Bleak House By Charles Dickens Summary and Analysis Chapter 58 - A Wintry Day and Night

While Sir Leicester lies ill at his town house, the high society in which the Dedlocks move is rife with rumors about them. Sir Leicester, though still seriously ill, waits expectantly for Bucket to return; he wants to be sure that the house is in cheerful readiness for Lady Dedlock. George Rouncewell and his mother discuss the absence of Lady Dedlock. The mother feels certain that Lady Dedlock "will never more set foot within these walls." The lady's "empty rooms, bereft of a familiar presence, seem oppressively dark and cold.


Summary

While Sir Leicester lies ill at his town house, the high society in which the Dedlocks move is rife with rumors about them. Sir Leicester, though still seriously ill, waits expectantly for Bucket to return; he wants to be sure that the house is in cheerful readiness for Lady Dedlock. George Rouncewell and his mother discuss the absence of Lady Dedlock. The mother feels certain that Lady Dedlock "will never more set foot within these walls." The lady's "empty rooms, bereft of a familiar presence, seem oppressively dark and cold.

Sir Leicester wishes to see George. When George arrives, he lifts the stricken man up and puts him close to one of the windows so that he can have a better view of "the driving snow and sleet." Sir Leicester wants to make it clear to all that he remains "on unaltered terms" with his wife. Restless and wakeful throughout the night, he is watched over and cared for with tender devotion by the stalwart George.

Analysis

The portrayal of Sir Leicester as a touchingly regenerated personality continues. This chapter shows Dickens' masterful ability to modulate from one tone to a quite different one. The chapter commences on a note of sarcastic social satire but develops into scenes of atmospheric cold and foreboding and then into the expression of deeply realized — and this time unsentimentalized — human warmth and tenderness. Not very important in terms of plot, this chapter shows Dickens at the height of his powers in the rendering of atmosphere and feeling.

Back to Top

Take the Quiz

Before Allan Woodcourt sails away to China and India as a ship's surgeon, he leaves behind a




Quiz