Bleak House

Bleak House

by

Charles Dickens

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Guster is the servant of Mr. Snagsby and Mrs. Snagsby, who run a law stationer’s shop outside the Chancery court. Guster is an orphan and is prone to seizures, which are brought on when she frightened or stressed. She is often stressed and alarmed working for Mrs. Snagsby, who is temperamental and alarmist, and thus often has fits while at work in the household. Guster is kind to the orphan, Jo, when he is brought to the house. She relates to him because she is also poor and friendless and shares her supper with the boy. Despite the stress of her workplace, Guster is grateful to work for the Snagsbys because her life with them is so much better than the conditions in the workhouse from which she was bought. Workhouses were notoriously filthy, overcrowded, and unsanitary and so, even as a mistreated servant, Guster has a better life than she would have in these establishments.
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Guster Character Timeline in Bleak House

The timeline below shows where the character Guster appears in Bleak House. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 10
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
...shriek “like a shrill ghost in an unquiet grave,” while she rebukes their unhappy servant, Guster. (full context)
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
Guster has come to the Snagsbys’ from a workhouse and is a thin, unfortunate woman who... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
...tells his manservant that he is going out and makes his way to Mr. Snagsby’s. Guster fetches Mr. Snagsby, who appears with a slice of bread and butter in his hand,... (full context)
Chapter 11
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
At Mr. Snagsby’s shop, Guster has seizures all night and keeps the household awake. Meanwhile, Nemo’s body is taken to... (full context)
Chapter 19
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
...his wife, Mrs. Chadband, are friends of Mrs. Snagsby, who is a staunchly religious woman. Guster lays out tea in the drawing room—for Mr. Chadband eats a great deal—and Mr. and... (full context)
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
...blessing the Snagsbys’ house. Once inside, he launches into his sermon but is interrupted by Guster, who tells them that the cabman who drove the Chadbands to the Snagsbys’ needs to... (full context)
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
...a long, pious speech about the food—and Mr. Chadband demolishes the platter set before him. Guster enters the room once more, drops a plate on Mr. Chadband’s head by accident, and... (full context)
Chapter 25
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
...Jo is extremely confused by events and seems unsure what Mr. Chadband wants from him. Guster and the other servants gather to watch as Mr. Chadband launches into his sermon. Mrs.... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
...has nearly fallen asleep during Mr. Chadband’s lecture, is finally allowed to leave. He meets Guster downstairs, who shares her supper with him and asks Jo about his parents. They are... (full context)
Chapter 59
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
...these people are here and, at Mr. Bucket’s command, goes to help Mr. Woodcourt with Guster. (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
...place where she will lie down and surrender to death. The letter has come from Guster, whom Mr. Woodcourt has revived, and Mr. Bucket takes Esther in to speak with her. (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
At the sight of the poor, stunned girl, Esther begins to cry and begs Guster to tell her how she got the letter. Guster weakly explains that a woman dressed... (full context)