Wednesday, November 30, 2022

"Like Robinson Crusoe's money" in Charles Dickens's "Little Dorrit" (1857)

During my reading of Charles Dickens's novels in chronological order (which I started sometime in mid-2020), I have frequently noted his references to Robinson Crusoe. In "Little Dorrit" (1857), Arthur Clennam spends two decades in China with his father after the end of his engagement with Flora Casby, and the "wealth" of his memory of her is evoked with Crusoe: “That wealth had been, in his desert home, like Robinson Crusoe's money; exchangeable with no one, lying idle in the dark to rust, until he poured it out for her.” Unlike Crusoe's money for Clennam, Crusoe is a source of figurative exchange for Dickens, to be poured out again and again. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 30 November 2022)

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