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UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

House, the family and domesticity as central images in Dickens' novels Cromwell , Alexandra Freya 1970

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THE HOUSE, THE FAMILY AND DOMESTICITY AS CENTRAL IMAGES IN DICKENS* NOVELS by ALEXANDRA FREYA CROMWELL B.A., University of Southampton, 1968 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in the Department of English We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1970 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s in p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t o f the r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Co lumb ia , I a g ree tha t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and s tudy . I f u r t h e r agree tha p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be g r a n t e d by the Head o f my Department o r by h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . It i s u n d e r s t o o d t h a t c o p y i n g o r p u b l i c a t i o n o f t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l g a i n s h a l l not be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Department o f & ^ f o k  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Co lumbia Vancouver 8, Canada i ABSTRACT More than any other Victorian novelist, It is Dickens who has been regarded as a f i t subject for reading aloud In the family group. This thesis.represents an attempt to understand how, in his f i c t i o n , Dickens regards and makes use of the concept of the family group, how the domestic interior relates Itself to other aspects,of the novels. It soon becomes apparent, as this Inquiry- Is made, that the image of the domestic interior is central to Dickens* novels and the thesis undertakes an examination of, primarily, two novels in order to demonstrate that this is so. The two novels chosen, Martin Chuzzlewlt and Bleak House, were written with an interval of about nine years between them. The former stands at the end of what might be called the f i r s t stage of Dickens* career but i t looks, in some respects, towards the later novels, of which Bleak House is one of the f i r s t . In Martin Chuzzlewlt we see a novel whose concerns are with the family and the problems of authority, paternity, selfishness and altruism. These concerns are expressed through descriptions of the places in which family groups reside or by an investigation of what takes place . within those residences. Investigated, too, are the reasons for which the Individual leaves home and the consequences of such a leaving. It is concerns such as these which link the English and American sections of the novel. Bleak House l i r a i s e s s i m i l a r questions but extends and examines them i n a structure which embraces English society as a whole. The examination, that i s , i s more complex than that undertaken i n Martin Chuzzlewlt. Nevertheless, i t too i s concerned with family l i f e and, through his observations on a number of households and the individuals Included In and excluded from them, Dickens expresses his c r i t i c i s m of society In i t s e n t i r e t y . The house i s a house but i t i s also a metaphor for the larger organization of England. - Through understanding the quality of the l i f e l i v e d within the houses whieh Dickens describes, the reader can understand many of the values embodied i n the novels. Dickens recognized that the nature of a .nation's l i f e as a whole i s l a r g e l y dependent upon the nature of the l i f e l i v e d within each i n d i v i d u a l household. The connection between the house and the c i v i l i z a t i o n Is a close, one, as we see i n Martin  Chuzzlewlt. Houses, however, a r e . r e l a t i v e l y f i x e d structures and i n Bleak House the notions of t r a d i t i o n , of time and change, decay and corruption are explored through t h e i r asso-c i a t i o n with the house, and hence,the novel*s concern with the new industrialism which i s examined as i t defines I t s e l f In r e l a t i o n to domesticity and the family c i r c l e . »***««« TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER . PAGE ONE INTRODUCTION . . .. 1 TWO MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT 7 THREE BLEAK HOUSE . . . . . 60 FOUR CONCLUSION 124 : BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . 130 CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION "It must be remembered that Dickens was fond of i n t e r i o r s as such; he was l i k e a romantic tramp who should go from window to window looking i n at the parlours" Chesterton's remark was delivered with reference to Dickens' Christmas Books and i t i s the cheerful Yuletlde i n t e r i o r which the c r i t i c has i n mind when he writes that "To him 0Dlckens~/ every house was a box, a Christmas box, i n which a dancing human d o l l was t i e d up i n bricks and slates instead of s t r i n g and brown paper. H Yet Chesterton recognizes that the domes-t i c i n t e r i o r s of Dickens* novels are by no means a l l as amiably cosy as the C r a t c h l t , Veck, Peery-bingle and Swldger households at the denouements of t h e i r respective t a l e s * He was on his way to quainter towns and v i l l a g e s . Already the plants were sprouting upon the balcony of Miss Tox; and the greatwind was r i s i n g that flung Mr. Pecksniff against his own front door.3 Then again, Chesterton's comparison of Dickens to the out-s i d e r , the man who observes but does not partake i n the G.K. Chesterton, Appreciations and Crit i c i s m s of the  Works of Charles Dickens (Washington. 1966). p. xxlv. Chesterton, p. xxv. 3|her|tertg>n, p. xxv. 2 domestic " s o l i d i t y and neatness"^ of others raises interesting questions about the extent of Dickens 1 i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and sympathy with those on the outside as d i s t i n c t from those on the inside. In his treatment of the house he examines what i t i s to be Involved i n domesticity, i n the l i f e of a house, and what i t i s to be outside that l i f e , to be denied i t or to leave I t . It Is no longer necessary to draw attention to a Dickens who Is not s o l e l y the celebrator of the genial f i r e s i d e . Many of the c r i t i c s who followed Chesterton have performed that service. We are now aware of a novelist who could penetrate the baitarltles as well as the c i v i l i t i e s of family l i f e . The V i c t o r i a n family had Its f i e r c e s t c r i t i c as well as Its most enthusiastic e x t o l l e r i n the n o v e l i s t whom It loved above a l l others. What has not received a systematic c r i t i c a l exploration i s the way i n which Dickens used his d e s c r i p t i o n of the domestic i n t e r i o r i n order to express his Insight into i n d i v i d u a l and s o c i a l psychology and into the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the two. What does a house mean i n Dickens* work? Is i t an admirable or a v i c i o u s phenomenon? A discussion of houses as they appear i n a novel may Involve the problems of architecture and architectural aesthetics. This Is not obviously so i n the case of Dickens* Chesterton, p. xxiv. 3 novels, Dickens does not concern himself d i r e c t l y with these matters when describing his houses and i t i s noteworthy that the house which he, himself, bought and renovated towards the end of his l i f e was not desired f o r i t s a r c h i t e c t u r a l beauties but because i t had been, from childhood, a romantic symbol of wealth and success.5 That "quaint o l d house with plenty of ivy on i t " 6 which George Orwell describes as the id e a l erected by Dickens does r e c a l l the happy Jarndyce, Boythorn and Woodcourt homes i n Bleak House and theirs i s a beauty removed from a r c h i t e c t u r a l considerations. While i t i s true that Martin Chuzzlewlt has an architect's house as one of i t s settings, i t i s the absence of a r c h i t e c t u r a l creation there, rather than Its presence, with which Dickens Is concerned. Nevertheless, a r c h i t e c t u r a l aesthetics can throw l i g h t on c e r t a i n aspects of Dickens' a r t . Vincent J. S c u l l y J r . distinguishes between the two major tr a d i t i o n s 5John Forster. The L i f e of Charles Dickens, ed. A.J. Hoppe" (London, 1966), 1, i»-5. - • - " Dickens wrote to a Mrs* Nichols with regard to Gad's H i l l that I t was "as v i o l e n t l y opposed to a l l a r c h i t e c t u r a l ideas, as the most hopeful man could possibly desire." See Edgar Johnson, Charles Dickens tHis Tragedy and Triumph. (New York, 1952), 11, p. 1015. I t i s in t e r e s t i n g , too, that, In his l e t t e r s to friends describing the houses i n which he. Is l i v i n g , i t i s with t h e i r convenience for d a i l y l i f e and, above a l l , f or his writing that Dickens i s c h i e f l y concerned. ^George Orwell, Dickens. D a l l and Otherst Studies In  Popular Culture (New York, 19^6), p. 55. " ~~ 4 of a rchitecture. One, that which i s c a l l e d the Gothic, i s rt concerned with nthe dominance of i n t e r i o r space,"'the o t h e r — c l a s s i c a l — i s "a sculptural, challenging evocation of the gods of the outside and of the sky."