Bleak House Fridays – Week 2


This week, for the Bleak House read-along hosted by Wallace at Unputdownables, I read until Chapter X.  I think the biggest accomplishment for me with this week’s reading is that I kept up with it.  I think I’m starting to get over thinking that I might not be able to finish Bleak House.  I feel that’s a big first step for me, given the love-hate relationship I keep mentioning I have with Dickens.  That’s definitely a good thing, especially since I have a lot of Dickens on my list for the Classics Club.  If you’re interested in the list, take a look at this post.

There were several things in this week’s reading that I found most curious.  The first deals with Mr. Skimpole.  I didn’t get a very good vibe from him from the get go.  While he definitely seems nice enough, he’s a leech.  He takes advantage of the generosity of others and doesn’t seem to have much of anything to contribute.  At least, in these first few chapters.  I felt he took advantage of both Richard and Esther in order to keep him from going to debtor’s prison.  I definitely loved the fact that Mr. Jarndyce had some choice words for both Esther and Richard about their willingness to pay Mr. Skimpole’s debts.

The second thing I found most curious is the hope that is exuded by Bleak House and Mr. Jarndyce.  This atmosphere of hope has to be a complete change for Esther who grew up in such dire circumstances having very little hope about her future.  I would like to think that now being at Bleak House, she should have a renewed sense of hope and how bright her future could very well be during her stay at Bleak House.

How about Ghost Walk?  Such a downer of a chapter immediately after the sense of hope in the sixth chapter.  You could feel the dire outlook for the Dedlocks.  I could feel death in the room as I was reading this chapter.  I certainly hope there aren’t too many chapters like that one in Bleak House.

One of the more important things I learned in this week’s reading is that the Jarndyce vs Jarndyce case is about settling a dispute over a will.  But what was even more telling, is once the case is resolved, there won’t be any money since court costs have engulfed the all the money.  You would think that once there wasn’t going to be any monies paid out, the case would’ve been settled and/or dropped, but not in this case.  It will be interesting to see why that’s the case.

But another thing that really annoyed me was the scene with the Pardiggles.  Mrs. Pardiggle comes for a visit, and begins to talk about how she has gotten her children to give away what they have to causes she finds worthy.  I got the impression that she was there asking for more money, and that they needed the money to address their basic needs.  This particular scene was reminiscent of the scene with Mr. Skimpole.  But in my mind, there was one difference, the Pardiggle’s had the ability to take care of themselves first, but instead helped others first.  In my mind, you should address your needs, if you have the means, and then help those in need with what’s left.  What has happened here is they’ve become dependent on someone else for their needs.  Not good as far as I’m concerned.

Overall, I felt this week’s reading was very good, and I’m starting to get into the story.  I’m definitely interested in how things end up!

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About Jeremy

Husband, book lover, Civil War Buff. If I could read for a living I would, but unfortunately, it doesn't pay the bills!

2 Responses to “Bleak House Fridays – Week 2”

  1. I’m really loving this novel so far. 🙂

    • I’ve been enjoying it so far as well. Although, after this week’s reading, I don’t know… It was rather dry and long-winded. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to keep up with it.

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