Bleak House

Bleak House

by

Charles Dickens

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Bleak House: Chapter 64 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
One morning, Mr. Jarndyce gives Esther a letter which invites her to begin preparations for her wedding. They agree to marry after the end of the legal term and Esther waits, with a glimmer of excitement, to discover the outcome of Jarndyce and Jarndyce now that the will has been found. Mr. Jarndyce goes away on business to Yorkshire and writes to Esther, inviting her to travel out and meet him.
Esther allows herself to hope that, perhaps, the outcome of the lawsuit will be favorable after all. She also begins dutifully preparing for the wedding, committed to marrying Mr. Jarndyce despite her love for Mr. Woodcourt.
Themes
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
Esther arrives and dines with Mr. Jarndyce at a hotel. Mr. Jarndyce tells her that he has come here to arrange a house, which belongs to him but which he plans to give to Mr. Woodcourt, who has taken the hospital post in the area. Esther is overcome by her guardian’s goodness, and Mr. Jarndyce says that he planned it as a surprise for the “mistress of Bleak House.”
Once again, Mr. Jarndyce proves himself a very generous, good man. While he is certainly fond of Mr. Woodcourt himself, he also seems to suspect that Esther cares for Mr. Woodcourt deeply.
Themes
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
The next day, Mr. Jarndyce takes Esther to see the house, and she thinks that it is beautiful and exactly to her taste. He takes her around to a secluded little porch, overgrown with flowers, and shows her the inscription above the door—this house is Bleak House and Esther is to be mistress of it. Esther cannot understand what this means.
Mr. Jarndyce has kindly decorated the house in a way that he knows Esther will like, once again revealing his thoughtfulness and generosity. However, it’s unclear why he’s done this, since this house is going to belong to Mr. Woodcourt.
Themes
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
Mr. Jarndyce explains that although he has always been certain that Esther would make a wonderful wife, he wishes to make her happy and, when Mr. Woodcourt returned, he had no doubt that the pair loved each other. He tells her that he has spoken with Mrs. Woodcourt and that once he explained that Esther is really a Dedlock, the woman was won over. Esther marries Mr. Woodcourt not long after this, and the pair are very happy together.
Esther is to marry Mr. Woodcourt and live in Yorkshire with him where he has taken a job. Mr. Jarndyce cares more about Esther’s happiness than his own and wants her to marry the man she truly loves, Mr. Woodcourt.
Themes
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
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