Bleak House - Chapter 43- 47 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 43- 47 Summary

Esther fears for her mother. She avoids all contact with her that can expose her, worried also that she may never see her again. She is preoccupied with Richard, negatively influenced by Mr. Skimpole. Mr. Jarndyce wants to even offer Mr. Skimpole money to stop seeing Richard.

They visit Mr. Skimpole, meeting his three daughters, and then they all travel to Bleak House. Unexpectedly, Sir Leicester arrives. He heard that Mr. Skimpole has an interest in art, which he also shares, but fears that they are discouraged from visiting him by Mr. Boythorn.

Esther thinks that such visits may expose Lady Dedlock and reveals everything about her background to Mr. Jarndyce. She learns that it was Boythorn who was in love with Ms. Barbary, her godmother, who rejected him to raise Esther.

In Chapter 44 Mr. Jarndyce gives advice to Esther, fearing Mr. Tulkinghorn. He thinks that he and Esther should keep everything secret. He proposes her marriage in a letter a week later. Esther feels flattered by the proposal. Even though he keeps quiet on the subject afterwards, she accepts his proposal.

In Chapter 45 Mr. Vholes visits Esther and Mr. Jarndyce, informing them that Richard is in debt while about to also lose his army commission. He requires payment for the work he did for Richard.

Esther decides to see Richard at Deal. She takes Charley and a letter from Ada with her. He gave up his commission but refuses to accept Ada's inheritance offered in the letter.

As they leave, Esther meets Allan Woodcourt, who has just returned home from India. Esther is touched by his warm attitude when seeing her scarred face. She suggests that Allan befriends Richard to support him and he is happy to oblige.

Chapter 46 shows Allan Woodcourt encountering Jenny in Tom-all-Alone's early in the morning. With a bruised forehead, she is waiting for the sun to warm her up after being beaten her husband. Allan offers to treat her forehead and Jenny accepts. As they converse, Jo appears. Jenny asks Allan to chase him. They met in Saint Alban's when they were both ill.

Allan finds out from Jo why he left Mr. Jarndyce's place. It was Mr. Bucket who took him to the hospital, giving him money to get out of London for good. Allan takes Jo with him to get him a place to stay.

In Chapter 47 Allan Woodcourt and Jo find Miss Flite, who left Mr. Krook's shop, asking for help. She suggests that they see Mr. George. He agrees to take care of Jo as a favor to Esther.

Allan brings Mr. Snagsby who agrees, upon Jo's request, to write an apology to Esther for making her sick. The next day Jo dies as Allan teaches him to pray.

Chapter 43- 47 Analysis

Esther is unable to communicate with her mother but tries to help Richard face his problems. He is involved with Mr. Skimpole who manages to exert a destructive influence on him.

Esther attempts to analyze Mr. Skimpole's behavior. He inspires with youth and makes his other features less apparent. Mr. Jarndyce wants Mr. Skimpole to stop taking advantage of others and borrowing money, offering his financial support himself. Mr. Skimpole ignores the offering. His childish nature turns into self-serving pursuits that only Mr. Skimpole understands in his want of freedom and independence. His family is equally absurd.

Sir Leicester appears to be welcoming Mr. Skimpole and friends into his place, which makes Esther fear for her mother. She decides to reveal everything about her background to Mr. Jarndyce.

Following her revelation, Mr. Jarndyce proposes her marriage in a letter. Their unexpected relationship develops despite her obvious feelings for Mr. Woodcourt. Esther thinks her relationship with Mr. Woodcourt has little chance of success and accepts Mr. Jarndyce's proposal. He himself remains silent on the matter but ishappy to hear she agrees.

Mr. Vholes further exacerbates Richard's inevitable demise towards the fatal end. No one and nothing can help him. Even Mr. Jarndyce is unable to do so.

Dickens introduces another romance in Esther's life rather than being only absorbed with her relationship with older and respectful Mr. Jarndyce. Esther, being mostly concerned about others, tirelessly tries to rescue Richard and just as she thinks she achieves her purpose it turns out that Richard returns to his previous course of action. She needs reassurance yet she provides comfort to Mr. Woodcourt who is to undertake another voyage. She is still concerned about Richard asking Mr. Woodcourt to become his friend.

Allan Woodcourt engages with Esther's concerns. He is drawn into contact with Jo and Jenny through his compassion. The mystery of Jo's disappearance is further revealed. The connection even between minor characters helps to advance both the revelation and suspense. The characters are challenged in both their weaknesses and pursuits. Jo is destined to fail for his lack of prospects and lack of pursuits other than survival. There is no place in London for children like Jo, who is either used or chased away.

Allan takes Jo to Mr. George who agrees to help. Jo is now dangerously sick. George shows him his bed while Allan gets medicines for Jo. The following day Jo's health deteriorates. As Allan teaches him a prayer, Jo dies. His death is sudden and needless.

This section contains 887 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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