Bleak House by Charles Dickens: Chapter 2 In Fashion

Analysis of Chapter 2 In Fashion

Scene flows from Court of Chancery in Chapter 1 to the world of fashion in Chapter with connection of similar nature. Both have nothing to do with future; both dwell on the past and the present. In Paragraph one, words used are “precedent” and “usage”; paragraph four, “the past” and “present”; paragraph two, “after which (Lady Deadlock departed to Paris) her movements are uncertain…The fashionable intelligence says so…to know things otherwise, were to be unfashionable”. Dickens mentioned two fair tales, Rip Van Winkles and Sleeping Beauty, to outline the absurdity and uselessness of Court of Chancery and the world of Fashion. Both,are sleepy and out of date; both are blind to the good and evil; both will lead to unhealthy consequence.

Lady Deadlock, the star of Fashion, has stayed in Lincolnshire before her departure for Paris. Her “place” (be awared that it is not “house” or “home”) in Lincolnshire is massive but lonely–“Across the hall, and up the stairs, and along the passages, and through the rooms, which are very brilliant in the season and very dismal out of it–Fairy-land to visit, but a desert to live in.”

In this dreadful house that breads the feeling of a prison, live the husband and wife who are equally unpleasant. Deadlock, the family name implies stiffness, hostile to changes and no future (remember the fact that they are childless). Lady Deadlock is beautiful and fashionable, but very swallow and excessive (She uses Hand-screen at fire place in a cold weather!). People around her know how to handle her and squeeze money from her. Sir Leicester Deadlock, the husband, is worse. He is a baronet (lowest in aristocracy) but regards himself very important. “He is an honorable, obstinate, truthful, high-spirited, intensely prejudiced, perfectly unreasonable man.” (See how smart Dickens is to throw adjectives, positive and negative, together to create an ironic effect ). The husband is approximately 65 years old while the wife is 45. The age gap between them is very huge and you can guess there is not much love and affection between them.

Mr. Tulkinghorn, the legal advisor, is introduced in this chapter as well. He is a comedy figure(though he doesn’t mean to be comedic or funny). He is “rusty to look at”,”he is of what is called the old school-a phrase generally meaning any school that seems never to have been young”, he is “mute, close, irresponsive to any glancing light”. But the dull and uninterested characters are what the Deadlocks like–safe with secret or possibly, scandals.


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