Study Guide

Little Dorrit Book 2, Chapter 17

By Charles Dickens

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Book 2, Chapter 17


  • After almost two weeks Dorrit is about to go back to Italy.
  • His servant announces a Mrs. Finching.
  • Dorrit has no idea who this might be, but the servant says she claims to know Amy. Worried that she's going to spill the beans about prison, Dorrit asks her up.
  • Flora introduces herself. And by "introduces herself" we of course mean that she speaks for five pages of uninterrupted, unpunctuated run-on sentences that make no sense to Dorrit and barely any sense to us. It's awesomely hilarious.
  • Finally he demands that she get to the point.
  • The point is that Blandois has gone missing, and Flora is hoping that since Dorrit is going to Italy, he could try to ask about him on the way back. It seems that Clennam and Co. (a.k.a. Mrs. Clennam and Flintwinch) are under some suspicion. Dorrit hasn't ever heard of Mrs. Clennam, but is still angry at Arthur, so the name gets his hackles up.
  • Still, he is all, what? She shows him a newspaper clipping telling much the same story.
  • Dorrit immediately recognizes Blandois as Gowan's friend and agrees to help in the search.
  • This makes Dorrit feel important all of a sudden.
  • He decides to investigate the situation and so goes off to Mrs. Clennam's house.
  • The house is being watched by the police.
  • Affery opens the door, Flintwinch asks him in, and Mrs. Clennam invites him upstairs.
  • Dorrit tries to ask some questions but is stymied by the crazy-town atmosphere of the place and the stonewalling Mrs. Clennam. No new info emerges about anything; however, he doesn't end up telling them his name because it never comes up. So no one connects him with Little Dorrit... although they do stare at him pretty hard.
  • Finally, as he is leaving, Affery again hears a strange house noise and screams. Dorrit is glad to get the heck out of there, and he has nightmares about the experience.

Little Dorrit Book 2, Chapter 17 Study Group

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