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2017 > Bleak House : Week Six

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message 1: by Marie (last edited Jan 27, 2017 07:12PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Marie Williams | 561 comments Mod
At Jarndyce's request, Esther visits Richard with a letter from Ada. She finds him removed from his commission, paranoid and more obsessed with the Jarndyce lawsuit than ever. She sees Mr Woodcourt on the way back to her hotel and at first avoids him. Later she sends for him, and though she believes he now feels only sympathy for her, she asks for his help with Richard. Esther spends more time with Woodcourt, who has been hired as Caddy's doctor, but confesses to Ada (who has been acting strangely) she is engaged to Mr Jarndyce. She and Ada visit Richard, and Ada admits they have been secretly married. Esther returns to Bleak House and promises she will stay.

Lady Dedlock prepares to leave after making plans to help Rosa. Tulkinghorn tries but fails to manipulate her. That night a shot is heard and Tulkinghorn lies dead, and George is arrested for his murder.

Woodcourt arrives to Bleak House to inform them of George's arrest, and they all visit him in jail. He remembers a veiled woman with a figure like Esther's passing him that night. Bucket is investigating the murder, and finds Lady Dedlock was out walking alone that evening.

QNPoohBear | 447 comments I think Esther is making a mistake agreeing to marry John Jarndyce out of gratitude. This becomes increasingly clear as Woodcourt reenters the story. I think Jarndyce will sacrifice his own happiness for hers but she doesn't think she deserves happiness and will want to repay her "guardian" for all he's done for her.

Dickens finally comes to the point of Mrs. Jellaby and the do-gooders. They're too busy paying attention to Africa and trying to out do each other to really see what is going on in front of their eyes. They have done nothing to help poor kids like Jo. Only Esther and Mr. Woodcourt have the compassion to truly make a difference. I like Mr. Woodcourt the most of all the characters.

I wasn't surprised Ada had secrets from Esther. I figured she'd so something dumb like run off with Richard as soon as she came of age. She's just as irritating as Esther. Richard is shaping up to be a paranoid, less jovial version of Skimpole the moocher. Bad idea.

Speaking of Skimpole, I'm not buying the childlike excuse. he wasn't too childish to marry and produce children. He's just a lazy moocher. I feel sorry for his wife.

I think Hortense killed Tulkinghorn. She had a twofold motive: revenge for dismissing her and to get back at my lady. There was that whole lady in the veil mystery. This time we don't have little Jo to solve the mystery.

I adore Mrs. Bagnet. She's a rare example of a loving wife who is intelligent and proactive. Her husband lets her speak for him without being henpecked like Jellaby. They seem to be equal partners in contrast to the Dedlocks.

Marie Williams | 561 comments Mod
Mr Woodcourt was my favorite of the characters also, and I never bought the Skimplole excuse either. Ada is a twit, she almost makes Esther look bearable.

QNPoohBear | 447 comments We never hear Ada's voice except through Esther. All the my darling, my pet, my love is so nauseating. Skimming ahead to the end I see Ada personified the little woman stereotype Dickens loved so much. I really do not see what Louisa May Alcott loved about him. She was so not a little woman. I know she loved his humor but I wonder whether she read all of his novels? I'll have to dig through her journals and her sisters' journals to understand that attraction.

Marie Williams | 561 comments Mod
QNPoohBear wrote: "We never hear Ada's voice except through Esther. All the my darling, my pet, my love is so nauseating. Skimming ahead to the end I see Ada personified the little woman stereotype Dickens loved so m..."

It's always surprising to me when certain authors like others you wouldn't think they did. The Secret History is one of my favorite books, and I love Donna Tarrt, but she was doing an interview once where she talked about Dickens being one of her favorite authors and I was just in shock. She also said she loves Thomas Hardy's poetry but his novels are too dreary for her. I love Hardy, and I just don't even understand her choices...

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