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    Hanya Yanagihara: IMG Nine Tips for Finishing That Novel



    My second novel, A Little Life — about a group of men in New York and their friendship over the course of 30 years — will be published... Continue »
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      A Little Life

      Hanya Yanagihara 9780385539258

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2 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

Bleak House (Bantam Classics)

by

Bleak House (Bantam Classics) Cover

 

 

Reading Group Guide

Introduction by Barbara Hardy


From the Hardcover edition.

1. 1. Critics have long regarded Bleak House as Dickens’s most formally complex novel, since it blends together a number of different genres: detective fiction, romance, melodrama, satire. Compare the way the novel conforms to each of these genres. Do you consider Bleak House more a mystery than a satire, or vice versa? In what ways does the novel transcend these categories altogether?

2. 2. Examine Dickens’s use of irony in Bleak House. Which characters find themselves in ironic moments or situations? How might we read the Court of Chancery’s obstruction of justice as the supreme irony of the book?

3. 3. Consider the narrator’s remark in Chapter XXXIX that “The one great principle of the English law is, to make business for itself.” How, precisely, does Chancery “make business for itself”? What instruments, rituals, and/or actors does it employ to create a great chain of inefficiency?

4. 4. Discuss Dickens’s representation of charity in Bleak House. Are philanthropists generally portrayed in a favorable light? You might compare the work of Mrs. Jellyby, Mrs. Pardiggle, and Mr. Quale with the quieter charitable work of Esther. What type of charity do you think Dickens values?

5. 5. Do you think Bleak House is successful in its attempt to criticize the English legal system? If so, how do you reconcile the novel’s happy ending with Dickens’s critique?

6. 6. Examine Dickens’s use of mud and pollution imagery throughout Bleak House. What different meanings do images of mud, dirt, disease attach themselves to? Which characters become closely identified with pollution?

Product Details

ISBN:
9780553212235
Author:
Dickens, Charles
Publisher:
Bantam Classics
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Classics
Subject:
Novels and novellas
Subject:
Literature
Subject:
British and irish fiction (fictional works by
Subject:
British and irish
Subject:
Young women
Subject:
Guardian and ward
Subject:
Illegitimate children
Subject:
Inheritance and succession
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Legal stories
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Number:
Bantam Classic ed.
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Series:
Bantam Classics
Series Volume:
192034
Publication Date:
19851131
Binding:
MASS MARKET
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
976
Dimensions:
6.87 x 4.18 x 1.56 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Bleak House (Bantam Classics) Used Mass Market
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$3.95 In Stock
Product details 976 pages Bantam Classics - English 9780553212235 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Written in 1852, this grand indictment of Victorian society--on its surface a mystery story--deals with the themes of vagaries of the High Court of Chancery and misplaced children.
"Synopsis" by , Introduction by Barbara Hardy <P>"From the Hardcover edition.
"Synopsis" by , Widely regarded as Dickenss masterpiece, Bleak House centers on the generations-long lawsuit Jarndyce and Jarndyce, through which “whole families have inherited legendary hatreds.” Focusing on Esther Summerson, a ward of John Jarndyce, the novel traces Esthers romantic coming-of-age and, in classic Dickensian style, the gradual revelation of long-buried secrets, all set against the foggy backdrop of the Court of Chancery. Mixing romance, mystery, comedy, and satire, Bleak House limns the suffering caused by the intricate inefficiency of the law.
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