Bleak House

Bleak House

by

Charles Dickens

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Mr. Bucket Character Analysis

Mr. Bucket is a private investigator who takes on the case of Mr. Tulkinghorn’s murder for which Sir Leicester Dedlock offers a substantial reward. Mr. Bucket has worked with Mr. Tulkinghorn previously, when Mr. Tulkinghorn hired him to find Jo, who was wanted to prove that Lady Dedlock went with Jo to visit Captain Hawdon’s grave. Mr. Bucket, however, solicits work for himself and will work for anyone who pays him. He is dedicated to the process of solving crime and uses his considerable powers of observation and deduction to work out the truth of matters. Mr. Bucket is very good with people and can easily put them at ease so that they will confide in him and give him information. He is comfortable mingling with people from various classes and does not discriminate between the cases he takes but simply works to provide for himself and his wife, Mrs. Bucket. Mr. Bucket uses many methods such as disguise, trickery, and misdirection to get the result he wants and solve crime. He eventually arrests Lady Dedlock’s maid, Mademoiselle Hortense, for Mr. Tulkinghorn’s murder after he gathers enough proof and discovers the murder weapon. Mr. Bucket is one of the first literary detectives and his use of observation and private investigative methods is a prototype for many famous detectives such as Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie’s Poirot.

Mr. Bucket Quotes in Bleak House

The Bleak House quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. Bucket or refer to Mr. Bucket. 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:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Wordsworth edition of Bleak House published in 1993.
Chapter 54 Quotes

Heaven knows what he sees. The green, green woods of Chesney Wold, the noble house, the pictures of his forefathers, strangers defacing them, officers of police coarsely handling his most precious heirlooms, thousands of fingers pointing at him, thousands of faces sneering at him. But if such shadows flit before him to his bewilderment, there is one other shadow which he can name with something like distinctness even yet, and to which alone he addresses his tearing of his white hair, and his extended arms.

Related Symbols: Houses
Page Number: 629-630
Explanation and Analysis:
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Bleak House PDF

