ABSTRACT

This article initially documents the variety of critical opinions on secrets in Dickens's novels and more specifically the multitude and diversity of secrets in Little Dorrit. It then generally discusses the nature and functions of secrets and their relevance to the novel before its major task: exploring the text's (often erotic) narrative, plot, family, and intimately personal secrets, especially those of Arthur Clennam and Amy Dorrit. And it finds that Amy alone practices the necessary discretion to know both when to keep and when to reveal and share secrets. In a concluding Epilogue, the article discusses Dickens's own secrets and the impact of both his fictional and biographical secrets on his readers.

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