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Thread: William Dorrit

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    William Dorrit

    IMO William Dorrit, Amy Dorrit's father, is the star of this book. He is the best drawn character. He expresses himself so carefully, as if he is walking a tightrope. He has a great sense of injured dignity. It is important to him that he was always a gentleman, even when he had to beg, even when he suspected other people found him ridiculous. I think Mr Dorrit is one of Dickens' greatest characters, up there with Miss Haversham and Mr Micawber.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    I like him too. It seems he is modelled on Dickens own father.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danik 2016 View Post
    I like him too. It seems he is modelled on Dickens own father.
    I thought Dickens based Mr Micawber on his father.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Sure. But if I rightly remember, is Mr Micawber the comic version, while Mr Dorrit is a more somber and more realistic version of the same personage.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    I suppose they are both very articulate. Mr Dorrit is usually quite careful how he expresses himself. He always hunts for the best word or phrase in keeping with his sense of dignity. They both share a sort of cognitive dissonance about keeping a station in life, but needing to beg.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danik 2016 View Post
    Sure. But if I rightly remember, is Mr Micawber the comic version, while Mr Dorrit is a more somber and more realistic version of the same personage.
    I just read that Dickens' father, John Dickens, was sent to the Marshalsea debtors' prison in 1824. They had been living beyond their means (like Mr Micawber). So, yes I suppose William Dorrit could be a more sombre version of Dickens' father.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Unfortunately its a long time ago I read Little Dorrit. I used to know Dickens almost by heart. There are other figures that keep recuring in his books. For example I imagine that Dora, if she had not died might have become Flora.
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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    I suppose that's true. I did like Dora. I think both G.K. Chesteron and George Orwell, in their essays on Dickens, preferred Dora Spenlow to Agnes Wickfield.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    William Dorrit is profoundly selfish particularly toward his brother and youngest daughter, and yet tragic in his selfishness.

    There are two dreadful parents in the book. Amy has her father. Arthur Clennam has his mother, and for me Mrs Clennam is the most powerful character is the book. She is a precursor of Miss Havisham and like her gains manipulative power over others by punishing herself. She is also deeply tragic.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Mrs Clennam struck me as a prototype for Miss Haversham when I saw the BBC TV serial.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    I like her too. And I think Miss Haversham is one of the most interesting Dickens figures, because of her symbolic meaning.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

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    Fanny Price becomes much more entertaining in the second half of the book. I enjoy the way she is half affectionate and half insulting to her too-good-to-be-true little sister. She knows she's brassy. I thought it was funny in the chapter I just read that she exhorted Amy to object if Mr Dorrit introduced the subject of his marrying Mrs General, but then went on to say that she knew Amy would not object with any conviction and that it would have no effect. I think there is something quite clever about it. She knows the minds of others and is self-aware.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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    Registered User Jackson Richardson's Avatar
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    I think that is a typo for Fanny Dorrit. As I remember she is not a sympathetic character at all until, after having captured the brainless Edmund Sparkler to score off his ghastly mother (bird be quite), all goes pear shaped in ways I don't remember.

    But I can't remember her being in any way affectionate to Amy. She is another example of the "prison taint" but in a different way to her father and brother. The taint means a lack of human sympathy as a result of trying too assert oneself in a humiliating position. Although most of us will suspect Amy of being to good to be true, she never does. She accepts where she is and so transcends it.

    I must re-read the book this year.

    The thing that irritates me is how Amy is repeatedly denied her name by the narrator and Arthur, calling her "Little". I am equally irritated how Emily Peggoty in David Copperfield is always called Little Em'ly. Why can't she have the middle vowel of her name?
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

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    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson Richardson View Post
    I think that is a typo for Fanny Dorrit. As I remember she is not a sympathetic character at all until, after having captured the brainless Edmund Sparkler to score off his ghastly mother (bird be quite), all goes pear shaped in ways I don't remember.

    But I can't remember her being in any way affectionate to Amy. She is another example of the "prison taint" but in a different way to her father and brother. The taint means a lack of human sympathy as a result of trying too assert oneself in a humiliating position. Although most of us will suspect Amy of being to good to be true, she never does. She accepts where she is and so transcends it.

    I must re-read the book this year.

    The thing that irritates me is how Amy is repeatedly denied her name by the narrator and Arthur, calling her "Little". I am equally irritated how Emily Peggoty in David Copperfield is always called Little Em'ly. Why can't she have the middle vowel of her name?
    There was Little Nell as well, although I have not read that book. My favourite BookTuber (YouTuber who talks about books) is a huge Charles Dickens fan. Her favourite Dickens book is Our Mutual Friend, and her second favourite is Dombey and Son. These are unusual choices, but I am sure it is because the young, female characters are more forceful. In Our Mutual Friend there is a big, strong girl who does something hysically heroic, and a small, crippled girl who is nevertheless very resourceful. I have not read Dombet and Son, but I hear it is more about the daughter.

    Fanny Dorrit is not nice, but she is entertaining,
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

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    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    With Little Dorrit l there might be an intention of tenderness towards the heroine, with Little Nell almost certainly. In "Little Em'ly" there is added another element, I think: the omission of the vowel points to the way Emilys name is pronounced in the fisher´s community she belongs to. It is a social mark.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

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