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Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Family

Bonds between family members form the core relationships in Little Dorrit. Strong bonds are not necessarily positive, as shown by the dynasty that controls the government, and weak bonds are frequ...

Morality and Ethics

What's remarkable about Little Dorrit is that there doesn't seem to be an overarching system of morality that governs the actions of the characters. Instead, almost every single individual has his...

The Home

There are very few homes in Little Dorrit. There are many living spaces (such as in the Marshalsea prison), but these are so public and temporary that they cannot rightly be called homes. This la...

Pride

The pervasive sin in Little Dorrit is excessive, usually unjustified pride. It is a psychological state shared by the majority of the characters, and it is always a hindrance. How so? Well, charac...

Poverty

In Little Dorrit, the way people react to their poverty – and especially the potential embarrassment of having others find out how deprived they actually are – ends up functioning as a test of...

Wealth

Little Dorrit definitely subscribes to the biblical warning that a love of money is the root of all evil. At the same time, there is a very hard line drawn between those who have money, and thus a...

Power

In Little Dorrit, Dickens presents England as an oligarchic political system, controlled by a small circle of elites that have managed to get themselves into permanent positions of power. Not only...

Duty

Although Dickens is very much concerned with injustice and reparations to victims, Little Dorrit is at its core a deeply conservative novel – one that does not seek to overthrow the current syste...

Respect and Reputation

In a world in which credit and reputation are essential but highly subjective, social status is always shifting and incredibly volatile. The effect this has on those who crave to be at the top of...

Freedom and Confinement

In a novel in which many characters are trapped in a literal prison, it's a neat twist that there is no one who is truly free. Those who aren't confined by the law are trapped by their own stubbor...
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