Bleak House By Charles Dickens Summary and Analysis Chapter 47 - Jo's Will

Allan and Jo continue to walk. At a breakfast stall, Jo, although he has become a starveling, is able to eat only a tiny amount. Examining the boy, Allan finds him quite ill and gives him a little wine, which helps. Jo is then able to eat, and as he does so, he tells the doctor "the adventure of the lady in the veil, with all its consequences." Uncertain of where to find a place of temporary refuge for the boy, Allan locates Miss Flite; she suggests George's shooting gallery. Jo's fear of Bucket is somewhat eased when George and Phil Squod volunteer to take care of the boy. George himself is preoccupied with the possibility that Tulkinghorn will close him down because of debts. Snagsby visits Jo and gives him four half-crowns. The child remains confused about the identities of Lady Dedlock, Esther, and Hortense. He knows no prayer and yet senses that "It's time fur me to go down to that there berryin ground." Allan begins to say the Lord's Prayer; Jo dies after repeating a few phrases of it.


Summary

Allan and Jo continue to walk. At a breakfast stall, Jo, although he has become a starveling, is able to eat only a tiny amount. Examining the boy, Allan finds him quite ill and gives him a little wine, which helps. Jo is then able to eat, and as he does so, he tells the doctor "the adventure of the lady in the veil, with all its consequences." Uncertain of where to find a place of temporary refuge for the boy, Allan locates Miss Flite; she suggests George's shooting gallery. Jo's fear of Bucket is somewhat eased when George and Phil Squod volunteer to take care of the boy. George himself is preoccupied with the possibility that Tulkinghorn will close him down because of debts. Snagsby visits Jo and gives him four half-crowns. The child remains confused about the identities of Lady Dedlock, Esther, and Hortense. He knows no prayer and yet senses that "It's time fur me to go down to that there berryin ground." Allan begins to say the Lord's Prayer; Jo dies after repeating a few phrases of it.

Analysis

By what he learns from Jo, Allan Woodcourt is drawn more deeply into matters that most intensely concern Esther. Dickens' portrayals of the deaths of innocent children were favorably received by readers in his day. In the death of Jo, Dickens implies the callousness and improvision of the London world of 1853.

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