Short Summary of “Little Dorrit” by Charles Dickens

Published between1855-57, “Little Dorrit” is a serial novel by Charles Dickens. The book witnesses the shortcomings of the society and the government of the period and is a work of satire.

Rigaud is in Marseilles jail serving sentence because of committing a murder. The novel also mentions another character Arthur Clennam who stayed with his father in China for 20 years and now is going to visit his mother in London. His father gave him a watch when he died saying that Arthur should give it to his mother when he meets her.

Inside the watch there are words where the word “do not forget” is inscribed which means that Arthur and his mother should not forget that his father loved both of them dearly. William Dorrit is imprisoned in the jails of London and his three children- Fanny, Edward and Amy (Little Dorrit) grow up in the jail. They are free to go outside the jail when they please and come back again. Amy is dedicated in the services to her father. She even supports the family financially through her sewing.

Little Dorrit


When Arthur comes to London, he visits his mother and is acquainted again with his former fiancé and lover Flora Finching. Arthur’s mom is paralyzed and has to use a wheelchair, still she manages her family business with the help of her servant. She also provides employment to Little Dorrit and Arthur now thinks that Little Dorrit must be connected to the mysterious watch in one way or the other. Little Dorrit falls in love with Arthur but Arthur does not accept her love. Later Little Dorrit obtains a huge fortune and her father Mr. Dorrit is now free from the prison. They now being rich decide to tour the whole of Europe and also visits the Alps and Rome.

However fate works in mysterious ways. Both Mr. Dorrit and his brother die in Rome and Little Dorrit now returns to London and now stays with her sister Fanny and her husband. Mrs. Clennam is sorry for her behavior with Little Dorrit and asks forgiveness. Being a kind hearted girl Little Dorrit giver her forgiveness. Mrs. Clennam is glad to know that Little Dorrit has secured such a large fortune.

Arthur is also now a rich man and he also now feels love for Little Dorrit because of her kind nature. He becomes a gentleman and proposes marriage to Little Dorrit. Little Dorrit is happy because she also loved Arthur from the core of her heart but he was the one who initially refused to marry her.


Arthur even asks for Amy’s forgiveness. Mrs. Clennam is delighted to know that his son is marrying such a wonderful girl. Arthur and Little Dorrit get married towards the end of the novel and stay happily ever after.

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