Bleak House - Chapter 33-37 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 33-37 Summary

Mr. Krook's matter is examined at the Inquest held at the Sol's Arms. Mrs. Snagsby is even more suspicious about her husband. Mr. Guppy and Mr. Weevle discuss the evidence they are to give in court in connection with the incident. Mr. Weevle refuses to be part of Mr. Guppy's schemes just as Mr. Smallweed, with his granddaughter Judy, arrives. Mr. Smallweed tells them that Mr. Krook is his wife's brother and he has come to claim his property.

Mr. Tulkinghorn confirms in court the relation between Mr. Krook and Mr. Smallweed, entitled now to take possession of all the inheritance. Mr. Guppy visits Lady Dedlock to let her know that he is unable to deliver her the letters because the person who had them died. He thinks the letters have been lost as well. Mr. Guppy leaves coming face to face with Mr. Tulkinghorn, who just arrives.

In Chapter 34 Mr. George receives a letter demanding him to pay the rest of his loan immediately. He is unable to fulfill this request. As Mr. Bagnet cosigned the loan, he may have to repay the entire debt. They both visit Joshua Smallweed, but he shouts at them and sends them to their lawyer. When they visit Mr. Tulkinghorn, he agrees to free Mr. George from his obligation if he gives up the letter written by Hawdon. Mr. George is forced to agree to save his friends. When he visits the Bagnets later that day, he advises their children to take care of their mother while they can.

In Chapter 35 Esther recovers with a scarred face after being sick for an extended period of time. She goes to the country to restore her strengths. Miss Flite visits her there, telling her that a lady took from Jenny the handkerchief she used to covered her dead baby.

The ship Mr. Woodcourt worked on sank but he himself is safe and is to return. Esther expects that she will have to give him up. At the same time she is happy not to be involved with him because she would have to suffer disappointment.

In Chapter 36 Esther sees her face at Mr. Boythorn's place. She still keeps the dried flowers from Mr. Woodcourt.

Lady Dedlock meets Esther and confesses that she is her mother asking for forgiveness and secrecy. She shows Esther the handkerchief she left with Jenny's baby, giving her a letter explaining that her godmother was her sister, who secretly raised her. Esther assures her of her feelings. For fear of Mr. Tulkinghorn, who tries to find out about everything, she has to keep everything secret. When Esther reads her letter, she becomes worried that she herself can be the destruction haunting Lady Dedlock's house.

Chapter 37 reveals Richard obsessed with the Jarndyce and Jarndyce suit, refusing to be accountable even to Mr. Jarndyce. He is suspicious of Mr. Jarndyce's intentions, neglects his work, and befriends Mr. Skimpole, who takes advantage of him.

M.r Skimpole introduces Mr. Vholes to Esther as Richard's lawyer. Both Ada and Esther are unsuccessful in their pleadings with Richard as well as Mr. Skimpole to stop supporting Richard's pursuits.

Chapter 33-37 Analysis

Mr. Krook's death is the beginning of the end. The letters that had been in his possession have been hidden until now. Their content is feared by Lady Dedlock while Mr. Tulkinghorn wants to take advantage of that. All the main characters become affected.

Lady Dedlock is aware of the inevitability of their exposure, as it exposes her past. Although she fears its consequences, she loses the motivation to persevere with preserving her world. With Hawdon's death being revealed, her world falls apart. Even despite Mr. Tulkinghorn's initial intention to preserve everything the way it was, things get out of control.

Mr. Guppy loses his part in the discovery of the letters that linked him to Esther's past. Other events also indicate devastating changes. Mr. George receives a notice to pay off his debt immediately. Only if he gives up his letter from Hawdon he can save his friends, the Bagnets, from bearing the responsibility to repay his loan. He is forced to give up the paper that allows Mr. Tulkinghorn to identify Hawdon's handwriting.

Esther's sickness is heroic and private. This experience changes her outlook on the world. She maintains her positive outlook, even though her face is scarred, happy to keep her friendships. She is worried more about how others would react to changes in her appearance, including Ada and Mr. Woodcourt. She wants to spare Ada the pain of seeing her disfigured. She is happy that she does not have to suffer disappointment of losing Mr. Woodcourt. Ada's delicate nature seems to concern Esther, as it affects Ada's ability to control her own life.

Lady Dedlock's fear is stimulated by the harshness with which illegitimate children were treated. The fear makes her pursuits desperate. She recovers Esther's handkerchief left with the dead baby. She is distressed about Mr. Tulkinghorn's access into her private life. The harshness of Esther's upbringing involved the strictest secrecy. Her existence can no longer be hidden.

Reputation in these times meant everything and Esther wants to preserve most of all her mother's secret. Richard drifts even further away from his closest friends, distancing from Mr. Jarndyce with the growing lack of care. His association with Mr. Skimpole and Mr. Vholes becomes stronger.

Richard blindly believes in the inevitability of a positive result. He gets more into debts, increasing his sense of hopelessness and despair. Esther is worried that Richard proceeds in the wrong direction. The only thing she can do is to influence Mr. Skimpole not to take advantage of Richard but she fails in this.

This section contains 955 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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