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Character Role Analysis

Dorrit and Merdle

One is the novel's poorest character, so over his head in debt that he spends almost three decades in jail. The other is the novel's richest, raking in earnings hand over fist from his many successful enterprises. In the first part of the novel, these characters hold a kind of mirror to each other: both are trapped in repressive and unpleasant circumstances of their own making. But in the second part of the novel, each is revealed to be a total poser acting out a part.