Don't Know Dickens

Charles Dickens, that is.

Bleak House in Bullets

Before I start bulleting points, I have to say that I like Bleak House. Okay, it was a little slow in the beginning, but I like Esther and her plot. I find the court subplots long and boring; they would probably be more interesting if I understood more of the court system.

One other quick point: I don’t like Richard. I keep waiting for someone to stop indulging his whims, and tell him to pick a career. It is hard for me to like him with the way he spends money (and plans to spend his inheritance, if the case is settled).

Now the bullets:

  • Mysterious pasts
  • Money–real and pretend (like the inheritance from the case when it is settled or the money that is give through charity or even Mr. Skimpole)
  • Is there commentary about what a good woman should be, or I am being sensitive? Esther says of Mrs. Jellyby, “It is right to begin with the obligations of home.” Ouch.
  • Ghosts again?
  • And dead bodies.
  • Romance between Richard and Ada
  • Poverty that is hard to for the rich to comprehend. Mrs. Pardiggle sees the brickmaker’s living conditions, but she doesn’t see their suffering.
  • Generosity–real and for appearance’s sake

Overall, I like this book, and I like most of the characters–mostly because I like Esther and her way of seeing the world.


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6 thoughts on “Bleak House in Bullets

  1. Very nice job! I like these observations. I really like what you said about Richard.

  2. It’s a weird thing: I want to tell him to “man up” and get a job, but I hate all the comments from Miss Jellyby and Esther about what a woman should be and do.

  3. Do you think it’s really romance between Richard and Ada or simply the shared link to the suit, their proximity to one antoher, and the similarity of their situations? I don’t really see romance… I see being in the same place at the same time with encouragements. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t see Richard as a steady Eddy kind of guy.

  4. I wouldn’t call him steady either–he’s too fanciful. One of those in love with being in love–a Romeo of sorts. I think they will make a go of it–but she could do better in terms of a match. The way she makes excuses for him (like when he makes another career change) looks like it is becoming a habit.

    I hope Esther’s love interest is more…interesting, or something.

  5. I am also enjoying this one (much more than the others). Something in the atmosphere is grabbing me as a reader. I feel like Dickens is really putting all he has into this one

  6. Never much thought about it before but a suit is also something people put on to cover themselves, make a statement, hide something, even?! Always some mysterious past that comes back to haunt everyone (like ghosts!)–what’s a good soap opera without a few skeletons in the closet?

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