® There i s no doubt that Dickens' houses are of the Gothic type and, indeed, Dickens' i s an a r t which has been called "Gothic" by many c r i t i c s . The term has carried several meanings. In Mario Praz's c r i t i c i s m of Dickens,, "Gothic" describes Dickens' bizarre juxtaposition of opposites: V i c t o r Hugo's formula was not very d i f f e r e n t [from that of Dickensj: the same mixture of elements, i n f act, that/he saw i n Gothic architecture — f i g u r e s of angels and gargoyles of grinning demons, laughter side by side with pathos.9 Jack Lindsay, w r i t i n g about Barnaby Rudge, talks of "the Gothic aesthetic" as i t i s manifested i n the Gothic novel "where emotional c o n f l i c t or c r i s i s was always linked with transformative l i g h t - e f f e c t s . " ^ Paul P i c k r e l describes Wemiaick's house as "a t i n y Gothic c a s t l e , " 1 * as indeed i t i s . When other c r i t i c s write of the "Gothic" nature of 'Vincent J . S c u l l y J r . , ^ Modern Architecture: Toward a Redefinition of S t y l e , " P e r s p e c t a : The Yale A r c h i t e c t u r a l  Journal, IV (1957), p. 6. 8 S c u l l y , p. 7. 9Mario Praz, The Hero i n E c l i p s e i n V i c t o r i a n F i c t i o n , trans. Angus Davidson (London, 1956), p. 155. : " 1 0 J a c k Lindsay, "Barnaby Rudge," i n Pickens and The  Twentieth Century, ed. John Gross and Gabriel Pearson (London, 1962), p. 105. " Paul P i c k r e l , -Great Expectations." i n Dickens: A C o l l e c t i o n of C r i t i c a l Essays ("Twentieth Century Views"), ed. Martin Price (N.J., 1967), p. 64. 5 Dickens' a r t , i t i s to the novelist's attention to d e t a i l , p a r t i c u l a r s , that they r e f e r . Present In each of these interpretations of the term "Gothic" i s the notion of an i n t e r i o r as opposed to and defined by an exterior. Gargoyles draw attention to the Interiors of the buildings which they decorate Just as the exteriors of Dickens' grotesque charac-ters r a i s e questions about t h e i r I n t e r i o r s . The accumulation of d e t a i l In Dickens' novels i s the means by which physical amblences are created around characters and these amblences usually take the form of rooms, houses. Wemmick's "Gothic Castle" guarantees a privacy to which a l l Dickens' characters aspire. A l l would wish to be able to raise the drawbridge and enclose themselves and their chosen guests. For Dickens i s , of course, the n o v e l i s t of an urban world i n which more time i s spent inside than Is spent outside. Mario Praz compares the art of Dickens (amongs others) to that of the seventeenth-century; Dutch genre painters whose v i s i o n of the world 12 was a v i s i o n of the i n t e r i o r s of rooms/' Angus Wilson con-fesses to being unable to step outside a Dickens novel: "But the 'Inside' f e e l i n g obstinately refuses to give place to an 13 outside view." -/ In his book, The Architecture of Humanism. Geoffrey Scott 1 2 P r a z , *pp. 1-29. 13Angus Wilson, "Charles Dickens: A Haunting," C r i t i c a l  Quarterly. 11 (Summer, I960), p. 102. 6 quotes S i r Henry Wotton's statement that "Well-Building hath three conditions: Commodity, Firmness, and Delight.?' 1 4 With the l a s t of these t h r e e — a r c h i t e c t u r e as "the disinterested desire f o r beauty*! 1 5—Dickens i s not concerned. He i s , however, concerned with ''Firmness,*» with the s t a b i l i t y or i n s t a b i l i t y of h i s houses and with ''Commodity-w-building as an expression of the c i v i l i z a t i o n or epoch which produces i t . Nevertheless, the importance of the images of homes, fami l i e s and domestic i n t e r i o r s i n Dickens's novels resides i n the use which Dickens makes of them i n exploring issues such as those of authority, paternity, r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , benevolence and dependence, and i n examining the progress of change, maturation, decay and stagnation i n private and public l i f e . Dickens always sees the houses which he describes i n terms of the l i v e s l e d within or around them, whether the relationship between the two be characterised by s i m i l a r i t y or by d i s s i m i l a r i t y . The house per se i s not of central importance i n Dickens's f i c t i o n , but i t i s of central importance when the ramifications of the concepts of family and domesticity are conjoined with i t . ********** l 4 G e o f f r e y Scott, The Architecture of Humanism, 2nd ed. (London, 1924), p. 1. 1 5 S c o t t , p. 4. 7 CHAPTER TWO MARTIN CHUZZLEWIT The f i r s t chapter of Martin Chuzzlewlt i s e n t i r e l y concerned with "The Pedigree of the Chuzzlewlt Family" and It Is In t h i s chapter that we f i n d an announcement of the concerns of the novel as a whole. From the f i r s t , the family as an I n s t i t u t i o n Is linked with vice and crime: It Is remarkable that as there was, In the oldest family of which we have any record, a murdeierand a vagabond, so we never f a i l to . meet, i n the records of a l l old f a m i l i e s , with innumerable repetitlons@of the same phase of character. Indeed, i t may be l a i d down as a general p r i n c i p l e , that the more extended the ancestry, the greater the amount of violence and vagabondism?•'. *. . . 1 The respect which a family considers to be i t s due by v i r t u e of Its being a family, p a r t i c u l a r l y i f i t has a long history, i s discounted i n a chapter-long burlesque of ancestral pre-tensions. For, as Dickens i s to demonstrate In his novel, the f i x i t y which a family creates can bring about the perpe-tuation and, Indeed, i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n of any vice to which i t i s prone. Thus old Martin states towards the end of the novel, "The curse of our house,. . .has been the love of s e l f ; * 2 and we learn how f a r the family vice has communicated 1 Martin Chuzzlewlt ;>. p. 1. This and a l l subsequent re -ferences to quotations from Dickens* f i c t i o n are to The Biographical E d i t i o n of The Works of Charles Dickens (London, 1 9 0 3 ) . 2 M a r t i n Chuzzlewlt, p. 6 4 9 . 8 i t s e l f to Martin through domestic proximity—"Martin's nature was a frank and generous one; but he had been bred up in his grandfather's house; and i t w i l l usually be found that the meaner domestic vices propagate themselves to be their own antagonists."3 For the home which, as we see in the case of Ruth and Tom Pinch, can enshrine unselfishness can also be the perfect breeding-ground for selfishness and cruelty. Jonas' house provides spectacular evidence of the family hearth consecrated to sadism and masochism. In order that the famlly.may exist as a unit i t s members must l i v e together for some period of time within one house. The building of huge houses by wealthy families testifies to the connection between family bonds and display and between the need for privacy and the need for publiolty. Not that (say) the Chuzzlewlt house can be compared to 6tately homes like that of the Dedlocks In Bleak House with regard to Its size or cost. It Is, however, like them a place for the small, claustrophobic family u n i t — i n the case of the Dedlocks, husband and wife, in Pecksniff's house, parent, and children. The larger family unit—that which includes grand-parents and grandchildren, cousins close and distant, in-laws-is shown in the novel at Its r i t u a l i s t i c gatherings and as i t stems from Its patriarchal head. The Chuzzlewlt family at ^Martin Chuzzlewlt, p. ^25. 9 large gathers together on two occasions i n the novel—towards i t s beginning, at the expected death of old Martin and towards i t s end, at the expected marriage of Charity Pecksniff. On both occasions expectations are thwarted and Dickens depicts the r e l a t i v e s who hover over deathbeds, eager for money, or over weddings, eager for the humiliation of t h e i r p r i n c i p a l p a r t i c i p a n t s , as beings akin to those r e l a t i v e s of Miss Havlsham i n another novel In which expectations are f r u s -trated. Her r e l a t i v e s w i l l , Miss Havlsham foresees, gather around her corpse as i t l i e s on,the banqueting table.^ This v i s i o n of the family as a cannibal feast Is to be found, expressed more e x p l i c i t l y , In Martin Chuzzlewlt. George Chuzzlewlt protests to Mrs. Ned that he Is "not a cannibal" but proceeds to Imagine his fee l i n g s were he onei At a l l events, i f I was a cannibal," said Mr. George Chuzzlewlt, greatly stimulated by t h i s r e t o r t , "I think i t would occur to me that a lady who had outlived three husbands and suffered so very l i t t l e from t h e i r l o s s , must be most un-commonly tough."5 This speech Is a play of wit on George Chuzzlewlt*s part but the rending and devouring of human f l e s h by human teeth i s an appropriate analogy to the f e r o c i t y with which the members of t h i s assembly inveigle against each other, a f e r o c i t y only Great Expectations, p. 6 5 . ^Martin Chuzzlewlt. p. ^ 9 . 10 exceeded by the f e r o c i t y with which they attack outsiders. Each wishes to absorb old Martin's substance—his money. Old Martin i s described as being " i n a state of slege"^ against his r e l a t i v e s and reacts with revulsion against the affirmation of k i n s h i p i "My good cousin--" said Mr. Pecksniff. "There! His very f i r s t wordsJ" c r i e d the old man, shaking his grey head to and f r o upon the pillow, and throwing up his hands. "In his very f i r s t words he asserts his r e l a t i o n s h i p ! I knew he wouldt they a l l do i t ! Near or distant, blood or water, i t ' s a l l one. Ugh! What a calendar of deceit and l y i n g , and false-witnessing, the sound of any word of kindred opens before me!"? As Tigg remarks, i t i s natural for the t i e s of kinship to produce enmity, "natural" meaning here that which occurs i n -s t i n c t i v e l y i n man.9 Pecksniff l a t e r dissociates himself from t h i s human nature—"Ah, human nature, human nature! Poor human nature!" said Mr. Pecksniff, shaking his head at 6 M a r t l n Cfauzzlewltgu p. ^ 3 . ^Martin Chuzzlewlt. p. 2 9 . ^Martin Chuzzlewlt. p. 3 9 . ?The following passage from Nicholas Nlokleby throws some l i g h t on these d i f f e r i n g interpretations of "nature": "Parents who never showed t h e i r love, complain of want of natural a f f e c t i o n i n t h e i r children; children who never showed t h e i r duty, complain of want of natural f e e l i n g i n t h e i r parents; law-makers who«find both so miserable that t h e i r affections have never had enough of l i f e ' s sun to develop them, are loved i n t h e i r moralislngs over parents and children too, and ary fenatthe very-sties of nature are disregarded. Natural a f f e c t i o n s and i n s t i n c t s , my dear s i r , are the most bea u t i f u l of the Almighty's works, but l i k e other b e a u t i f u l works of His, they must be reared and fostered, or, i t i s as natural that they should be wholly obscured," (p. ^78). 