Bleak House by Charles Dickens: Chapter 5 A Morning Adventure

Analysis of Chapter 5 A Morning Adventure

“Here’s the old lady again!”

Yes the old lady who stopped the wards outside the court appears again (I have the feeling that she will come up again and again). She leads the “Wards” and Miss. Jellyby to her house. Half frighten, half curious, the young people follow the old lady to her lodging.

It is a unattractive building with 4 floors which sits close to Court of Chancery. The ground floor is a shop run by the landlord called Mr. Krook who live at the 1st floor. The 2nd floor lives a law writer and the top floor is occupied by the old lady.

The shop is a singular one as it collects trivial ends and bits related to the court–“Old prints from the books of chancellors and barristers” and “work bags with ‘containing documents'” for example. There are lots of buying but it is highly doubtful if there are any sales. So far we don’t know for what reason Mr. Krook has particular interest in Chancery court and we can’t rely on old lady’s explanation that he is mad. People call the shop Court of Chancery and Mr. Krook was referred as Lord Chancellor. Mr. K ‘s shop mirrors the uselessness of Chancery and itself is a gloomy residual of Chancery.

Now let us leave a moment to Mr. K and his furious cat Lady Jane. We are now in the old lady’s room. Bare, dry and cold, the room resembles not a home but a prison cell. It offers the old lady no comfort except a “a glimpse of Lincoln’s Inn Hall”. The old lady keeps some birds in the cages, intend to set them free after her judgment was settled. But the birds, like the old lady and other wards related to the case, some have dead, some dying and the rest just have lean hope of being set free. The old lady keeps murmuring “Youth”,”Hope” and “Beauty”–these are very important key words hovering through the whole story.

In this chapter, one name was mentioned–Tom Jarndyce. I am not sure if this Tom is a link of the mystery case, so I just put a mental note for the time being.




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