Bleak House - Chapter 48-52 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 48-52 Summary

Lady Dedlock wants to dismiss Rosa to spare her dealing with the scandal. Mr. Tulkinghorn does not approve of Rosa's departure, considering such act to be against the agreement between him and Lady Dedlock. Consequently, he is going to reveal her secret, but refuses to say when. Upon his return home, he is murdered.

Chapter 49 unveils Mrs. Bagnet's birthday. Her family gets ready to celebrate, and invites Mr. George. Upon proposing a toast, Mr. Bucket unexpectedly appears and joins them. He leaves with George, arresting him for the murder of Mr. Tulkinghorn. George has been seen at Mr. Tulkinghorn's place, and he admits he was there on the night of the murder.

In Chapter 50 Esther receives a short letter from Caddy Jellyby letting her know that she is sick. Caddy thinks she would feel better if Esther came to see her. In the end, Esther, Ada, and Mr. Jarndyce go to London, arranging for Mr. Woodcourt to attend her. Soon Caddy recovers. It is also Ada's birthday but she seems distressed. Esther thinks she is preoccupied with Richard.

In Chapter 51 Mr. Woodcourt fulfills his promise to be a friend to Richard, visiting him as soon as he gets to London. Richard looks worn out. He admits he is not doing well with the suit, and feels as if he was dragged into a net.

When Mr. Woodcourt informs Esther about his meeting, she fears that Mr. Vholes managed to get Ada's property. Esther visits Richard with Ada, who behaves unusually. At Richard's place she admits that she has been secretly married to him for two months and will not be coming back. Both Mr. Jarndyce and Esther worry about her.

Chapter 52 unveils Mr. Woodcourt coming to Bleak House with the alarming news that Mr. George has been imprisoned for the murder of Mr. Tulkinghorn. They are all certain of his innocence and immediately visit him in jail. Mr. George assures them that he is not involved with the murder, but refuses to have a lawyer, whom he distrusts, considering the truth as sufficient to clear his name. When the Bagnets visit him he tells them that on the night of the murder he saw a woman at Mr. Tulkinghorn's place who reminded him of Esther. Mrs. Bagnet travels to Lincolnshire to bring George's mother.

Chapter 48-52 Analysis

Lady Dedlock is a character who cannot be saved even though her position seems strong, assuring the best opportunities to prosper. She is elegant and admired. Most of all she is loved by her husband, despite being dissatisfied with the state of her matters. Even though she treats Rosa well, she is unable to assure her own survival.

Her strength of character is admired even by Mr. Tulkinghorn. He also meets a fatal end despite being powerful and strong. His position gives little indication that he is also preparing his own downfall when gaining enemies. The similarity between Mr. Tulkinghorn and Lady Dedlock involves their strength. As Lady Dedlock is unfortunate to face dangerous Tulkinghorn, so is Tulkinghorn in meeting such an enemy as Hortense who is desperate to exert her revenge on both. His death is a relief, as opposed to Jo's death, which seems needless.

Mrs. Bagnet's birthday is prepared, as usual, by Mr. Bagnet while children follow his directions. He wants it to be a treat while George is going to accompany them. When George turns up he is pale and shocked. He is still affected by Jo's death. His hands shake and he is even unable to fasten his own present. The family appears to be warm-hearted and caring for each other. It is the only family that has no significant issues to resolve of their own making. The only problem has been caused by Mr. George but is quickly solved.

They propose a toast while Mr. Bucket appears. He engages in conversation at first inquiring about music and musical instruments and then entertains children. The children think that George is not himself.

George and M.r Bucket leave together. When they are alone, Mr. Bucket stops George and arrests him for the murder of Mr. Tulkinghorn who was shot the day before. George is stunned by this revelation. George happened to be near Mr. Tulkinghorn's place and have been previously described as mad and threatening.

Caddy Jellyby and her husband represent a married couple that has to carry the burden of their parents. Caddy receives little help from her mother while her husband has to learn to deal with his father's odd proclivities, including taking advantage of him. Esther attends her friend in need, spending time with Caddy while she is sick.

Her mother also tries to help but becomes immediately preoccupied with her own charity matters. Esther notices that there is something wrong with Ada. She notices that Ada behaves as if she was hiding something. Esther tries to ignore her worries but the distance created between them remains. The revelation of Ada's and Richard's secret marriage is disconcerting. This otherwise fortunate event provokes worries and pity, presenting little chance of success.

Mr. Woodcourt fulfils his promise to be a friend to Richard to help Esther, although he is also worried about Richards' pursue of the case. Richard finally admits that he is not doing well with the suit and that it is a trap. He is unable to provide care for him and Ada.

Esther and Mr. Jarndyce learn about Mr. Tulknghorm's murder and disbelieve that George is the murderer. Mr. Woodcourt agrees with them. They decide to help George in the same way he helped Mr. Gridley and Jo. Mr. Jarndyce goes to see George with Phil.

George appears too idealistic in his view of the world and truth. His refusal to hire a lawyer when accused of murder is partly dictated by his belief that truth would prevail as well as a distrust of lawyers. His dislike of Mr. Tulkinghorn has also contributed to such attitude.

This section contains 999 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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