Bleak House By Charles Dickens Summary and Analysis Chapter 41 - In Mr. Tulkinghorn's Room

Upstairs in Tulkinghorn's room, Lady Dedlock confronts the lawyer. She demands to know why he told her story to "so many persons." Tulkinghorn says that he wanted her to know that he was in on the secret. She indicates that she plans to leave Chesney Wold but wants to spare Sir Leicester any unnecessary pain. Tulkinghorn's "sole consideration in this unhappy case is Sir Leicester," but as he has not yet decided how to act upon his discovery of Lady Dedlock's secret, he says that at least for a while he will keep the matter to himself. Tulkinghorn goes to sleep; Lady Dedlock, distraught, paces for hours in her room. The next morning the Dedlock house is a place of bustling hospitality.


Summary

Upstairs in Tulkinghorn's room, Lady Dedlock confronts the lawyer. She demands to know why he told her story to "so many persons." Tulkinghorn says that he wanted her to know that he was in on the secret. She indicates that she plans to leave Chesney Wold but wants to spare Sir Leicester any unnecessary pain. Tulkinghorn's "sole consideration in this unhappy case is Sir Leicester," but as he has not yet decided how to act upon his discovery of Lady Dedlock's secret, he says that at least for a while he will keep the matter to himself. Tulkinghorn goes to sleep; Lady Dedlock, distraught, paces for hours in her room. The next morning the Dedlock house is a place of bustling hospitality.

Analysis

Lady Dedlock makes a momentous decision: Tragedy is fully upon her. Tulkinghorn's inflexibility and lack of affection and compassion are more impressive than ever. Dickens foreshadows the lawyer's imminent but unexpected death; the morning light finds Tulkinghorn "at his oldest; he looks as if the digger and the spade were both commissioned, and would soon be digging."

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