Bleak House

Bleak House

by

Charles Dickens

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Gridley Character Analysis

Gridley is a man from the north of England who has come to London as a young man to pursue his interests in a Chancery suit. Gridley’s father left him some property, but the suit has gone on for so long and strayed so far from its original purpose that he has bankrupted himself paying legal fees and almost gone mad with anger and frustration. Gridley spends his days in court with Miss Flite and lives in the room below Neckett, and his three children, Charley, Emma, and Tom, who Gridley cares for after Neckett’s death. Although Gridley was once a kind and caring man, the suit has warped him to the point that he cannot control his anger and he is afraid to own a weapon in case he should try to murder one of the lawyers. He is forced to go into hiding because he threatens Mr. Tulkinghorn. Gridley eventually succumbs to the strain of his lifestyle and dies in his hideout at George’s gallery. Miss Flite is heartbroken by his death.
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Gridley Character Timeline in Bleak House

The timeline below shows where the character Gridley appears in Bleak House. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 15
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
...into several lodgings. On the stairs, a man stops them and asks if they want Gridley. Alarmed at the man’s threatening appearance, Esther says no and they pass on. (full context)
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
While they talk, the man from the stairs, Gridley, comes in and begins to play with the children. He makes a gruff comment about... (full context)
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
Gridley explains that his lawsuit is about his father’s will and some property that he was... (full context)
Chapter 22
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
...way out, Inspector Bucket asks Mr. Snagsby if he knows anyone with the name of Gridley, but Mr. Snagsby does not. Inspector Bucket says it is not important; it is only... (full context)
Chapter 24
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
...customers at the gallery, and George tells them that he once met a man named Gridley, who was worried that, if he was taught how to use a musket, he would... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
...by the contrast between the composed, bored looking lawyers and the tormented suitors, such as Gridley. Jarndyce and Jarndyce is brought before the court and the lawyers begin to laugh and... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
...who sits in the court, and Esther directs him to Miss Flite. George says that Gridley is hidden at his gallery and has asked for the old woman. He tells them... (full context)
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
...is a doctor and that he has been sent for by George’s servant to treat Gridley. Phil opens the door and the doctor takes off his hat and reveals that he... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
George leads Miss Flite to Gridley’s bedside while the others wait. Mr. Jarndyce, who has heard about Gridley, arrives, and George... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Mr. Bucket tries to encourage Gridley, but he is close to death. Mr. Bucket seems genuinely concerned when Gridley is not... (full context)
Chapter 27
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
...that he has not, and Mr. Tulkinghorn asks if he is the man who hid Gridley. George admits this, and Mr. Tulkinghorn becomes flustered. Mr. Tulkinghorn says that he never would... (full context)
Chapter 47
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
...old lady, but is told that all the rooms are full. Miss Flite, however, remembering Gridley—whose room she now occupies—suggests that they take the boy to George and leads Mr. Woodcourt... (full context)
Chapter 52
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
...a lawyer, but the trooper does not want one. He dislikes lawyers and says that Gridley did not have one. Mr. Jarndyce protests that Equity is a different type of law. (full context)
Chapter 60
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
...she has made him her “executor,” a title she had once thought to bestow on Gridley. (full context)