Bleak House

Bleak House

by

Charles Dickens

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Phil Character Analysis

Phil is George’s manservant who helps him run the shooting gallery. Phil is extremely poor and is an orphan and knows little of his origins. When he was a child, he followed a traveling blacksmith to the city and worked in this profession until he was badly burned in an accident. As a result of his injuries, Phil’s face is scarred on one side, and he cannot use one side of his body. He gets around by dragging himself along the wall in the gallery. He lost his customers after this accident and was socially ostracized. George found Phil when he tripped over him, when Phil was lying in a drain in the street. George felt sorry for the poor man and took him on as his assistant. Phil is very loyal to George and is a hard worker. George is a loyal employer to Phil in turn and takes Phil with him at the novel’s end when George is given a job as Sir Leicester Dedlock’s attendant.
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Phil Character Timeline in Bleak House

The timeline below shows where the character Phil appears in Bleak House. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 21
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
...of combat practice. It is deserted, however, and the only person inside is George’s attendant, Phil, who lies asleep upon the floor. (full context)
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
George wakes Phil and tells him to close the gallery for the night. Phil jumps up obediently and... (full context)
Chapter 24
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
...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 is... (full context)
Chapter 26
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
Morning breaks over Leicester Square, where George and Phil sleep in the shooting gallery. When the sun is up, the two men rise and... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
Phil tells George that he became a blacksmith and took over the “tinker’s” business, but he... (full context)
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Phil lifts Mr. Smallweed’s chair effortlessly and deposits him by the fire. He hisses in the... (full context)
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
...satisfactory reason for it. George goes to a safe and withdraws a sheet of paper. Phil then carries Mr. Smallweed to a carriage, which waits outside, and Judy and George follow... (full context)
Chapter 34
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
...letter from Mr. Smallweed which asks for the full repayment of his debt. George asks Phil what he makes of it and Phil says that this is always the way in... (full context)
Chapter 47
Law vs. Justice Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
Identity and Appearance Theme Icon
...die, and George solemnly assures the doctor that the boy will be cared for. While Phil takes Jo for a bath, George and Mr. Woodcourt talk of their mutual acquaintance with... (full context)
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Passion, Obsession, and Madness Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
Jo lies in bed very ill. Phil and George take good care of him, many people come to visit. Esther, Mr. Jarndyce,... (full context)
Chapter 66
Social Mobility, Class, and Lineage Theme Icon
Philanthropy, Social Responsibility, and Kindness Theme Icon
Haunting, Guilt, and Destiny Theme Icon
...not wish to patronize, rather than out of a genuine desire to win the battle. Phil lives in the groundskeeper’s cottage, and Mrs. Rouncewell is very happy to have her son... (full context)