Cite This Page
 
Bleak House
Bleak House
by Charles Dickens

Bleak House Analysis

Literary Devices in Bleak House

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

If walkways could talk, this one would tell a story about a really angry Dedlock who cursed the family with...the sound of footsteps whenever something is going wrong. Um, yeah, that's not really...

Setting

The plot of Bleak House only works in the context of its historical setting (the middle of the 19th century) and its geographical location (London and its 'burbs). So, first things first – let's...

Narrator Point of View

Third Person (Omniscient)Remember how in Tulkinghorn's office, the ceiling is painted with an image of an angry, contemptuous-looking guy pointing his finger down at something? Well, the novel doe...

Genre

AutobiographyWell, at least half of Bleak House is autobiography (the Esther half, obviously). Esther tells the story of her childhood, young adulthood, and eventual maturity. Looking back over h...

Tone

The tones of the two narrators are complete opposites. The third-person narrator doesn't cut any slack to anyone, is quick to point fingers, and generally sounds like he hates the world he is forc...

Writing Style

In most of his novels, Dickens uses a few repeated tricks and touches. Because his style is so easily identifiable, he's the kind of writer that's called a "stylist" – meaning that the style of...

What's Up With the Title?

This title is really heavy, man. It's deep like the ocean, layered like a cake, and allusive like David Blaine. (Well, OK, David Blaine is actually all about illusions and not allusions, but work...

What's Up With the Ending?

A couple things usually happen at the end of a novel. First of all, if we're reading something traditional, the good people are rewarded for all the nice things they did, and the bad people get lu...

Tough-o-Meter

Shmoop won't lie to you. This book definitely needs your full and undivided attention. And maybe even some prep work. First off, you've got the logistics of the thing. It's long. Really long. A...

Plot Analysis

Lady Dedlock recognizes Nemo's handwriting; Esther becomes Jarndyce's ward.This is how the two main characters start off. One is on her way up, the other on her way down. Will they cross in the m...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Esther grows up completely sheltered and cut off from the rest of the world. To make things even more fun, her crazy psycho of an aunt raises her to believe that she's evil, wicked, and sinful. Fu...

Three-Act Plot Analysis

Esther comes to London with her past shrouded in mystery, but her future so bright she's gotta wear shades.Tulkinghorn, Bucket, Guppy, and Smallweed start investigating the connections between Esth...

Trivia

Dickens was very committed so all sorts of social causes in his life. One of these was cleaning up some of London's most horrible slums and financing housing projects for the poor. Of course, this...

Steaminess Rating

In a novel so concerned with the birth of an illegitimate child (which, after all, means some kind of sex happened somewhere), there's not too much hot and heavy action to speak of. In fact, Bleak...

Allusions

Shakespeare, Othello (2)Shakespeare, Hamlet (2)Thomas Moore, "The Young May Moon" (6)"Goosey Goosey Gander" nursery rhyme (7)Leigh Hunt, A Jar of Honey (8)Shakespeare, Macbeth (8)Old Mother H...

Need help with College?