Mrs. Snagsby suspects that her husband is keeping a secret from her. She concludes that he is the father of Jo, and she asks Mr. Chad-band to interview Jo in Snagsby's presence. Soon she becomes convinced of her husband's guilt and falls into hysteria. Guster gives her supper to Jo and also gives him an affectionate pat on the back. Snagsby gives Jo a half-crown, unaware that Mrs. Snagsby is watching. After that, Mrs. Snagsby spies upon her husband relentlessly.
Cold, jealous, emotionally weak women like Mrs. Snagsby create a character background against which the realized femininity of Esther and Ada is all the more impressive. The sharp contrasts also create a dramatic effect and, at the same time, give Bleak House the variety found in real life.