Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Classics Club/ Birthday "Club": Little Dorrit

That is not Amy on the cover!
I think it's Fanny, Doyce or Clenham
and Mr. Casby? What do you think?
Wow! I was supposed to finish this book in February, but due to an exciting event and school and music and life I didn't finish it until the second day of March. (And obviously finished the review 3 weeks later.. But it's my junior year, and I had Fine Arts, and Chemistry, and church stuff, and LIFE!) But that's pretty good for almost taking a whole week off! I have seen the miniseries, and it was amazing! Almost better than the book!

As I was tired and lacking motivation when I started this review, here is a two part review of the things I enjoyed and the things I didn't.

Dickens put several lessons into this book, some subtly, some not as subtly, but still not what I would call preachy. The most important lesson I came away with was from Miss Wade. She always thought that people were doing things to make fun of her rather than to be kind. She actually was a fool. Sometimes I catch myself doing this, and it scares me. I don't want to turn out to be a bitter person like Miss Wade. While I don't agree with the Meagles' treatment of Tattycoram/Harriet, I do think their motives were pure. I appreciated Miss Wade's backstory, something I don't remember from the miniseries. Doyce also taught practical lessons: always try hard, don't get bitter, surround yourself with people who can fill up your weak places.

Because Doyce needs his own picture because he's that cool!
Now, lest I scare you into thinking that I find a moral in everything, here are my views on characters, of which there were many. So many in fact that I went to publish this and remembered all the ones I forgot.... So here's a list of my favorites with a short sentence why :D

Amy: Although she got on my nerves for being too perfect sometimes, she was a breath of humble and simple fresh air in a complicated novel. She was also the only main character I loved

Cavalleto: He's awesome! From the first chapter, where we learn he can draw maps and sleep anywhere (something I wish would come into play more later), he captivates me!

Plonishes: They were so nice! I liked how they were represented in the miniseries possibly more...

Mr. F's aunt: Hilariousness!!! I wish Dickens would have put her in more! Except that would mean more Flora... (More on how I wanted less of her later)

Sparkler: He was pure of heart and funny. He didn't put on airs and obeyed without question. I feel bad for him with a wife like Fanny and a mother like Mrs. Merdle...

Uncle Fred: He was so nice, but broken down by life. Actually, paired with his brother it was kinda ridiculous.

From Sink Me!
John Chivery: Amazing! I think I may have liked him better than Clenham! John and Amy belong together. Period. He may sound soppy and stuff, but he's a great deal more discerning than Arthur... He's gentle, has a way with words, and loves Amy enough to be benevolent to others for her sake.

Pancks: The tugboat!! He was amazing! A true friend and always busy (A good or bad thing depending on the situation..) I loved Dicken's using him as a tugboat!

Maggy: I loved Maggy! She was so genuine and real.

Now to the other parts of the book that weren't characters. The Circumlocution Office segments were great! "How not to do it" and "how to do it" were beautifully represented. The Barnacles got on my nerves, but I suppose it's an accurate picture. Dickens' prose, although at times wordy, is beautiful! Sometimes the book would get boring, but then I would get to a great passage/metaphor. The day I finished Little Dorrit, I started Little Women. Nothing against Alcott, but wow, going from Dickens verbosity to Alcott's short sentences was a shock! The plot was impeccably pulled off, although the end took a while to come together, or maybe I missed stuff? Anyway, I highly recommend watching the miniseries close to reading this because it kinda helps you visualize the plot, and the miniseries is verrrry close to the book! (Score for the BBC)

Things I Didn't Like
Although I loved most of the characters, some of them reallly got on my nerves.

This is the second-most-awkward scene in the miniseries.
The first is the stair scene with Flora, but I couldn't find a screencap for it :(
Flora was okay at first but by the second full page speech, I was done. I think she was represented in the miniseries better because the viewer could laugh at her without having to read her endless "days gone by" phrases.

Mr. Dorrit just made me mad. Both in the miniseries and in the book. He took advantage of his daughter, was ridiculously proud, completely unaware, and overall a stuck up brat. (Yes, I just called a 60 year old man a brat)

Which hat is worse?
And I seriously thought he was a clergyman because of his collar...
I like Clenham in the book better than in the miniseries, but his age still throws me. I wish he would have stayed a father figure to Amy, maybe even giving her away to John... Also, after watching the miniseries I wondered why she let Clenham call her Little Dorrit, but after reading the book I saw she loved it. But it sounds so babyish...

The Merdle scenes, especially the dinner parties, and the dialogue of the circumlocution office were pretty dry and boring and didn't really have bearing on the story.

Finally, another controversial point... I didn't get Rigaud. Sure, he murdered somebody, but nobody in England knew that until later! Was he just really creepy looking or something? I think he may have been explained better in the miniseries. Please tell me if I missed something! He was creepy though...

Over all, I enjoyed this book. It was just a leetle too long. I know Dickens can write a great book that's shorter (A Tale of Two Cities). I'm glad I read this, and highly recommend this if you like Dickens. However, if you've never read Dickens before, please start with A Tale of Two Cities. Also, this post was kinda long because it's kind of a long book!!


  1. I ♥ A Tale of Two Cities. :) But A Christmas Carol is my favorite. I've never read this one.

  2. Corinne: A Tale of Two Cities is AMAZING! Thanks for stopping by!


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