Monday, December 3, 2012

I'm Currently Reading...Bleak House by Charles Dickens

I'm reading the Signet Classics version, but it doesn't say 150th Anniversary Edition on mine.  I don't know if there is any difference though.

Currently reading: Bleak House by Charles Dickens
Author: Charles Dickens

Written: Between 1852 and 1853 in 20 monthly installments.

Reason: I really like most of the Dickens books that I read, and my sister has been wanting me to read this one.  Since winter break is coming up and school is starting to slow down for me, I thought this would be the perfect time for me to read it.
Chapters read so far: 1 - 6.

Brief summary: The book starts with the discussion of fog everywhere.  It goes on to say how the Court of Chancery is extremely corrupted, and that the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce has been going on forever and that several people are included in it (including a character introduced named Lady Dedlock).  Esther Summerson is introduced, a girl who has had a pretty bad childhood but has come to be loved and respected by many.  She is called by Mr. Jarndyce to be the companion of Ada Clare, who along with her cousin Richard Carstone will be moving in with Jarndyce.  After the three spend the night with a Mrs. Jellyby and go on a random tour of a crazy old lady's house (who is somehow connected with the Jarndyce and Jarndyce case as well), they head of to Bleak House - the residence of Mr. Jarndyce.  Esther and Richard pay off the debts of Mr. Skimpole.

Importance of major events: The fog that surrounds London is to highlight the fogginess of the case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce, as well as the legal system.  When Esther says things like "I'm not sure if I'm telling this right" and is rather self-deprecating, she's kind of being manipulative.  Not really in a mean way, but she's wanting to not be held responsible if something goes wrong (Sparknotes).
Favorite character: So far, my favorite character is Richard Carstone.
Favorite quote: "Some say she really is, or  was, a party to a suit, but no one knows for certain because no one cares." (p. 19) This was funny because it showed the character of the suitors.

Favorite moment: I liked the part when Peepy, Mrs. Jellyby's kid, fell down the stairs and came back upstairs with plaster stuck to his face.  It was kind of sad, but really funny. (pp. 52 - 54)

Favorite illustration:
This is when the little old lady talks to Richard, Esther, and Ada outside of the Court of Chancery and is basically like "I was pretty and young and not mad before I went to Mr. Jarndyce's."  Haha look at her face! (pp. 48 - 49)

Favorite relationship: Ada and Richard.  They are so nice to each other!  It's also nice that they are not completely like, sickengingly obsessive like Dickens sometimes does (*cough* David and Dora *cough*)

Least favorite character:
  That would probably have to be Mr. Skimpole.  I kind of think he's more of a lazy bum than childlike.  After all, he has kids that he doesn't take care of and gets into debts and manipulates people in taking care of him.

Least favorite moment: I didn't like the part about Esther's childhood because it was kind of sad, and also a little annoying because of the way she described Ada and herself.  It reminded me of Uriah Heep. (pp. 30 - 43)

Least favorite relationship: My least favorite relationship was the one Esther claims she had with her godmother.  I say "claim" because it is (of course) from her point of view.
Last thing that happened: Mr. Jarndyce told Esther and Richard not to give Mr. Skimpole money again. (pp. 94 - 96)

My thoughts: So far, I really like this book.  I'm trying to pay more attention to the descriptions, too, because I feel that they are really important.  I get really caught up in the characters and storyline as well.


Marian said...

I think you summed up Skimpole perfectly! I've always been surprised Jarndyce had so much patience with him...

Marsa said...

good for you hunn! i seriously need to start reading again. but for now, i guess textbooks are more than enough haha