Summary of Bleak House by Charles Dickens

Short Summary of “Bleak House” by Charles Dickens

Bleak House by Charles Dickens: Bleak house is not as the name suggests, it is a happy house, actually two happy houses. The first bleak house is owned by John Jarndyce in which Esther, Ada and Richard also come to live with him. The second bleak house is meant for Esther and her husband towards the end of the book.

Summary of Bleak House by Charles Dickens

Containing the most complex, engaging and vast arrays of subplots and minor characters, Bleak House is one of the best novels written by Charles Dickens. Hypocrisy and social ills is what is greatly addressed by Dickens in Bleak House. Sir Leicester Deadlock, a British aristocrat lives in CheslyWold in rural Lincolnshire with his wife. The couple is rich and lives a wonderful life but Sir Deadlock’s wife has hidden a deep secret from him. She gave birth to a child before she was married to the aristocrat and Captain Hawdon was the father of the child.

She is unaware of the fact that her child is still alive and is now raised by her Godmother and after her death John Jarndyce takes care of Esther, the child. John Jarndyce is a man with a heart of Gold and raises up Esther with great love and care. Esther, Ada and Richard become good friends and Ada and Richard fall in love with each other. Lady deadlock once comes across some legal papers which belong to her husband but she recognizes the handwriting of her lover Captain Hawdon. Jarndyce and Jarndyce suit is emphasized in the middle of the book and Richard loses all his money and health fighting the case. He also marries Ada the love of his life secretly. Richard is incapable of settling in one occupation. Soon both Lady Deadlock and Esther come to know about their mother daughter relationship and are delighted to learn the fact.

However, they cannot address each other as mother and daughter in the public because of the established reputation of Sir Leicester Deadlock. Dr. Woodcourt is deeply in love with Esther even though her face is filled with the marks of small pox. Esther gets acquainted with the disease when she takes care of Jo who suffers from small pox himself. Soon Sir Leicester is told about his wife’s illegitimate daughter and suffers a heart stroke.

Later he forgives his wife fully because she committed this mistake before they got married. Lady Deadlock is not aware of the fact that her husband has forgiven her and thus she leaves the house dressed as a poor woman. Her daughter Esther tries to search her and at last founds her near the grave of her father Captain Hawdon. Later Esther realizes that Lady Deadlock has died out of cold. She is grief stricken. The novel beautifully portrays the life of the rich Englishmen in Europe.

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