Bleak House Fridays – Week Seven


This week, for the Bleak House read-along hosted by Wallace at Unputdownables, I read until Chapter XXXIV.  I truly believe that this week’s reading was probably one of the easiest and smoothest chapters of reading of the book.  There just seemed to be less confusion than in previous weeks, and things seem to be coming together a bit more than in previous weeks.

One character that I was truly impressed with was Charley.  She showed remarkable kindness toward Jo, even though he seemed to be suffering from smallpox.  Could it possibly be that she’s repaying Mr. Jarndyce’s kindness toward her with kindness to Jo?  She did so without regard toward her health, and in the end, she ended up contracting the same disease, but gave it to Esther as well, since Esther confined herself to the same room to treat Jo.

As opposed to Charley, the character I wasn’t overly impressed with was Mr. Skimpole.  With how fortunate he has been with his friends, in particular Richard, Esther, and Mr. Jarndyce, to help him with he debts and keep him out of debtor’s prison, he actually had the gall to advise Mr. Jarndyce to turn Jo away at his time of need.  Mr. Skimpole certainly didn’t want to show any kindness to someone who truly needed to have a break for a change.  Maybe Mr. Skimpole was a bit paranoid/concerned that if Mr. Jarndyce took in Jo, that he might be neglected, nor be the center of attention?  It could very well be something that could develop further as I progress through the book.

Finally, another item that caused me to scratch my head was the death of Mr. Krook.  He seemed to, all of a sudden, die from spontaneous combustion.  When I read this part, I was like, there’s no way that could’ve possibly happened, nor does it seem to be an overly logical cause of death.  However, I as I understand it, spontaneous combustion was something that many people believed in in 19th century England.  It just seemed quite odd to me that spontaneous combustion would be seriously considered as a cause of death, especially where fire was concerned, and a homicide wasn’t under consideration for cause of death.

I’m really quite pleased with how my reading went with Bleak House this week, and I’m certainly hoping that I’ll continue enjoying the book as I have been for the last couple of weeks.

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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!

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