The True Identity is Found Within: Charles Dickens, Bleak House

The book, Bleak House by Charles Dickens really studies in depths of how important people’s identity have on their titles. Bleak House is not a kind of book where the main character that was born in a lower class family falls in love with a higher class man then they live happily ever after. Then they won’t be called Bleak House but Happy House. The book is about murder, thoughts of suicide, and the impacts the person’s identity have on the cover they are shown. I know in Old London; the class a person was born in means what they will be for the rest of their lives. Does not matter if the person is a genius, if they were born in the lower ranks, there was no way to move up the class unless the person marries a high ranking official which rarely happens. But in Bleak House, the journey of finding the main and along with the side characters all start to develop a trait that does not match the society they live in.

“What the destitute subject of such an offer tried to say, I need not repeat. What she did say, I could more easily tell, if it were worth the telling. What she felt, and will feel to her dying hour, I could never relate. (Chapter 3, Page 52, Charles Dickens)” This is Esther talking to herself as a third person. This line reflects on the moments when Esther was a young girl to when she is an adult. Esther is forced to talk about her place in the world in a person’s body that is a stranger to who she really is. I believe this intersects with what the theme of the book is because of the narrators’ half of the book in what she thinks of herself. Esther herself is a very admirable character even though she was grown into a house of austere people. She is an example of a role in Bleak House that made her way up the pyramid and discovered her true self.

“Dare I hint at that worse time when strung together somewhere in great black space, there was a flaming necklace, or ring, or starry circle of some kind, of which I was one of the beads! And when my only prayer was to be taken off from the rest and when it was such inexplicable agony and misery to be a part of the dreadful thing? (Chapter 35, page 5 of the chapter)” This line was also from the first half where Esther narrates the story, and here, she talks about how she had a vision where she was part of an accessory, and she was one of the beads tied with the many beads next to her. They are helpless, cannot be taken off and just to be hung there with agony and misery. This states that she sees herself in a closed society wherein novel is set in (I think Charles Dickens made a perfect metaphor here). Moreover, I believe that Esther imagines herself in this world because she has always lived an everyday life and it’s a loop that goes over and over again; just like the beads on a necklace.

“Fog everywhere. Fog up the river, where it flows among green aits and meadows; fog down the river, where it rolls defiled among the tiers of shipping and the waterside pollutions of a great (and dirty) city. (Chapter 1, page 1)” The narrator is describing the setting of the city the book is set in, but also shows the main idea on what the book is based on. Charles Dickens mentions a fog, and the fog is everywhere, and he is right. The mist has a very London like feeling and also portraits that the fog surrounds the city. Connects everyone, does not matter if a person is from a lower class or a higher class, the fog is everywhere and does not exclude anything/anybody. This may be thought of my own after reading the book, but the mist also spreads everywhere in the city in a heartbeat, this can tell us something about smallpox that will later appear in the book. The disease spreads from one area then explodes around the city.

“There were two classes of charitable people: one, the people who did a little and made a great deal of noise; the other, the people who did a great deal and made no noise at all. (chapter 8, page 7)” I think this line basically sums up the whole theme of the story because in England, what class a person was born in defines who they will be even before they were born. As a result, the people in their society are split into many groups but in those many groups, Charles Dickens defines the people into two kinds of people. Those who make a difference and are not known and those more don’t do anything and get known. This is Dicken’s way to tell the reader that some people work very hard to earn their spots but never get the amount they work for. This was being related to our world too because people with power are the people with money. And as we all know, some people don’t deserve the things they have.

Readers might say that they have a different way of understanding Bleak House such as; the book is about the hardships of other people that start with nothing and making their way to the top. And they’re not wrong, Bleak House is also about the people who get what they deserve that the end, however, that is not what the book is mainly suggesting. The people who work hard and getting their way is only part of the book. The characters are shown to be more restraint to their acts and tried to struggle behind the scenes. The theme that I came up with covers the hardships of the character as well, which makes it a feasible claim for Bleak House.

Bleak House teaches the reader a lot about the society that modern and the people in Charles Dicken’s time go through. The book connects with the ways of modern day society and what it takes to get what a person deserves. The characters of the book slowly throughout the book uncovers many details about their lives they did not know about and their real identities.

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