11 human nature, as i f he didn't belong to I t , " Indeed, his entire behaviour i s an attempt to disguise his r e a l nature, by denying that he possesses the "nature" to which Tlgg r e f e r s — t h e nature which Tlgg implies, Inclines man to vi c e . At the same time he t r i e s to persuade old Martin that the "natural" bond between them—the bond of k i n s h i p — t h a t which w i l l involve the a n t i c i p a t i o n of b e q u e s t — i s to be d i s r e -garded and, furthermore, t r i e s to Impress his r e l a t i v e by posing as natural man , Adam, the gardener, whilst prac-t i s l n g an art which necessitates the destruction of vegetable nature. For Pecksniff Is an a r c h i t e c t and his duty, as he himself states I t , i s "to deal with marble, stone and b r i c k . " 1 1 Architecture Is an unnatural a r t In the sense that i t transforms nature's raw materials but i t Is also unnatural i n that i t Is, In some respects, h y p o c r i t i c a l , as Geoffrey Scott explains! But the "states" In architecture with which , we thus i d e n t i f y ourselves need not be actual. The actual pressures of a spire are downward; yet no one speaks of a "sinking" s p i r e . A sp i r e , when well designed, appears—as common language t e s t i -f i e s — t o soar. .We i d e n t i f y ourselves, not with i t s actual downward pressure, but i t s apparent upward impulse.12 So i t i s with Pecksniff. His motives are base but he affects to soar. Yet even Pecksniff's profession of a h y p o c r i t i c a l A V M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. p. 382. ^ M a r t i n Chuzzlewlt;, p. 4 4 9 . 1 2 S c o t t , p. 213. 12 art Is h y p o c r i t i c a l . He does not create a r c h i t e c t u r a l designs but steals those of another man. Thus private and pub l i c , appearance and r e a l i t y , natural and unnatural In t h e i r various senses, are c l o s e l y enmeshed with the notion of family and of the l i f e within and without the family house. It Is at the f i r s t of the novel*s two major family gatherings that Pecksniff*s pretensions to be considered as the head of the family are challenged and i t i s thi s surro-gation of o f f i c e which Is one of the sins f o r which he i s punished at the end of the novel. The true head of the Chuzzlewlt family, the p a t r i a r c h a l head, i s old Martin. He re f e r s to himself as a father to Ruth Pinch and Mary Graham*-* and he Is the dispenser of the world's goods to them and to young Martin who f i n a l l y looks to his grandfather f o r his l i f e provision and Is relieved of want at a desperate moment i n his career by a g i f t from him. Por, although young Martin denies*, his grandfather's authority and attempts to make his own way i n the world, yet he i s bound to come back to i t . Both he and old Martin are altered . The p a t r i a r c h a l authority has been transformed from despotism to benevolence, but i t 1 3 M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. p. 6 6 3 . 13 remains p a t r i a r c h a l . The.change i n old Martin i s r e f l e c t e d i n the e f f e c t which he has on the homes into which he intrudes himself. He does, at f i r s t , by his own admission, bring disagreement and unhappiness—"I have engendered such domestic s t r i f e and discord, by tarrying even with members of my own family; I have been such a lig h t e d torch In peaceful homes, kin d l i n g up a l l the Inflammable gases and vapours i n t h e i r moral atmosphere, which, but for me, might have proved harmless to the e n d . T h e changed Martin can, however, contribute to the domestic happiness of young Martin and Mary, Ruth and John. It i s noteworthy that old Martin i s never seen to be l i v i n g i n a house of his own. After the unsuccessful sojourns with his r e l a t i v e s he. has been, he says "taking refuge i n secret places have l i v e d , of l a t e , the l i f e of one who i s hunted.wl5 We see him for the f i r s t time at the Blue Dragon and we are given our l a s t glimpse of him as he returns there but his attitude to the Inn has undergone a change, which corresponds to the Improvement In his perception. Old Martin returns Joyfully and appreciatively to the Inn at which he was formerly i r a s c i b l e and misanthropic. There i s , however, no suggestion that old Martin w i l l eventually go to a home of his own. His r o l e In the novel consists i n his Involvement Martin Chuzzlewlt, p. 33. ^ M a r t i n Chuzzlewlt, p. 33. 14 i n the domestic a f f a i r s of others. If old Martin i s , at the end of the novel, the d i s -penser of the world's goods, he i s also the dispenser of j u s t i c e . The episode i n which, each of the protagonists receives his or her Just deserts i s as formal i n i t s way as the scene i n Measure f o r Measure i n which Duke Vincentio deals out j u s t i c e to his subjects. The comparison could be extended. Old Martin, l i k e the Duke, has the power to banish an offender from his kingdom—his house—and to bring about his e x i l e overseas. Both disguise themselves i n order to test the v i r t u e of those around them and both f i n d out and punish hypocrites. The notion of the disguised r u l e r testing his subjects i s an old and f a i r l y widespread one and Is c e r t a i n l y not confined to Shakespeare and Dickens, although I t might be remembered that Forster placed i n Dickens* hands, before the l a t t e r * s departure f o r America, a copy of Shakespeare*s works.*^ The composition of Martin  Chuzzlewlt took place shortly a f t e r Dickens* return from America and we learn that Forster*s g i f t was "an unspeakable source of delight,' 1*'' during the American tour. Steven Marcus has noticed that " v i r t u a l l y every chapter i n Martin  Chuzzlewlt contains some a l l u s i o n to Shakespeare." 1® Old 1 6Edgar Johnson, I, p. 362. ^ F o r s t e r , I, p. 217. 18 A D S t e v e n Marcus, Dickens from Pickwick to Dombey (London, 1965),ff2l4-215. 15 Martin and Duke Vlncentlo are both flawed r u l e r s . Old Martin's flaw i s that which a f f e c t s his whole family. He i s s e l f i s h and he r e a l i z e s at l a s t that his selfishness manifests i t s e l f i n having always sought out the s e l f i s h -ness i n others, whether i t . e x i s t e d or not. Here a comparison with a character from a l a t e r Dickens novel i s h e l p f u l . Mr. B o f f i n In Our Mutual Friend i s a wealthy man who stands In a f a t h e r l y or benevolent p o s i t i o n to many of those around him and he, too, a f f e c t s a d i s g u i s e — n o t , l i k e old Martin, primarily In order to prove vice and v i r t u e , but i n order to r e - e s t a b l i s h those two elements i n a single nature where they had become wrongly Inverted. B o f f i n resolves to stimu-l a t e avarice but the Intensity with which Dickens evokes Boffin's enjoyment of the role,suggests that a l l i s not pretense. Like Flaubert, the vividness of whose description of the romances read by his Emma Bovary detracts from his condemnation of them, B o f f i n (and perhaps Dickens) enters into the s p i r i t of that which he c r i t i c i z e s so thoroughly that he appears to partake of that s p i r i t . The progression from the disguise of old Martin to the disguise of B o f f i n Is the progression from f a i r y - t a l e to a c e r t a i n psychological complexity, an unresolved ambiguity. The reader i s l e f t with no doubt about the workings of old Martin's mind but B o f f i n remains something of an enigma. By taking old Martin into his house and by attempting 16 to gain complete cont ro l over him, Pecksnif f hopes to wrest the p a t r i a r c h ' s power from him and to wield i t himself . He usurps o ld Mar t in ' s author i ty by ordering young Martin from his house when the l a t t e r returns to seek r e c o n c i l i a t i o n with his grandfather and his cas t ing out of his p u p i l s , John, Mart in and Tom, i s c l e a r l y an attempt to assume a p a t r i a r c h a l d i gn i ty which he can never possess. He t r i e s , i n a sense,. ....... to depose the r i g h t f u l r u l e r . „ Marcus writes of Mart in Chuzzlewlt that I t "Is concerned with the question of autho-r i t y and obedience . " 1 ^ Old Mart in i s not i n fact father to any of the characters i n the novel but then phys i ca l pater-n i t y i n the novel i s by no means consonant with wise a u t h o r i t y . Anthony Chuzzlewlt ra i se s his son to be as mercenary as himself and, indeed, so w e l l Is the f a ther ' s lesson l earnt by the son that Jonas,"from his ear ly habits of considering everything as a question of p r o p e r t y . . . h a d gradual ly come to look , with impatience, on his parent as a c e r t a i n amount of personal es ta te , which had no r i g h t whatever to be going at l a r g e , but ought to be secured In that p a r t i c u l a r de sc r ip t ion of Iron safe which Is commonly c a l l e d a c o f f i n , and banked i n the g r a v e . " 2 0 The r e s u l t of th i s father-son r e l a t i o n s h i p i s a supposed parr ic ide—the Marcus, p. 22k, Mart in Chuzzlewlt . p . 98. 