Blathering on about Bleak House, Part 7

Bleak House by Charles Dickens

Chapters 39-46

Some thoughts…

I’ve always found Mr. Guppy a bit sleazy in his manner toward Esther, and his reaction to her disfigurement certainly confirmed this.

Mr. Tulkinghorn is still up to no good. Mr. Smallweed remains as weedy as ever. And Lady Dedlock’s former maid expresses her r-r-r-rage with French eloquence.

And then the story gets really good….

A confrontation between Mr. Tulkinghorn and Lady Dedlock brings matters to a head, revealing all manner of details about Lady Dedlock’s past [mis]deeds and placing her at Mr. Tulkinghorn’s mercy.

Oh boy, Mr. Skimpole’s family is just as clueless as him. Poor Mrs. Skimpole.

I like Esther. I like Mr. Jarndyce. I don’t like that Esther is so self-deprecating that she settles for the idea of becoming mistress of Bleak House as a means of thanking Mr. Jarndyce for his care, though I can understand how this would have been a fine option for a woman of no means at the time. I often think of Esther as being a little like Jane Eyre or Marian from The Woman in White. She has nothing to call her own and owes her keeping to another. Jane is fortunate enough to have an uncommon sense of adventure and independance; Marian is somewhat more constrained in her options. Esther, in turn, is a nobody–a poor woman with no relations to claim her as their own and no prospects or particular talents. She is too genteel to be a proper housekeeper like Mrs. Rouncewell, and frequently notes how little she can teach Caddy and Charley. Esther is terribly limited by her circumstances, and Dickens is no Bronte (take your pick of any of the sisters). Will Mr. Woodcourt come around despite Esther’s change? I hope so…

The Bleak House Read-Along is hosted by Amanda at The Zen Leaf.

Note: Apologies to fellow readers/bloggers for lack of commenting. It’s mid-term project time and have been keeping busy with assignments and such 😦 . Will get back to posting soon…

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