Bleak House

Bleak House

by

Charles Dickens

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Mrs. Snagsby Character Analysis

Mrs. Snagsby is the wife of Mr. Snagsby, who runs the law stationer’s shop outside the court of Chancery. She is a high-strung and emotionally volatile woman with an overactive imagination. Although her husband is loyal and mild mannered, Mrs. Snagsby suspects that he is unfaithful to her and thinks that Jo, the urchin who sweeps the streets outside the shop and whom Mr. Snagsby often gives money to, is Mr. Snagsby’s illegitimate son. Mrs. Snagsby lets these delusions carry her away to such an extent that she becomes completely paranoid and follows her husband around looking for evidence of his infidelity. She becomes extremely upset at the thought of this and takes her anger out on her unfortunate servant, Guster. She is a religious and a gullible woman and is in the thrall of the lecherous Mr. Chadband, who presents a pious face to the world but is really a smarmy, petty criminal.
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Mrs. Snagsby Character Timeline in Bleak House

The timeline below shows where the character Mrs. Snagsby appears in Bleak House. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 10
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
...and is popular with the apprentices in the shop as well as Mr. Snagsby himself. Mrs. Snagsby also appreciates Guster because she can take her anger out on her. Despite her mistress’s... (full context)
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Mrs. Snagsby manages the money and business side of the shop. When they gossip among themselves, the... (full context)
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
Mrs. Snagsby lurks on the stairs, eager to discover what Mr. Snagsby is up to. Mr. Snagsby... (full context)
Chapter 19
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
...to have guests. Mr. Chadband, a minister, and his wife, Mrs. Chadband, are friends of Mrs. Snagsby , who is a staunchly religious woman. Guster lays out tea in the drawing room—for... (full context)
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
...this is not his business. He asks Mr. Snagsby if he knows the boy and Mrs. Snagsby , who has been listening on the stairs, screams that he does not. She rushes... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
...Snagsby. Jo’s story has piqued Mr. Guppy’s interest, and he wishes to interrogate the boy. Mrs. Snagsby invites Mr. Guppy upstairs, and Mr. Guppy politely agrees and takes Jo up with him.... (full context)
Chapter 22
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
...anxious. When he returns home, still rather confused about the night’s events, he finds that Mrs. Snagsby has sent the police out looking for him and is sure he has been murdered. (full context)
Chapter 25
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
In Mr. Snagsby’s house, Mrs. Snagsby ’s imagination goes to work. She can see that a change has come over her... (full context)
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
The next evening, Jo arrives for his lesson from Mr. Chadband. Mrs. Snagsby is convinced that Jo is Mr. Snagsby’s son and watches for signs throughout the evening.... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
...from. On Jo’s way out of the house, Mr. Snagsby gives him a half-crown, and Mrs. Snagsby watches silently from the stairs. (full context)
Chapter 33
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
...he hears the news but is forced to leave before he hears the story because Mrs. Snagsby has followed him. She glares at him accusingly, and Mr. Snagsby almost thinks she holds... (full context)
Chapter 42
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
...to make her an appointment with the lawyer. Mr. Snagsby complains that this has made Mrs. Snagsby very jealous and has made the neighbors talk and caused a great deal of trouble... (full context)
Chapter 47
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
...when Mr. Woodcourt appears, because he assumes that he is connected to the mystery, which Mrs. Snagsby has set out to solve. Mr. Snagsby tells Mr. Woodcourt that living with his wife... (full context)
Chapter 54
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
A servant interrupts them, and Mr. 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... (full context)
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
Mrs. Snagsby comes forward next, in floods of tears. She tells Mr. Bucket the tragic and convoluted... (full context)
Chapter 59
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
...a servant who has fallen into a fit and sits Esther down by the fire. Mrs. Snagsby glares at her. Mr. Snagsby imploringly tells his wife that he has no idea why... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Mr. Bucket then tells Mrs. Snagsby —who still peers menacingly at Esther—that she has made a mistake and that she should... (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
...remembers that this is the place where Captain Hawdon was buried and grows upset until Mrs. Snagsby comforts her. (full context)