17 crime which arouses as much horror as r e g i c i d e , Involving as It does the reversal of natural order and the defiance and destruction of "natural" authority. Jonas* contempla-t i o n of i t i s i n Martin Chuzzlewlt a crime so unnatural that i t culminates i n the destruction of himself. Jonas k i l l s himself with the poison bought fo r the murder of his father. Yet Dickens emphasizes i n his Preface that Jonas* intended p a r r i c i d e i s a natural one, given the circumstances of his upbringingi I conceive that the sordid coarseness and b r u t a l i t y of Jonas would be unnatural, i f there had been nothing i n his early education, and i n the precept and example always before him, to engender and developethe vices that made him odious. But, so born and so bred; admired for that which made him hateful, and j u s t i f i e d from his cradle i n cunning, treachery, and avarice; I claim him as the legitimate issue of the father upon whom those vices are seen to r e c o i l . And I submit that t h e i r r e c o i l upon that old man, i n his unhonoured age, i s not a mere piece of po e t i c a l j u s t i c e , but i s the extreme exposition of a di r e c t t r u t h . 2 1 Here again we see a c o n f l i c t between two meanings of the word "natural." The natural t i e s of a f f e c t i o n and authority between father and c h i l d are overcome by the natural outcome of a bad education. In comparison with that of Anthony Chuzzlewlt the re s u l t s of Pecksniff*s fatherly guidance seem not altogether disastrous yet Pecksniff's daughters are both spoiled and both s u f f e r matrimonial unhappiness. The problems 2 1 M a r t l n Cfauzzlewlt. p. xvlx 18 of paternity and paternalism In public and private l i f e are c e n t r a l to Dickens' work and have t h e i r f u l l e s t explora-t i o n i n the novels of the writer's l a t e r career. The house, which Is used to r a i s e future generations, determines the qua l i t y of those generations and the l i f e of the nation Is affected by the l i f e of the household. In Martin Chuzzlewlt we might note that thoroughly good characters such as Euth and Tom Pinch and Mary Graham are orphans and there Is never any suggestion that Mark Tapley has parents. The parental theme i s not confined to the domestic hearth. An American c i t i z e n r e f e r s to England as "the unnat'ral old p a r e n t " 2 2 and It Is appropriate that Martin, who has run away from the authority of his grandfather, should go to a land colonized by refugees from the authority of a monarch. The American chapters of Martin Chuzzlewlt are, i n part, a study of how the c h i l d behaves when freed altogether from ancient, c o n s t i -tuted authority. The house Is thought of c h i e f l y as a place for the creation and conservation of privacy, be It the privacy of the i n d i v i d u a l or the privacy of the family. The reading of-novels i s a private a c t i v i t y , requiring the Individual to take himself apart from others and to absorb himself i n a Martin Chuzzlewlt. p. 280 19 s o l i t a r y pursuit. Dickens' novels were, though, i n some respects an exception to thi s r u l e . Not only did Dickens himself give public readings of his work, but they were dramatized for the stage, and a charwoman i s said to have reported, on f i r s t seeing Dickens, that her landlord gave a monthly subscription tea at which the l a t e s t number of Dombey and Son was read aloud. 2 3 The toll-man, described i n chapter thirty-one of Martin Chuzzlewlt. Is the private c i t i z e n , congratulating himself on his privacy and prosperity and ever-watchful of the world which passes by outside his windowst The t o l l - m a n — a crusty customer, always smoking s o l i t a r y pipes in?,a Windsor chair, inside, sat a r t f u l l y between two l i t t l e windows that looked up and down the road, so that when he saw anything coming up, he might hug himself on having t o l l to take, and when he saw i t going downa might hug himself on having taken It- . . , 2 An amplified v i s i o n of the pleasure of the domestic scene i s contained In an account of Mr. Mould at home, "surrounded by his household gods."2-5 But, whereas the toll-man's Is a comfort which must be hugged, enclosed, guarded, makes him bad-tempered*, Mr. Mould can af f o r d to r e l a x — " t h e legs of Mr. Mould were on the window-seat, and his.back r e c l i n e d 23 Edgar Johnson, I I , p. 613. ^ M a r t i n Chuzzlewlt. p. 408. 25 Martin Chuzzlewlt. p. 325. 20 against the shutter" — and to luxuriate i n "a calm d e l i g h t . " 2 ? He can relax because, unlike the toll-man, he i s not at work when he i s at home and i s not, therefore, brought into contact with a s t a r t l i n g and possibly h o s t i l e outside world. As J. H i l l l s M i l l e r writes, "There i s nothing around him which i s not his world, which does not mirror back to him his own nature, minister to his own comfort of body and mind...His peaceful "gaze" i s met everywhere by a return look which i s not the h o s t i l e stare of something a l i e n but i s as>much his own, himself, as his own face i n the mirror." M i l l e r goes on to describe the "successive layers of p rotection" 2? which surround Mr. Mould. His bald head i s protected f r o i | f l i e s by a handkerchief, his drink stands to hand, his wife and daughters *smile upon him, c i t y noises reach him as a "drowsy hum"3° and his window gives upon a " s c r e e n ^ 1 of his own vegetables. His i s a "household sanctuary"3 2 where a l l appertains to himself. Even the graveyard i s his own and fo r Mr. Mould, the undertaker, the sound of coffin-making i s "pleasant."33 i t promotes "slumber and digestion."3^ This 2 6 M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. p. 325. 27Martln Chuzzlewlt. p. 325 2 8 J . H i l l l s M i l l e r , Charles Dickenst The World of His  Novels (Cambridge, Mass., 1958), p. 98. 29H1111S M i l l e r , p. 99. 30Martln Chuzzlewlt. p. 326. 3J-MartIn Chuzzlewltlfe p. 326. 3 2 M artln Chuzzlewlt. p. 326. 33Martln Chuzzlewlt. p. 326. 3 % a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. p. 326. 21 would seem to be a s t a t i c , i n v i o l a b l e world, a world In contrast to that of the toll-man who i s involved i n t r a v e l and change and must, therefore, hug c l o s e l y any security which devolves from I t . Yet Mr. Mould i s also Involved i n the world of change. His very name suggests the process of decay and his business i s with the r e s u l t s of mortality. When his domestic repose Is broken i n upon by Mrs. Gamp, the emissary from the world of b i r t h and death, i t i s of time and change that the two speak» "And likeways what a pleasure,"said Mrs. Gamp, turning with a t e a r f u l smile towards the daughters, "to see them two young ladies as I know'd afore a tooth i n t h e i r pretty heads was cut, and have many a day seen—ah, the,sweet creetursj — playing at berryins down i n the shop, and f o l l e r l n ' the order-book to i t s long home i n the iron safe! But that's a l l past and over, Mr. Mould;" as she thus got In a c a r e f u l l y regulated routine to that gentleman, she shook her head waggishly; "That's a l l past and over now, s i r , an't I t ? " "Changes, Mrs. Gamp, changes!" returned the undertaker. "More changes too, to come, afore we've done with changes, s i r , " said Mrs. Gamp.35 Domestic peace can never remain invbxlate i n a world of process and In a middle-class world where men must earn t h e i r l i v i n g . Much of the delight of rare moments of domestic privacy consists i n Dickens i n t h e i r very precarlousness. Martin Chuzzlewlt. p. 328 22 I f domestic privacy i s rare i n England, i t does not according to Martin Chuzzlewlt. exist at a l l i n America. Young Martin i s unable to practice as a domestic a r c h i t e c t i n America because l i f e i n America Is altogether public. When Dickens v i s i t e d America he was amazed and offended by the disregard which the c i t i z e n s showed for his privacy:— "The people poured on board, i n crowds, by s i x on Monday morning, to see me, and a party of 'gentlemen* actually planked themselves before our l i t t l e cabin, and stared i n at the door and windows while I was washing, and Kate lay i n bed."3^ He offended public,opinion by his outspoken comments on slavery and l i t e r a r y piracy—manifestations ©f that same lack of respect f o r the i n t e g r i t y of the i n d i v i -dual. Young Martin Chuzzlewlt i s welcomed to America by the c r i e s of newspaper s e l l e r s — e v i d e n c e of a nation l i v i n g i t s l i f e e n t i r e l y In public. No facet of a man's l i f e i s invulnerable to the all-exposing and usually slanderous press—"Here's the Sewer's exposure of the Wall Street Gang, and the Sewer's exposure of the Washington Gang, and the Sewer's exclusive account of a flagrant act of dishonesty committed by the Secretary of State when he was eight years old; now communicated, at a great expense, by his own nurse." The c i t i z e n s of America demand that prominent figures (and ^ F o r s t e r , 1, p. 2k7. 3 7 M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. p. 2 0 9 . 23 most men are prominent In a land where a l l i s public) be displayed to the curious at "le-vee^s? Martin, being one of the chosen, i s t o l d that he i s "quite a public man."3® When i n Eden, Martin and Mark are offended by the v i s i t of Hannibal Ghollop who was "apparently labouring tinder the not uncommon delusion, that f o r a free and enlightened c i t i -zen of the United States to convert another man*s house into a spitoon f o r two or three hours together, was a d e l i c a t e attention, f u l l of i n t e r e s t and politeness, of which nobody could ever t l r e , " - ^ and, as Mark observes, there may be no house or window dues i n America, but then there are few houses or windows eith e r . The lack of a private, domestic l i f e i n America (we are made aware of how many Americans l i v e i n hotels or boarding houses) has s i n i s t e r consequences. The uniformity and monotony which makes every man seem a Jefferson Brick or a Lafayette Kettle r e s u l t s from a lack of opportunity, In a l i f e l i v e d e n t i r e l y In public, f o r men to withdraw Into, f i n d and be themselves. The empty rhetoric of Miss Toppitt arises from the poverty of her Inner l i f e . The ordinary processes of growth become strangely d i s t o r t e d owing to the str a i n s of the non-private l i f e . Thus Mr. and Mrs. Jefferson Martin Chuzzlewlt, p. 296. 