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Character Roles (Protagonist, Antagonist...)
Mr. John Jarndyce
Sir Leicester Dedlock
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Bleak House Characters
Meet the Cast
A young woman raised by a strict and horrible aunt, Esther narrates her own half of the novel, chronicling how she becomes Ada's governess and the housekeeper of Bleak House, befriends and helps ma...
Mr. John Jarndyce
John Jarndyce is a wealthy man who lives in Bleak House. His main goal in life is to do good for others, which leads him to do a lot of charity work, to take the orphaned Richard, Ada, and Esther...
A woman at the very height of society, Lady Dedlock is a master of self-possession and poise. However, her world is turned upside down when the secret engagement and pregnancy of her youth are unco...
A promising young man, Richard is an orphan who stands to gain a potential fortune in the Jarndyce case. This possibility prevents him from pursuing a career, and he slowly falls further and furth...
Ada – Jarndyce's ward, Richard's cousin and eventual wife – is sort of a non-character. She is all goodness, beauty, purity, and honor, which makes her kind of bland and not particularly inter...
A prominent and menacing lawyer to the rich and powerful, Tulkinghorn sniffs out Lady Dedlock's secret. His pursuit of the truth about her past, without any concern about the enemies he leaves in...
Inspector Bucket is one of the first ever police detectives. Seriously. He sets the tone for the police detectives to come. In Bleak House, Bucket is the hub of the novel's thinking about detection...
Oh poor, sad Jo. He can't even afford an "e" at the end of his name. He is so pathetic and ridiculously guilt-inducing that it's hard to discuss him as a character without straight out crying. But...
Sir Leicester Dedlock
A rich and powerful Baronet, Sir Dedlock is at the top of the London social and economic world. He is a conservative, fearing change and new ways of doing things – basically a dying breed.You th...
A half-delusional but very nice old woman who faithfully comes to the Chancery Court every day, Miss Flite is a kind of oracle in the novel. She frequently says things that other characters dismis...
A retired army trooper, Mr. George runs a shooting gallery and gym, where he trains would-be soldiers and others who want to learn how to fight and use weapons. He is upright, honorable, and up to...
A law clerk at the office of Kenge and Carboy, Guppy is Esther's first suitor. He is also the first to realize that there is some connection between Esther and Lady Dedlock, and the first to inves...
The put-upon daughter of the crazed philanthropist Mrs. Jellyby, Caddy aspires to a more normal home life. After getting engaged and learning about housekeeping from Esther, she becomes a successf...
Mrs. Jellyby is a philanthropist who is so obsessed with setting up settlements in Africa that she neglects her own home, spouse, and children. Wrapped up in her project, she is callous and heartl...
A self-described man-child, Skimpole is a parasitic mooch who lives a life completely free of responsibility. Claiming to understand nothing about money or other adult matters, he is clearly a phon...
An angry, paralyzed old man, Smallweed is a money-lender whose only emotion is greed and whose only thought is profit. To that end, he is a blackmailer and an extortionist – first on behalf of T...
Snagsby assigns the freelance legal copying work Nemo was doing before he died. He's a small, generous, compassionate, and totally confused guy who just wants to be left alone.If Jarndyce is the n...
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