The miniseries preview first somewhat inspired me to know this story. I was not ready for Dickens at this point, and when I picked up the book and perused it, Mr. Clennam’s age and that awful Pet disgusted me. I still loathe Pet and her family. How dare she exist for Clennam to love. How dare he love a young woman who is not Little Dorrit. I hate that it hurts him for so long, and it is not him that separates them but her. If he had ceased to love her, that would make all the difference in the world. I wish she had turned out shallow, so that he never could have truly loved her.
I do not mind his first love; he was younger then and does not love her at the time of the story. She and her “mermaid” manner and her extremely convoluted speech and Clennam’s reaction to her, both his diffident gentlemanliness and his embarrassment are quite interesting, if not often hilarious, moments in the story.
I loathed Mr. Dorrit; his conceit is tangible. And of the most irritating kind, sensitive. The rapier sort. I pitied poor, sweet Mr. Frederick Dorrit, and later I pitied the ill-fated Edward Dorrit. Fanny and Edmund Sparkler. They provided another rare glimpse of humor in this novel. The way Fanny “shuts him up like a box”!
I feel like the story had some loose ends with Arthur’s story, with not fully explaining (at least to my understanding) Mr. Merdle’s story, and with the mystery surrounding Miss bitter.
But oh, the end when Arthur is in the Marshalsea. When he finds out Little Dorrit loves him. When he loves her. Oh.