39Martln Chuzzlewlt. p. 423. Martin Chuzzlewlt. p. 4-39. 24 Brick look l i k e c hildren, yet have two chi l d r e n of t h e i r own. The public l i f e of the United States does not, however, engender a refinement i n manners. Behaviour at the public dinner table, governed In the Old World by an exacting etiquette, i s , i n America, simply a matter of consuming the greatest possible amount i n the shortest possible time. Martin sees th i s deliberate scoring of formality as symptomatic of a greater e v i l i The mass of your countrymen begin by stubbornly neglecting l i t t l e s o c i a l obser-vances, which have nothing to do with g e n t i l i t y , custom, usage, government, or country, but are acts of common, decent, natural, human politeness....From d i s r e -garding small obligations they come i n regular course to disregard great ones; and so refuse to pay t h e i r debts. What they may, do, or what they may refuse to do next, I don't know; but any man may see i f he w i l l , that It w i l l be something following i n natural succession, and a part of one great growth, which i s rotten at the r o o t . ^ 1 A lack of consideration f o r one's neighbours i n small matters can lead only to the ferocious Intolerance towards d i f f e r i n g opinions which Martin sees i n the country as a whole. It Is unnatural for c i v i l i z e d man, l i v i n g i n society, to attempt to revert to a state of nature. Hannibal Chollop "fresh from Natur's mould" i s a murdering r u f f i a n . The ^ M a r t i n Chuzzlewlt. p. 4 3 5 . ^ M a r t i n Chuzzlewlt. p. 4 3 3 . 25 new American Eden i s a stinking swamp. Lionel T r i l l i n g explains that many of the differences between the American and the European novel a r i s e from the fa c t that the l a t t e r deals with a dense society where the tension between morals and manners generates much of the novel's I n t e r e s t . ^ This i s the kind of novel that Dickens was writing and the flatness of the American passages of Martin Chuzzlewlt. f l a t , that Is, compared with (say) the episodes at Todger!;?,, arises p a r t l y from the flatness of the society with which they deal. Their characters are one-dlmensional because they lack Inner l i f e (and because they are undergoing a broad s a t i r e attack) and rel a t i o n s between characters lack the excited i n t e n s i t y provided by the need to accommodate the private s e l f to "the l i m i t a t i o n s set by a strong and complicated t r a d i t i o n of manners."**^ In America there Is no private s e l f and there are no manners. There Is a h y p o c r i t i c a l snobbery, as we learn from the Norrlses, but there Is none of what T r i l l i n g c a l l s "pride i n class. " ^ 5 Thus, to employ T r i l l i n g ' s terms again, there i s "pride In status without pride i n function."** 6 One must, of course, ask the question, how f a r can we ^ L i o n e l T r i l l i n g , The L i b e r a l Imagination* Essays on  Lit e r a t u r e and Society (New York, 1 9 5 0 ) , p. 128. ^ T r i l l i n g , p. 128. ^ T r i l l i n g , p. 12k. 46 T r i l l i n g , p. 125. 26 d i s t i n g u i s h between the private and the public? Each displays c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s usually associated with the other. The very privacy of a domestic i n t e r i o r can be exploited f o r public purposes. Pecksniff and his daughters arrange domestic tableaux as formalized and a r t i f i c i a l as any stage set, i n order to impress v i s i t o r s with t h e i r spontaneous domesticltyi Mr. Pecksniff had c l e a r l y not expected them fo r hours to comet f o r he was surrounded by open books, and was glanoing from volume to volume, with a black-lead p e n c i l i n his mouth, and a p a i r of compasses i n his hand, at a vast number of mathematical diagrams, of such extraordinary shapes. that they looked l i k e designs f o r fireworks. Neither had Miss Charity expected them, fo r she was busied, with a capacious wicker basket before her, i n making impracticable night-caps f o r the poor. Neither had Miss Mercy expected them, fo r she was s i t t i n g upon her s t o o l , tying on t h e — o h good graci o u s ! — t h e petticoat of a large d o l l , that she was dressing f o r a neighbour's c h i l d . . . . I t would be d i f f i c u l t , i f not Impossible, to. conceive a family so thoroughly taken by surprise as the Pecksniffs were, on this occasion.47 The narrative voice i s that of. the v i s i t o r (Martin perhaps) who i s to be deceived by th i s spectacle but i t i s , In i t s exaggerated delight and coyness, also the mocking voice of he who penetrates i t s f a l s i t y . The inside view and the outside are thus combined i n a commentary on a publio-prlvate scene. The reader i s l e f t i n no doubt as to what his own judgement should be. The entire Peoksniff house, with i t s p o r t r a i t s of Pecksniff, i t s books on architecture, i t s a r c h i t e c t u r a l ^?Martln Chuzzlewlt. p. 6 5 . 27 Instruments and designs, i s set up so as to create the public image which Pecksniff desires. It r e f l e c t s , not what does take place within, i t , but what Pecksniff wishes others to believe takes place there. The facade cracks occasionally but Pecksniff.maintains his disguise remarkably consistently. He continues to moralize even when alone with his daughters. Denied an entrance to Pecksniff's mind, the reader i s l e f t wondering whether Pecksniff f e e l s that a public r o l e must be constantly practiced In private or whether he r e a l l y does believe himself to be a good man. But t h i s Is perhaps an Inappropriate speculation i n the case of a character who l i v e s externally and i s always presented so. When Peck-s n i f f ' s r o l e f a l l s , the reader sees his physical, not his s p i r i t u a l , collapset ...he seemed to be,.shrunk and reduced; to be trying to hide within himself; and to be wretched at not having the power to do I t . His shoes looked too large; his sleeves looked too long; his hair-looked too limp; his features looked too mean; his exposed throat looked as if a halter would have done It good.48 The domestic image which the Pecksniffs t r y so hard to present i s that which Ruth-Pinch achieves naturally. Marcus has noticed that the passage which describes i n s a t i r i c tone "the prudent cherry-staff and s c r i p , and treasure of her doting father" Is a parody,of those i n which he describes the Martin Chuzzlewlt. p. 3 9 3 . 28 domestic occupations of Ruth P i n c h . ^ Certainly the beef-steak pudding passages are written In a s t y l e unpleasantly sentimental to modern tastes but i t i s doubtful whether Dickens would have i n any way appreciated t h i s objection. The domesticity of Ruth and Tom, as well as providing a contrast to that of the tyrannical households which they had both previously inhabited, also r e f l e c t s Dickens 1 approval of the happy home. The home i s usually a.place of shelter from the attacks of storm and darkness ,50 one of the f i n e s t of the Sketches, by Boz Is that which describes *!!The Streets-Night." The sketch i s dominated by a contrast between the warm l i g h t of house i n t e r i o r s and the cold darkness of the street outside. Those who are Inside are ^Marcus, p. 219. ^Although, as we see i n the case of Dombey's house a f t e r the f i n a n c i a l crash, a house can be "proof against wind and weafiter" but "a r u i n none the l e s s . " (Dombey and Son, p. 6 6 3 ) . The invasion by the brothers of the Dombey house i s conceived as a v i o l a t i o n i "herds of shabby vampires, Jew and Chr i s t i a n , overun the house, sounding the plate-glass mirrors,with t h e i r knuckles, s t r i k i n g discordant octaves on the grand piano, drawing wet forefingers over the pictures, breathing on the blades of the best dlnner-knlves, punching the squabs of chairs and sofas with t h e i r d i r t y f i s t s , touzling the feather-beds, opening and shutting a l l the drawers, balancing the s i l v e r spoons and forks, looking into the very threads of the drapery and l i n e n , and disparaging everything. There Is not a secret place i n the whole house. (Dombey and Son, p. 6 6 7 ) . Because furniture constitutes part of a family*s day to day l i f e , the removal of that f u r n i t u r e constitutes an Injury to that l i f e , and to i t s memory—"Poor Paul's l i t t l e bedstead i s c a r r i e d off i n a donkey-tandem." (Dombey and Son, p. 6 6 8 ) . Balzac's Madame Vauquer compares the removal of furniture from a house to the removal of i t s inhabitants. 