Study Guide

Our Mutual Friend Book 4, Part 19, Chapter 13

By Charles Dickens

Book 4, Part 19, Chapter 13

Showing How the Golden Dustman Helped to Scatter Dust

  • Apparently, Mr. and Mrs. Boffin have known that Mr. Rokesmith was actually John Harmon for some time. Mrs. Boffin figured it out one night when the light of a fireplace caught John's face in a way that made him look like the little boy Mrs. Boffin used to take care of.
  • They sit Bella down and break the news. She had no clue.
  • From the moment the Boffins knew, Mr. Boffin decided to act like a jerk and to pretend that his money was making him evil. But why go to all this trouble, you ask?
  • Because John Harmon wanted to make sure that Bella Wilfer had a good heart, deep down. She ended up passing his test when she chose him over the Boffins' money.
  • Now you might be saying, "Hey, this is a pretty lousy thing to do to Bella." And you'd be right. But readers in Dickens' time probably didn't see anything wrong with it.