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by Charles Dickens
Sissy Jupe Timeline and Summary
Sissy grows up the daughter of a clown in Sleary's circus. When the circus troupe performs in Coketown, Sissy enrolls in Gradgrind's school. Her father abandons her, and she is taken in by Gradgrind to be a kind of servant in his house. A few years later, Sissy is the only one who will acknowledge the truth about Louisa's really gross engagement to really gross Bounderby. So, she and Louisa stop being friends. Sissy cares for Mrs. Gradgrind and for Jane, Louisa's sister, until Mrs. Gradgrind's death. When Louisa collapses after confronting her father, Sissy takes care of her until she recovers. The two then restore their friendship. Sissy also befriends Rachael, Stephen's would-be love. Ever the realist who sees through everyone's facades, Sissy is the first to realize that Tom is the bank robber. To calm Rachael after Stephen does not return to answer the charges against him, Sissy takes her for a walk in the country. The two then find Stephen trapped at the bottom of Old Hell Shaft. While Stephen is being rescued, Sissy arranges for Tom to leave town and be hidden from justice in Sleary's circus. Sissy ends her life surrounded by loving children (and thus in theory married, though we don't know to whom).