03onore' de Balzac, Old Getrlott trans. Marion Ay ton Crawford (Harmohdsworth, Middlesex, 1951), P. 237.1 29 members of f a m i l i e s , much concerned with t h e i r own enter-tainment and physical comfort while those outside are unfortunates—"ragged boys," a beggarwoman with her c h i l d or a policeman, ensuring that misery does not produce lawless-ness. 51 i n David Copperfleld Peggotty's house, with i t s candle l i t f o r Emily, i s a symbol of his own generosity. His house, resembling as i t does a boat, w i l l save Emily from the waters of death which,threaten Martha and k i l l S teerforth and i t i s i n a boat that Peggotty and his niece leave England f o r a new l i f e abroad. In Martin Chuzzlewlt. too, the house i s i n i t i a l l y conceived as a refuge from the outside world. At the beginning of the novel the wind attacks Pecksniff, gains access to his house and must be shut out before the master,of the house can be recovered. Good housekeeping i s , i n Dickens' novels, a v i r t u e . ^ 2 Dora Copperfield's u n s u i t a b i l i t y as a wife and the consequent .necessity f o r her death i s manifested i n part i n her incom-petence as a housewife. Mrs. J e l l y b y i n Bleak House i s condemned for i n t e r e s t i n g herself i n A f r i c a to the neglect of her household. In Martin Chuzzlewlt we learn that learned American women regard housekeeping as "domestic drudgery"53 while, f o r Mary Graham, the notion of "Home" i s m sacred ^Sketches by Boz. p. 41. CO -'Dickens 1 biographers t e l l us of the novelist's concern that his own household should be well-run. 5 3 M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. p. 2 3 9 . 30 as that of "Death" or "Childhood."^ The success of Ruth's beefsteak pudding i s , i n a,sense, a r e f l e c t i o n of her i n t e g r i t y as a human being.and the novel ends with a double domestic b l i s s . Where the food i s scanty, as at the Pecksniff or Chuzzlewlt houses, human nature i s flawed and, when misery Is within, i t i s r e f l e c t e d by the house. Here i s Dickens' description of the house i n which Anthony Chuzzlewlt l i v e s with his son. Here i s domestic comfort s a c r i f i c e d to business u t i l i t y , h o s p i t a l i t y to avarice: Thus i n the miserable bedrooms there were f i l e s of moth-eaten l e t t e r s hanging up against the walls; and l i n e n r o l l e r s , and fragments of old patterns, and odds and ends of spoiled goods, strewed upon the ground; while the meagre bed-steads, washing-stands, and scraps of carpet, were huddled away into corners as objects of secondary consideration, not to be thought of but as disagreeable n e c e s s i t i e s , furnishing no p r o f i t , and intruding on the one a f f a i r of l i f e . The single sitting-room was on the same p r i n c i p l e , a chaos of boxes and old papers, and had more counting-house stools i n i t than c h a i r s * 5 5 Much of the action of.Martin Chuzzlewlt takes place, not within the private house, but within the inn or boarding-house. Glssing's Henry Ryecroft says of lodgings and boarding-houses that they are a "sordid substitute f o r Home,"-^ and t h i s i s c e r t a i n l y true of such places as the "National Hotel" i n America. Here the s t e r i l e monotony of the rooms r e f l e c t s s i m i l a r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s i n the boarderst ^ M a r t i n Chuzzlewlt. p. 198. 55Martln Chuzzlewlt. p. 144 ^George Gissing, The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft (London, 1903), p. 8. 31 There were Interminable whitewashed staircases, long whitewashed g a l l e r i e s up-stairs and down-stairs, scores of l i t t l e whitewashed bedrooms, and a four-sided veran-dah to every story i n the house, which formed a large brick square with an uncomfortable courtyard i n the centret57 Mrs. Pawkins* boarding-house i n New York i s equally d i s m a l — "exquisitely uncomfortablet having nothing i n i t but the four cold white walls and c e i l i n g , a mean carpet, a dreary waste of dining-table reaching from end to end, and a bewildering c o l l e c t i o n of cane-bottomed c h a i r s . " ^ < With the American boarding-houses we must, however, contrast l o d g e r s 1 . In t h i s contrast we see again the difference between an old, dense c i v i l i z a t i o n and a new, s u p e r f i c i a l one. Mealtimes at Mrs. Pawkins* are, as has already been mentioned, s t r i c t l y u t i l i t a r i a n occaslons-£"Great heaps of i n d i g e s t i b l e matter melted away as ice before the sun. It was a solemn and an awful thing to see. Dyspeptic individuals bolted t h e i r food i n wedges; feeding, not themselves, but broods of nightmares." The dinner at Todgers* described at length i n chapter nine, i s a r i t u a l at which, although the guests " f e l l to with less ceremony than appetite."** 0 i s , nevertheless, accompanied by a procession, toasts, speeches and a very l i v e l y awareness of each guest f o r his fellow. Emotions unconnected with the " M a r t i n Chuzzlewlt. p. 284. 58Martin Chuzzlewlt. pp.216-217 5 9 M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt, p. 221. 6 0 M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. p. 119. 32 s a t i s f a c t i o n of hunger for food f l o u r i s h . The young men at Todgers* experience romantic love and jealousy, Pecksniff's daughters enjoy the triumphs of admiration and r i v a l r y , Pecksniff himself grows amorous. The meal becomes a s o c i a l event. Here there i s none of the uniformity which i s so prominent a feature of American l i f e . The gentlemen at lodgers* are distinguished.one from another by the^'turn" to which each i n c l i n e s ! ...they Included a gentleman of a debating turn, who was strong at speech-making; and a gentleman of a l i t e r a r y turn, who wrote squibs upon the r e s t , and knew the weak side of everybody*s character but his own. There was a gentleman of a vocal turn, and a gentleman of a smoking turn, and a gentleman of a c o n v i v i a l turn; some of the gentlemen had a turn f o r whist, and a large proportion of the gentlemen had a strong turn f o r b i l l i a r d s and betting.61 As a group they indulge i n a kind of sophisticated wit which consists i n a l t e r i n g the name of the Todgers* boy i n a l l u s i o n to names i n the news and i n response to a delight in^verbal play t Benjamin, for instance, had been converted into Uncle Ben, and that again had been corrupted into Uncle; which, by an easy t r a n s i t i o n , had again passed into Barnwell, i n memory of the celebrated r e l a t i v e i n that degree who was shot by his nephew George, while meditating i n his garden at Camberwell. The gentleman at Todgers's had a merry habit, too, of bestowing upon.him, f o r the time being, the name of any notorious malefactor or minister; and some-times when current events were f l a t , they even sought the pages of history for these d i s t i n c t i o n s ; as Mr. P i t t , Young Brownrigg, and the l i k e . 6 2 6 l M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt, p. 118. Martin Chuzzlewlt. p. 117. 33 For the society at Todgers! i s Mgh t l y - k n i t , enjoying Jokes i n common and assuming an almost f a m i l i a l character, with Mr. Ji n k i n s , the oldest boarder, appearing as "the father of Todgers*H^3 and, of course, Mrs., Todgers the provider of nourishment, as i t s mother. Unlike Mrs. Pawkins' boarding-house i n New York, Todgers 1 i s d a r k — w i t h the darkness,and d i r t of history. The National Hotel i n America i s whitewashed throughout but Todgers 1 "had not been papered or painted, hadn't Todgers', within the memory of man."6^ Dickens.emphasizes the age of Todgers', , an age which has concentrated i t s e l f into a detectable essence—"There was an odd .smell i n the passage, as i f the concentrated essence of a l l . t h e dinners that had been cooked In the kitchen since the house..was b u i l t , lingered at the top of the kitc h e n - s t a i r s to that hour. «65 It i s an age which extends I t s e l f to the Todgers'. .neighbourhood—"Among the narrow thoroughfares at hand, there lingered, here and there, an ancient doorway of carved oak, from which, of old, the sounds of revelry and feasting often cameij" 0 0—and, Indeed, Todgers' Is situated near y the Monument, that memorial of an event of centuries before. If the boarding-houses of America 6^ Martin Chuzzlewlt. p. 121. ^ M a r t i n Chuzzlewlt. p. 102. 6^ Martln Chuzzlewlt. p. 102. 6 6 M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. p. 106. a x e s t e r i l e i n t h e i r w h i t e n e s s a n d b r i g h t n e s s , T o d g e r s 1 i s f e r t i l e t o t h e p o i n t o f d e c a y — " S e v e r a l f r u i t - b r o k e r s h a d t h e i r m a r t s n e a r T o d g e r s 1 ; a n d o n e o f t h e f i r s t i m p r e s s i o n s w r o u g h t u p o n t h e s t r a n g e r f l s s e n s e s w a s o f o r a n g e s — o f d a m a g e d o r a n g e s , w i t h b l u e a n d g r e e n b r u i s e s o n t h e m , f e s t e r i n g i n b o x e s , o r m o u l d e r i n g a w a y i n c e l l a r s . " 6 ' ' T h e , f e r t i l i t y o f T o d g e r s * i s m a n i f e s t e d , t o o , i n t h e l a v i s h n e s s o f t h e d i n n e r w i t h w h i c h I t h o n o u r s t h e P e c k s n i f f s , i n t h e r e l i s h o f i t s b o a r d e r s f o r t h e n a t u r a l j u i c e s o f m e a t , i n t h e i n g e n i o u s n e s s o f i t s n i c k n a m e s f o r i t s s e r v a n t s a n d i n t h e s e n s e o f o c c a s i o n w h i c h i t c a n g e n e r a t e w i t h i n i t s e l f . I n t h e r e g i o n o f T o d g e r s * s t a n d c h u r c h y a r d s — r e m i n d e r s o f h i s t o r y , o f b i r t h , m a t u r i t y , d e c a y a n d d e a t h , a n d t h e v e g e -t a t i o n w h i c h g r o w s t h e r e i s , t h a t w h i c h " s p r i n g s u p s p o n t a n e -o u s l y f r o m damp a n d g r a v e s , a n d . r u b b i s h . " T o d g e r s * c l o c k t i c k s u n s e e n , r e c o r d i n g t h e p a s s a g e o f t i m e a n d w a r n i n g men n o t . t o t a n g l e w i t h i t . N o - o n e l o o k s a t t h i s " g r u f f o l d g l a n t " 6 ^ t o a s c e r t a i n t h e h o u r o f d a y . I t i s t i m e i n m o t i o n r a t h e r t h a n t i m e f i x e d , t h e t i m e o f h i s t o r y a n d o f t h e g r a v e -y a r d s w i t h w h i c h t h i s c l o c k i s c o n c e r n e d . The f o r m s w h i c h a r e f o l l o w e d a t T o d g e r s * , t h e e x c i t e m e n t w h i c h p r e v a i l s o n S a t u r d a y n i g h t a n d t h e m y s t e r y s u r r o u n d i n g 67Martln C h u z z l e w l t . p . 