Here Dickens plays on the theme of imprisonment, drawing on his own experience as a boy of visiting his father in a debtors’ prison. William Dorrit is locked up for years in that prison, attended daily by his daughter, Little Dorrit. Her unappreciated self-sacrifice comes to the attention of Arthur Clennam, recently returned from China, who helps bring about her father’s release but is himself incarcerated for a time when his business speculation fails. Little Dorrit, unable to adjust to a world of plenty, eventually finds contentment caring for Clennam and, following the loss of her father and the family fortune, they marry.
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