Bleak House

Bleak House

by

Charles Dickens

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Bleak House can help.

Judy Smallweed Character Analysis

Judy Smallweed is the granddaughter of Mr. Smallweed and Mrs. Smallweed and the sister of Bart Smallweed. She is mean, pinched woman who has grown up to be just as bitter, joyless, and greedy as the rest of her miserly family. Judy cares for her elderly grandparents but is not a particularly loving or affectionate grandchild. She often roughly shakes her grandfather when he slumps down in his chair and allows him to throw a pillow at his wife every time she speaks. Judy keeps a servant, Charley—a young orphan girl whom Mr. Jarndyce eventually hires to be Esther Summerson’s maid. Judy is a cruel employer, as she makes Charley work long hours and only feeds her table scraps for her meals.

Judy Smallweed Quotes in Bleak House

The Bleak House quotes below are all either spoken by Judy Smallweed or refer to Judy Smallweed. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Wordsworth edition of Bleak House published in 1993.
Chapter 21 Quotes

Everything that Mr. Smallweed’s grandfather ever put away in his mind was a grub at first, and is a grub at last. In all his life he has never bred a single butterfly. The father of this pleasant grandfather, of the neighborhood of Mount Pleasant, was a horny-skinned, two-legged, money-getting species of spider, who spun webs to catch unwary flies, and retired into holes until they were entrapped. The name of this old pagan’s God was Compound Interest.

Page Number: 248
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 39 Quotes

They gradually discern the elder Mr Smallweed, seated in his chair upon the brink of a well or grave of waste paper; the virtuous Judy groping therein, like a female sexton; and Mrs Smallweed on the level ground in the vicinity, snowed up in a heap of paper fragments, print and manuscript, which would appear to be the accumulated compliments that have been sent flying at her in the course of the day. The whole party, Small included, are blackened with dust and dirt, and present a fiendish appearance not relieved by the general aspect of the room.

Page Number: 477
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Bleak House LitChart as a printable PDF.
Bleak House PDF

Judy Smallweed Character Timeline in Bleak House

The timeline below shows where the character Judy Smallweed appears in Bleak House. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 21
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
...near a cushion which he often throws at his wife to silence her. Bart’s sister, Judy, sets the table behind them. She says that Bart will be home in “ten minutes”... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
The force of this throw knocks Mr. Smallweed back in his chair, and Judy lifts him up by the collar and shakes him until he is righted. Judy is... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
...tea and Mr. Smallweed begins to talk of his son, who died when Bart and Judy were younger. It takes him some time to finish his story, however, because he often... (full context)
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
When they have finished tea, Judy calls in Charley and allows her to eat the table scraps. A man named George... (full context)
Chapter 26
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
...turns out, is the cab driver who brought them there. Mr. Smallweed is accompanied by Judy, who pays the cabbie and sends him on his way. (full context)
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
...and deposits him by the fire. He hisses in the heat from the flames, and Judy drags him back slightly. Mr. Smallweed eyes the surrounding weapons rather nervously and George asks... (full context)
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
...sheet of paper. Phil then carries Mr. Smallweed to a carriage, which waits outside, and Judy and George follow him into the cab. (full context)
Chapter 33
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
...him into the Sol’s Arms and Mr. Guppy reluctantly does so, with Mr. Weevle’s help. Judy and Bart follow, accompanied by Mrs. Smallweed. They deposit Mr. Smallweed in an armchair and... (full context)
Chapter 34
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
They arrive at Mr. Smallweed’s, and Judy sneers at them as they enter. Mr. Smallweed is perched in his usual seat and... (full context)
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
...Bagnet glance at one another and leave the Smallweed’s house as Mr. Smallweed calls for Judy to throw them out. (full context)
Chapter 39
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
...back of the shop beside a hole in the floor that looks like a grave. Judy digs around inside it and brings up old papers. (full context)