105. 6 8 M a r t l n C h u z z l e w l t . p . 106 6 9 M a r t l n C h u z z l e w l t . p . 102. 35 i t are the outcome of an o l d . c i v i l i z a t i o n and so too i s the uniqueness of each of i t s boarders, a uniqueness r e f l e c t e d i n the inconvenient e c c e n t r i c i t y of the building i t s e l f ~ Besides the three l i t t l e windows, with seats i n them, com-manding the opposite archway^: there was another window looking point-blank, without any compromise at a l l about i t , into JInkin's bedroom; 7^ The nature of the i n s t i t u t i o n s that Is Todgers' and the e f f e c t s which i t has are summed up In t h i s image; "at the top of the s t a i r c a s e , was an old, d i s j o i n t e d , r i c k e t y , Ill-favoured s k y l i g h t , patched and mended In a l l kinds of ways, which looked d i s t r u s t f u l l y down at everything that passed below, and covered Todgers' up as i f i t were a sort of human cucumber-frame, and only people of a peculiar growth were reared there. 7 1.. For the cucumber-frame i s an a r t i f i c i a l device for the encouragement of natural l i f e and. Todgers' partakes of the a r t i f i c i a l i t y of c i v i l i z a t i o n . Even the trees which grow near i t can be seen " s t i l l putting f o r t h t h e i r leaves i n each succeeding year, with such a languishing remembrance of t h e i r kind (so one might fancy, looking on t h e i r s i c k l y boughs) as birds i n cages have of t h e i r s . " 7 2 Gissing writes, "we are made to f e e l what an o l d , old world r u A d e t a i l such as t h i s t e l l s the reader that Todgers' Is a Gothic s t r u c t u r e — G o t h i c as Ruskin defines the Gothic when he writes, " i n the best times of Gothic, a useless window would rather have been opened In an unexpected place for the sake of the surprise, than a useful one forbidden f o r the sake of sym-metry. (John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice I I . The Complete Works  of John Ruskin (New York, 1890?), VII, p. 179. 7lMartln Chuzzlewlt. p. 102. 7 2 M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. p. 106. 36 i t i s that has brought f o r t h these surprising forms of humanity."^3 Todgers 1 thus stands i n contrast to the "natural" l i f e of America, the l i f e without history, without forms, without manners. Todgers' building r e f l e c t s i t s past and incorporates i t into i t s present. Just as the reader i s .made,aware i n Martin Chuzzlewlt that, London Is the centre of the c i v i l i z e d l i f e of England, so Todgers' seems to stand .at the very centre of London, such i s the vigour with which i t i s conceived. As Gissing says, "To depict London was one of the ends f o r which Dickens was born. In the page headed "Town, and TodgersTs" he achieved supremely that purpose of his being."?** Going up to London means, f o r the Pecksniffs,.going up to Todgers' and i t i s to Todgers*s that Charity f l e e s a f t e r a quarrel with her father. Yet,,as Gissing notioes, the society which Todgers 1 embraces is a l i m i t e d one. I t i s "lower London at the middle of our lithe. nineteenth]] century. "75 i t i s that and yet i t i s much., more. The whereabouts of Todgers' i s something of a mystery. It stands at the centre of a lab y r i n t h and, although known to be near the Monument, could have been anywhere! 73George Gissing, C r i t i c a l Studies of the Works of Charles Dickens, (New York, 1924), p. 78. F^Gisslng, p. 88. 75Giss ing, p. 77. 37 You couldn't walk about i n Todgers's neighbour-hood, as you could i n any other neighbourhood. You groped your way for an hour through lanes and by-ways, and court-yards, and passages; and you never once emerged upon anything that might be reasonably c a l l e d a street. A kind of resigned d i s t r a c t i o n came over the stranger as he trod those devious mazes, and giving himself up for l o s t , went i n and out and round about and quietly turned back again when he came to a dead wall or was stopped by an Iron r a i l i n g , and f e l t that the means of escape might possibly present themselves In t h e i r own good time, but that to anticipate them was. hopeless. Instances were known of people who, being asked to dine at Todgers's had t r a v e l l e d round and round f o r a weary time, with i t s very chimney-pots In view; and fin d i n g I t , at l a s t , Impossible of attainment, had gone home again with a gentle melancholy,on th e i r s p i r i t s , t r a n q u i l and uncom-pla i n i n g . 7° The mystery which attends the discovery of Todgers*, the notion of the t r a v e l l e r groping his way through a maze u n t i l he reaches (or does not reach) a house of.which London i s "worthy" and " q u a l i f i e d to be on terms of close r e l a t i o n s h i p and alliance, " 7 7 leads the reader to suspect that t h i s search i s more than a-search f o r a boarding house. It i s a search f o r the s e l f , as we IL, "Nobody had ever found Todgers^ on a verbal d i r e c t ion"7 because the s e l f can only be discovered through experience and introspection. Sometimes a guide can be hel p f u l — " C a u t i o u s ©migrants from Scotland or the North of England had been known to reach i t safely, by impressing a charity-boy, town-bred, and 7 6Martln Chuzzlewlt. p. 105. 7?Martln Chuzzlewlt. p. 105. 79Martln Chuzzlewlt. p. 105. 38 "bringing him along with them; or by cli n g i n g tenaciously to the postman"??—but th i s salvation i s only f o r the few—"but these were rare exceptions." 8 0 There are no straight roads to the centre of the l a b y r i n t h — " a n d you never once emerged upon anything that might be reasonably c a l l e d a s t r e e t " 8 1 — and even those who catch a glimpse of t h e i r goal, who experience intimations of the s e l f , may despair of the l i v e l i h o o d of attai n i n g I t . It i s here, near Todgers*, that Tom Pinch ex-periences a moment of insight which comes from within although prepared f o r by outside events—"An uneasy thought entered Tom*s head; a shadowy misgiving that the altered r e l a t i o n s between himself and Pecksniff, were somehow to involve an al t e r e d knowledge on his part of other people, and were to give ,an insight into much of.which he had had-no previous s u s p i c i o n . " 8 2 Previously Tom.has been l o s t . He has gone astray i n his judgement of others Just as he has gone astray i n the l a b y r i n t h around the Monument. S i g n i f i c a n t l y , Tom recognizes that the Monument i s , i n some way, connected with t r u t h — " B u t i f Truth didn't l i v e i n the base of the Monument, notwithstanding Pope's couplet about the outside of i t , where i n London (Tom thought) was she l i k e l y to be found!" 83 But i t i s not the Man i n the Monument who t e l l s Tom the truth but 7 9 M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. p. 105. 8 o M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. p. 105. 8 1 M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. p. 105. 8 2 M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. p. 4?0. 8 3 M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. p. 468. 39 he who discovers i t f o r himself. Self-discovery proceeds simultaneously with an awareness of the otherness of others. Tom's awareness of Pecksniff has been of a man quite unlike ah the r e a l Pecksniff. "Tom's, P e c k s n i f f 1 , 0 has been the product of his own Imagination or,.rather, of a nature so good that i t Is e a s i l y deceived by the d u p l i c i t y of others. At the Monument he f u l l y grasps the s o l i d .otherness of those with whom he comes into contact and grasps too the d e f i n i t i o n of s e l f with which this provides.him. Tom leaves his r u r a l innocence f o r the experience of,London and i f "To depict London was one of the ends f o r which Dickens was born,"®-* i t Is the London of Todgers', the thoroughly c i v i l i z e d London which encourages the withdrawal,Into s e l f as well as the awareness of others that i s implied i n the statement. And Tom i s not the only character i n Martin Chuzzlewlt who i s seen to gain insight i n the region of Todgers'. Mercy Pecksniff reveals to Tom at the,boarding-house her newly-acquired understanding of what she i s and of how her l i f e has 86 shaped i t s e l f . It i s at Todgers', too, that Mercy's s i s t e r receives, i n the form of a humiliating nemesis, a revelation of her f a t e . I f we accept Ortega y Gasset's useful equation of man's s e l f with his destiny, 8? then we see that the notion 8 i < ,Martln Chuzzlewlt. p. 400. 8 5 G|sslng, p. 8 8 . 8 6 M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. pp. 4 7 2 - 4 7 3 . 8 ? 0 r t e g a y Gasset, "In Search of Goethe from Within," Partisan Review. XVI (December, 1 9 4 9 ) , P. H ? 3 . 40 of the s e l f at the centre of a l a b y r i n t h i s common to several of Dickens' novels. Oliv e r Tfrlst, who i s to discover his parentage and so his destiny as a gentleman through his encounter with the thieves, i s dragged by them through "a l a b y r i n t h of dark narrow courts." 8 8 Florence Dombey, whose destiny i s to consist, i n part, i n her marriage to Walter Gay, f i r s t meets him because of her encounter with Good Mrs. Brown who "conducted her changed and ragged l i t t l e f r i e n d through a l a b y r i n t h of narrow streets and lanes and valleys."