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Bleak House by Charles Dickens by Dennis Butts (auth.)

By Dennis Butts (auth.)

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She shows him Lady Dedlock's letter and he summons Bucket to search for her and offer his full forgiveness. The detective finds Esther's handkerchief in Lady Dedlock's boudoir and calls on Mr Jarndyce late at night to beg for Esther's help in his search. Commentary With the discovery of Lady Dedlock's flight, the narrative gains pace as Dickens suggests the desperate speed of Bucket's search, and in the last paragraph the reference to the brick-kilns hints at the final twist in the unfolding of Lady Dedlock's tragedy.

Chapter 38 Summary When Esther returns to Bleak House, she visits London, where she finds Caddy happily married and learning to give dancing-lessons as Prince's 30 health is not good. Together Esther and Caddy call on Mr Guppy, and Esther begs him not to make any further inquiries about her personal history. Guppy, startled by Esther's changed appearance, and fearing that she wishes to take up his proposal of marriage, is clumsily anxious to hear her formally decline his offer again in front of Caddy.

Mter delaying for two weeks, she tells Mr Jarndyce that she will marry him. 33 Commentary Though the mystery of Esther's birth has now been solved, the reader's interest is maintained by uncertainties about whether Lady Dedlock's secret will be exposed. Jarndyce's proposal raises problems for Esther, too. She loves and respects her guardian, and prudence suggests the marriage would be a good one, but Esther is a young woman with powerful emotions, which she recognises that marriage to Jarndyce would not fulfil.

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