Bleak House - Chapter 58-62 Summary & Analysis

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Chapter 58-62 Summary

Sir Leicester is still sick amidst the spreading rumors about Lady Dedlock. He watches the window, unable to talk. He wants to see Mr. George remembering him when he was young. Mr. George becomes familiar with the house.

Chapter 59 shows Mr. Bucket and Esther arriving at Islington. When passing Chancery Lane they encounter Mr. Woodcourt, who has been visiting despondent Richard. He joins them in search.

They arrive at Mr. Snagsby's office. Mr. Bucket knows of a letter held by Guster that can help them in their search. Esther manages to extract information from Guster, concerning a poor looking woman that approached her to deliver a letter. The letter is written by Lady Dedlock, who has no other hope but to proceed to a place that has been on her mind. As she inquired with Guster about the burial ground, they rush there only to find Lady Dedlock dressed in Jenny's clothes, dead at the gate. Jenny, dressed in Lady Dedlcok's clothes, went around the country to mislead the pursuers.

In Chapter 60 Esther becomes sick, but visits Ada as soon as she recovers. Ada suffers due to Richard's delusions about the case; he is the most frequent visitor in the court. Miss Flite recognizes his zest and makes him executor of her will. Richard is in low spirits but glad to see Esther and Mr. Jarndyce. Mr. Woodcourt declines voyages in the pursuit of his work, applying for a medical position for the poor. Ada is pregnant and her only hope is her child, as Richard is most likely to be ruined.

Chapter 61 unveils Esther determined to stop Mr. Skimpole from using Richard, driving him thus into poverty, and pays him a visit. He agrees at first but persists with the same course of action in the end. She discovers a proclivity in Mr. Skimpole to suit his own purpose, although appearing childish. When confronted about being bribed by Mr. Bucket to release Jo, he justifies it with his lack of understanding of matters that relate to money. The relations between him and Mr. Jarndyce become distant. A few years later he dies, leaving a diary portraying the way the world used him, and describing Mr. Jarndyce as selfish.

Esther learns that Mr. Woodcourt is still in love with her and realizes that the feeling is mutual. She thinks she is not free to accept his love because she is involved with Mr. Jarndyce.

In Chapter 62 Esther agrees to marry Mr. Jarndyce whenever he wants. They decide to marry in one month. While they converse Mr. Bucket appears, bringing with him Mr. Smallweed. The money lender discovered among Mr. Krook's papers a new will, and wants to profit through this. Mr. Jarndyce announces that he first wants to investigate the value of the will, and immediately takes the document to Mr. Kenge. The will has a later date and advances the interests of Mr. Richard Carstone more than that of Mr. Jarndyce.

Chapter 58-62 Analysis

Sir Leicester becomes more friendly and more warm-hearted to those around him. He is friendly with Mr. George, but most of all forgives his wife, although too late. Sir Leicester remains sick although he can speak. He wants to watch the window, anticipating the news of his wife. The events inspire him to become a warm-hearted and forgiving man.

Sir Leicester faces the dreadful weather while George becomes acquainted with the Chesney Wold. Sir Leicester keeps asking for anything that could have been missed or overlooked but there is nothing that can help in Lady Dedlock's search.

The relentless pursuit is doomed due to the amount of time that has elapsed since Lady Dedlock left and weather conditions. Esther fears for her mother and they finally reach Chancery Lane where they meet Mr. Woodcourt, who joins them.

They all visit Mr. Snagsby and find from Guster that Lady Dedlock approached her giving her a letter. She proceeded towards the burial ground, where they also find her. Her death seems partly fatal, partly tragic, and partly of her own making. Her boredom with her current life may have been due to the loss she felt missing her lover and her child. The emptiness of her life may have been difficult to bear while the realization of her real loss made it even more difficult to bear.

Snowy weather contributed to the inevitability of the end induced by her small world. Her death can be compared to Mr. Krook's, although it is at the same time needless as she is fully forgiven.

Esther falls sick but soon recovers and is visited by Mr. Woodcourt. She resumes her work and Mr. Jarndyce sends her to see Ada.

Richard remains persistent in his hopes of winning the case but his situation is getting worse along with his finances. He looks ill and anxious. Ada fears the worse, only hoping that their child will make her proud.

Esther is unable to avert the negative influence Mr. Skimpole on Richard at first as Mr. Skimpole has an explanation for everything and can justify anything if it suits his own purpose. His relationship with Esther and Mr. Jarndyce becomes severed when his real attitudes are exposed and she never sees Mr. Skimpole again.

Richard is unable to change the course of events. Ada feels guilty that she is the only reason why Richard persists in his case.

Esther feels that she is committed to Mr. Jarndyce and agrees to marry him. A new will discovered by Mr. Smallweed is finally to end the suit. Although it changes the outlook in the case and is claimed as important, it only raises the hopes of those involved. The case remains purposeless.

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(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
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