Mr. Bucket Character Timeline in Bleak House

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Bucket appears in Bleak House. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 22
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...them in the room. Mr. Tulkinghorn tells him that this man is a policeman named Mr. Bucket . Mr. Bucket asks Mr. Snagsby if he will come with him to Tom-all-Alone’s and... (full context)
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When Mr. Snagsby hears this, he agrees to go with the inspector. Mr. Bucket takes him aside and suggests that Mr. Snagsby is a worldly gentleman and, therefore, he... (full context)
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...the city, and when they reach Tom-all-Alone’s, another policeman joins them. Mr. Snagsby notices that Mr. Bucket never walks entirely in a straight line and that he makes himself appear inconspicuous. They... (full context)
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Eventually, they hear from one of Mr. Bucket ’s many informants—who emerge now and then from dark street corners—that Jo (who is also... (full context)
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...Liz tells Jenny that, although she loves the child, she sometimes wishes it would die. Mr. Bucket sternly asks her what she means, and Liz sighs and tells him to look round... (full context)
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...lady” is there. A woman, veiled and dressed in black, stands in Mr. Tulkinghorn’s room. Mr. Bucket asks Jo how he knows it is the same woman, and Jo says that he... (full context)
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Mr. Bucket pays Jo and sends him away. When he has gone, the woman lifts her veil—it... (full context)
Chapter 24
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...the door and the doctor takes off his hat and reveals that he is really Mr. Bucket , who has come to arrest Gridley. He knows that Gridley is there because he... (full context)
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Mr. Bucket tries to encourage Gridley, but he is close to death. Mr. Bucket seems genuinely concerned... (full context)
Chapter 25
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...Mr. Snagsby is preoccupied by the mystery he was involved with. He is afraid of Mr. Bucket , who seems to be all knowing, and grows nervous when any unknown person comes... (full context)
Chapter 47
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...these establishments, he will also be within reach of the man he is afraid of: Mr. Bucket . George immediately agrees to keep him and says that he may lie down on... (full context)
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...Esther and seem to approve of each other. George tells Mr. Woodcourt that the man Mr. Bucket took Jo to see is Mr. Tulkinghorn, a devious man who keeps people “dangling” rather... (full context)
Chapter 49
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...to her. A man peers across the threshold and George is surprised when he recognizes Mr. Bucket . (full context)
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Mr. Bucket is invited in and explains that he is looking for a musical instrument for a... (full context)
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Mrs. Bagnet says that George has been feeling low, and Mr. Bucket commiserates with him. Mrs. Bagnet introduces Woolwich, and the boy plays a ballad for Mr.... (full context)
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Mr. Bucket follows George into the street and, as soon as they are some distance from the... (full context)
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Mr. Bucket explains that Sir Leicester Dedlock has put up a large reward for the imprisonment of... (full context)
Chapter 53
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Mr. Bucket has eyes and ears everywhere and is guided by his senses in a great many... (full context)
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...has a very large funeral and the street around the court is crowded with carriages. Mr. Bucket occupies one of these carriages and observes, from this spot, his wife on the steps... (full context)
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One servant gives Mr. Bucket a letter and Mr. Bucket thinks it amusing that, as a man who does not... (full context)
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Mr. Bucket is summoned to the drawing room after dinner and finds Sir Leicester with Volumnia and... (full context)
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Mr. Bucket continues that, sometimes, very odd secrets can be discovered in families, even very wealthy and... (full context)
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While they talk, Lady Dedlock returns and sweeps past Mr. Bucket towards the stairs. She briefly asks him if there is any news on the murder... (full context)
Chapter 54
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The next morning, Mr. Bucket waits for Sir Leicester in the drawing room. Sir Leicester arrives late and explains that... (full context)
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Mr. Bucket begins to speak of Lady Dedlock, and Sir Leicester furiously announces that he must have... (full context)
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...Smallweed is carried into the room, followed by Mrs. Snagsby and Mr. and Mrs. Chadband. Mr. Bucket introduces himself and Sir Leicester seems amazed by this intrusion. Mr. Smallweed announces that his... (full context)
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Mr. Bucket says that he will give Mr. Smallweed 50 pounds for them, and Mr. Smallweed demands... (full context)
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Mrs. Snagsby comes forward next, in floods of tears. She tells Mr. Bucket the tragic and convoluted tale of Mr. Snagsby’s infidelity, which she has concocted in her... (full context)
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Mr. Bucket tells Sir Leicester that the murderer is in the house, and that he is about... (full context)
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Mr. Bucket forces Mademoiselle Hortense to sit on the sofa and tells Sir Leicester that she has... (full context)
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Mr. Bucket says that he arrested George because he knew that the soldier had been with Mr.... (full context)
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That night, Mr. Bucket told his wife, and Mrs. Bucket helped him solve the crime. He told Mrs. Bucket... (full context)
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Mr. Bucket says that Mademoiselle Hortense silenced the gun using curtain fabric from Chesney Wold, and that... (full context)
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Mr. Bucket puts Mademoiselle Hortense in handcuffs and begins to lead her away. She spits and swears... (full context)
Chapter 56
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...to write upon it. He manages, after a struggle, to write the word “Mr.” and Mr. Bucket is summoned. (full context)
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Sir Leicester writes “Full Forgiveness. Find…” on the slate and Mr. Bucket immediately understands. He promises Sir Leicester that he will find Lady Dedlock and tells Mrs.... (full context)
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Mr. Bucket rides to George’s gallery and finds the trooper has just returned from Mr. Jarndyce’s house.... (full context)
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Mr. Jarndyce goes to get Esther and then returns to tell Mr. Bucket that she will accompany him. Mr. Bucket waits patiently and, while he does, thinks of... (full context)
Chapter 57
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Esther comes downstairs, still dazed and half asleep, and listens with horror as Mr. Bucket reads her Lady Dedlock’s letter. She puts on warm clothes and follows Mr. Bucket outside... (full context)
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...with her mother. It is already very late, and Esther waits for some time before Mr. Bucket reappears. He entreats her to be calm and, first checking that she has warm clothes... (full context)
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...first takes them to the docks where a sign on the wall reads “Found Drowned.” Mr. Bucket disappears down some steps with another man on the quayside and Esther waits, horrified, until... (full context)
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The carriage stops at every public house along the way, and Mr. Bucket goes in and chats to the customers and to the owners of the establishment. Esther... (full context)
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...road on the night that she took Jo in. Esther says yes and wonders how Mr. Bucket knows about Jo. Mr. Bucket tells her that he was the man and that he... (full context)
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As they approach the house, Mr. Bucket points at Mr. Skimpole’s room and asks if he is often a guest. Esther asks... (full context)
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...if any of them have been near the brickmaker’s cottage. When the servants say no, Mr. Bucket suggests that he and Esther should go there immediately. They find the brickmakers and Liz... (full context)
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Esther tries to find out more, but the brickmaker grows impatient and Mr. Bucket tells Esther that it is time to go. As he leads her outside, he tells... (full context)
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...the night. They travel all the next day, though their progress is slow, and although Mr. Bucket still stops at every public house, he seems unsure of their route. He still hears... (full context)
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The women revive Esther with some food and hot soup before Mr. Bucket returns and says that they must be on their way. Although Esther has never seen... (full context)
Chapter 59
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Esther and Mr. Bucket re-enter London in the early hours of the morning and travel down a series of... (full context)
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Esther recognizes the street and realizes they are in Chancery Lane. Mr. Bucket begins to lead her away when she hears Mr. Woodcourt call her name. He rushes... (full context)
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When they arrive, Mr. Bucket goes inside and leaves Esther and Mr. Woodcourt in the street. A few moments later,... (full context)
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Mr. Bucket then tells Mrs. Snagsby—who still peers menacingly at Esther—that she has made a mistake and... (full context)
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...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)
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Mr. Bucket knows the place, and he, Esther, and Mr. Woodcourt rush into the street and head... (full context)
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...lying senseless in the snow. Mr. Woodcourt looks pained as he holds her back and Mr. Bucket says that he should let her go. Esther runs to the woman and lifts her... (full context)
Chapter 61
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...tells him that she was very disappointed to hear that he accepted a bribe from Mr. Bucket on the night that Jo was taken from the house and Mr. Skimpole is amazed... (full context)
Chapter 62
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While they talk, Mr. Bucket is announced. The private investigator enters the room, followed by two men who carry Mr.... (full context)
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Mr. Jarndyce thanks Mr. Bucket but says he wants nothing to do with the suit. He takes the document immediately... (full context)