Compare and discuss how different characters react to being imprisoned in "Little Dorrit "by Charles Dickens.

Essay by PaulosA+, January 2004

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The first person who I am going to discuss will be William Dorrit. He has been held within the walls of the Marshalsea prison for over 20 years and has gained the reputation as being 'the father of the Marshalsea' of which he is proud. This is because he seems to be clinging on to any sort of reputation which may fulfil his continuous charade of elevated class and rank. He tries his hardest to be of importance and stature within the Marshalsea and to a large extent he succeeds. If he wasn't admired by fellow inmates then he wouldn't receive the frequent gifts such as cigars or a glassful of wine now and again.

He does however shame himself whenever a potential handout from outside the prison walls seems evident. Visitors, for example Arthur Clennam are often targeted as a chance to obtain a little more than what he might usually gain from his acquaintances but the worst treatment is dealt to his daughter Amy.

Amy has the responsibility to care for her father by any means necessary; it may or may not be important to her father where the food came from. There is a chance that he is in denial and doesn't want to know what sacrifices have been made in order to dine that evening, as even if he were to know, little alterations could be made to his situation.

The next imprisoned character I will talk about is Amy or 'little' Dorrit. She is as much imprisoned as her farther due to no fault of her own but her admirable conscience. She considers it her duty to be there for her father as a provider and a shoulder to cry on whenever he sees fit. Amy doesn't seem to mind dedicating her life to her...