Study Guide

Little Dorrit Book 2, Chapter 16

By Charles Dickens

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Book 2, Chapter 16

Getting on

  • The happy couple is back in England and is welcomed very warmly by Merdle. Or rather, the already not-all-that happy couple is greeted in a limp and strange way by Merdle. But either way, Fanny sees that she is in the lap of ultimate luxury.
  • Dorrit stays nearby in a hotel, and the next morning Merdle comes to see him.
  • Dorrit is all pompous over-talking. Merdle is all meek and weird under-talking.
  • Still, somehow they manage to exchange some compliments about joining families.
  • Then Dorrit sneaks in his thoughts about where and how to invest his money.
  • Merdle offers his own advice and even offers to use his power to get Dorrit into some choice and very selective investments. It'll be hard to arrange, but for Dorrit Merdle will try it. Oh, and also, these investments have to be done via gentleman's agreement, with none of your pesky low-class contracts. (Hey, Shmoopsters – remember this whole "oh, my special investments are only for special people" thing, and never, ever invest money in any such offer.)
  • Oh joy! Dorrit is thrilled.
  • Merdle offers him a ride into the City (the business district of London) to go to his bank and move the money right away.
  • Riding in the carriage with Merdle is totally amazing. Every single person in the street bows and takes off their hat. Everyone tries to figure out who Dorrit is. Dorrit, naturally, is beyond psyched.
  • That night he has dinner with Merdle and starts to get to know the whole gang – Bar, Bishop, etc. Fanny shines and is clearly in her element.
  • Only one thing bothers Dorrit – the Chief Butler (who also makes Merdle feel weird and watched) makes him uneasy, like he knows about the prison.

Little Dorrit Book 2, Chapter 16 Study Group

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