiah that she will mke him a partner, which pleases him immensely.

Arthur Clennam looks at a female servfant who seems younger than she is by her appearance and manner. The servant is named Little Dorrit. Mrs. Clennam had taken an interest in her. The girl was punctual. She gets meals with her wages, but she prefers to dine alone. Mrs. Affery doesn’t like her, but she accepts her presence because her husband and employer want her.

Finding the house dreary, Arthur decides to lodge elsewhere. Mr. Flintwinch is glad.

Arthur decides to find out more about Little Dorrit, thinking she might play a part in his suspicions.

Charles Dickens