Bleak House by Charles Dickens: Chapter 7 The Ghost’s Walk

Analysis of Chapter 7 The Ghost’s Walk

“While Esther sleeps, and while Esther wakes, it is still wet weather down at the place in Lincolnshire. The rain is ever falling, drip, drip,drip, by day and night, upon the broad flagged terrace-pavement.”

The opening of Chapter 7 brings us back to Chesney Wold, the “place in Lincolnshire” of the Deadlocks. Remember in Chapter 2 (P.9), it has mentioned the rain drops on the roof are sounded as “Ghost’s Walk”. This chapter is devote to this ” Ghost’s Walk”–it was expanded into a deeper mystery, a secret, a story within the story, all point to Mrs. Deadlock. I wonder why Dickens suddenly jump from Esther’s narrative to Chesney Wold. My guess is, there is some connection with Esther and Deadlocks and Dickens saw the need to insert this chapter before Esther starts her new life in Bleak House.

There is Mrs Rouncewell, in charge of the house and its secret, her grandson Watts, her maid Rosa, and two visitors. One of the visitor, Mr. Guppy might be an important character judged from his strange reaction of seeing Mrs. Deadlock’s portrait.

Dickens has created a pattern of mentioning Rosa who supposed to be a minor character.

He mentioned–

First, “Rosa is shyer than before.” after she was introduced t0 Watt.

Second, “Rosa is shyer than ever.” after she announced the appearance of two visitors.

Third, “Rosa is shyer than ever.” when she leaded the group to see the rooms.

Forth, “Rosa is shyer than ever.” being asked for the story of Ghost’s Walk.

Fifth, “Half frighten and half shy.” after she and Watt heard the Ghost story.

Not sure why Dickens applied this way of repetition but I find it very cute–it shows the development of affection between young woman and young man. But it might have different meaning which I am not sure at this stage.






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