®' The mysteriousness of Todgers' i s p a r t i c u l a r l y apparent on i t s heights and i n i t s depths. The cellarage i s "the grand mystery of Todgers's,"^ but i t i s a mystery set apart from the house::—"which cellarage within the memory of man had had no connection with the house, but had always been the freehold property of somebody e l s e . " ? l It i s thus f r e e l y available to extravagant imaginings, imaginings which need not have (and nobody knows whether they have or not) any connection at a l l with the r i t u a l contents of-the c e l l a r . 9 2 The roof Is a d i f f e r e n t matter. This Is a place of h i s t o r i c a l decay, of function forgotten and declined—"There was a sort of terrace on the roof, with posts and fragments of rotten l i n e s , once Oliver Twist. p. 8 ? . 89Dombey and Son, p. 5 9 . 9°Martln Chuzzlewlt. p. 1 0 ? . 9 l M a r t l h Chuzzlewlt. p. 107. 9 2 M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. p. 1 0 ? . 41 intended to dry clothes upon; and there were two or three tea-chests out there, f u l l of earth, with forgotten plants i n them."93 He who wishes to survey the view from Todgers 1 must, f i r s t , s u f f e r a shock—"Whoever climbed to t h i s obser-vatory, was stunned at f i r s t from having knocked his head against the l i t t l e door i n coming out; and fifter that, was for the moment choked from having looked, perforce, straight down the kitchen-chimney;"9^ The view i t s e l f has received what may seem to be opposite c r i t i c a l interpretations. J. H i l l l s M i l l e r , who regards the."view" passage as being "a text,of c a p i t a l importance for the. entire work of Dickens,"95 f e e l s that i t s importance l i e s i n i t s expression of "the dangerous end point to which his./^Dickens»3f characters can be brought by the attitude of passive and detached observation. The observer i s mistaken as to where to at t r i b u t e l i f e and the r e s u l t Is "A nightmarish animation of what ought to be inani -mate objects" and an observer.who suffers from an unstable s e l f and l s " a t the mercy of these things." 9 ? Dorothy Van Ghent, oh the other hand, interprets the view from Todgers 1 as "one i n which categorical determinations of the r e l a t i v e s i g n i f i c a n c e of o b j e c t s — a s of the chimneyr-pots, the blank ? % a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. p. 107. ^ M a r t i n Chuzzlewlt. p. 107. 95H1111S M i l l e r , p. 116. 9 6 H i l l i s M i l l e r , p. 116. 9 7 H i l H s M i l l e r , p. 117. 42 upper window, or the dyer's c l o t h — h a v e broken down" 9® and she goes on to say, "the observer on Todgers* roof i s seized with s u i c i d a l nausea at the momentary v i s i o n of a world i n which significance has been replaced by naked and aggressive e x i s t e n c e . " 9 9 Por one c r i t i c the v i s i o n i s true, i f h o r r i f i c , while for the other i t i s mistaken, d i s t o r t e d . Yet, how "passive," how "detached" can an observer be? Can a man's v i s i o n be otherwise than Influenced by his imagina-tion? The man who ascends to Todgers' rodf i s the man who, know i t or not, i s i n search of himself. His speculations as to the contents of the cellarage are vague, romantic, because they are concerned with the other which Is unknown, unknowable. On Todgers' roof,.however, he i s faced with the knowable o t h e r — w i t h that which can be seen and heard. On a day favourable to v i s i o n — " i f , t h e ~ d a y were b r i g h t " 1 0 0 — h e can see that there i s a st r a i g h t path, to the Monument—Its shadow-but It can only be seen i n retrospect when the goal i s reached. Prom the mass which stretches.before him—"wilderness upon w i l d e r n e s s " 1 0 1 the observer must .select c e r t a i n features so as to order the landscape, .to give i t foreground and background. This i s done unconsciously—"There were s l i g h t 9®Dorothy Van Ghent, "The^Dlckens Worldt A View Prom Todgers*," The Sewanee RevlewT'LVIII (Summer, 1 9 5 0 ) , p. 426. "Dorothy Van Ghent, p. 426.. , 1 0 0 M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. p. 107. 1 0 1 M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. p. 107. 43 features i n the midst of t h i s crowd of objects, which sprung out from the mass without any reason, as I t were, and took hold of the attention whether the spectator would or n o " 1 0 2 — for the urge to impose order and degree upon chaos i s strong and i n s t i n c t i v e , as i s the urge to see the inanimate i n animate terms. Examples of the l a t t e r are to be found again and again i n Dickens' novels. Man deals with the other whioh Is so a l i e n as not even to share l i f e with him by attempting to i n s t i l l l i f e into i t and so render i t more l i k e him and consequently less formidable—-hence the animated chimney-pots and piece of c l o t h seen from Todgers' and hence the "paramount importance" 1 0 3 of the single i n d i v i d u a l glimpsed, amongst this mass of inanimate matter. Unlike the crowd below, who, i n the i r "changing motion" overwhelm the i n e r t , t h i s i n d i v i d u a l emphasizes the lack of r e a l l i f e i n that i n which the observer i s endowing . l i f e . Granted a perception of the difference between these two ..kinds of l i f e — a c t u a l and imaginative—the observer i s annoyed with himself f o r creating the l a t t e r , but t h i s i s the creation of the a r t i s t and i t Is p a r t l y that to which Dickens was r e f e r r i n g when he wrote i n his "Preface," "What i s exaggeration to one olass of minds and perceptions, i s p l a i n truth to another...I sometimes ask Martin Chuzzlewlt. p. 107. 1 0 3 M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. p. 108. myself whether there may occasionally be a difference of this kind between some writers and some readers; whether i t i s always the writer who colours highly, or whether It Is now and then the reader whose eye for.colour Is a l i t t l e d u l l ? " 1 0 ' The observer descends from the roof, having experienced both the r a t i o n a l Impulse to creative self-preservation and the i r r a t i o n a l impulse to s e l f - d e s t r u c t i o n — " h e turned into Todgers's again, much more rapidly.than he came out; and ten to one.he toldMfsiTodgers afterwards that i f he hadn't done so, he would c e r t a i n l y have come into the street by the shortest cutJ that i s to say, head foremost." 1 0-* Again, i t i s In the nature of Todgers' to provide opportunities for insights of this kind and, here again, there i s an Implied contrast with corresponding i n s t i t u t i o n s i n America where creative imagination f a l l s to f l o u r i s h and where the worship of "smartness" outlaws the surrender to I r r a t i o n a l i t y . Mystery Is present i n other buildings besides Todgers'. Indeed, i t would seem that Dickens.found the conjunction of passageways, doorways and rooms.to be conducive to the evocation of secrecy and of things.to be discovered. This i s true of novels other than MartIn Chuzzlewlt. In L i t t l e  D o r r l t Mrs. Clennam's secret Is immured within her own dark Martin Chuzzlewlt. p.xvix. 1 0 ^ M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. p. 108. 45 house. In Bleak House Lady Dedlock hopes to conceal at Chesney Wold the secret of her past. In Martin Chuzzlewlt the secret which Lewsome holds i s hidden a l o f t "at the end of a g a l l e r y " 1 0 ^ which i s reached by "a vari e t y of i n t r i c a t e passages." 1 0'' The s i n i s t e r q u a l i t y of the room In which Lewsome l i e s — I t i s "Ghostly and d a r k " 1 0 8 — i s proof against even Mrs. Gamp's attempts at domestication. The mysterlous-ness of Tom Pinch's l i b r a r y i s , by,contrast, beneficent. Mystery presupposes a past and the.Temple i n which the l i b r a r y i s housed i s a place of old se c r e t s — " E v e r y echo of his foot-steps sounded to him l i k e a sound from the old walls and pavements, wanting language t o , r e l a t e the h i s t o r i e s of the dim, dismal rooms."*®? The ancient places of the Temple can-not, y i e l d t h e i r secrets because they lack "language" to do so and,the mysteries of Martin Chuzzlewlt are always revealed v e r b a l l y . Only old Martin can t e l l the secret of the l i b r a r y . Alone and weighed upon by the -physical presences of his rooms and of the building around them, Tom's imagination conjures up spectres "which his common sense was quite unable to keep away." 1 1 0 The l i b r a r y seems to lack a ralson d'etre without the presence of the man who owns i t and Tom's mind hastens to provide that presence. In these p a s s a g e s 1 1 1 empty rooms, far l o 6 M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. p. 333. 1 0 7 M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. p. 333. 1 0 8 M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. p. 336. 1 0 9 M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. pp . 449-5°°. 1 1 0 M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. p. 501. l i : L M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt.PP .449-591. 46 from possessing any kind of l i f e of t h e i r own, so oppress the l i v i n g man with t h e i r l i f e l e s s n e s s that he must seek to people them. And so i t i s with a l l those animated things i n Martin Chuzzlewlt. Any l i f e which they seem to possess proceeds from the abundance of l i f e In the man who observes them, whether he be a character In the novel or the nov e l i s t himself. Mrs. Gamp possesses so much v i t a l i t y that i t seems to have overflowed into her husband's wooden leg "which i n i t s constancy of walking into wine vaults and never coming out again t i l l fetched by force, was quite as weak as f l e s h , i f not weaker." 1 1 2 The leg Is animated, but only i n Mrs. Gamp's imagination. The connection between the landlord (or landlady) and mystery i s a strong one; f o r the conversion of monetary rent Into domestic happiness or misery i s mysterious. Mrs. Todgers presides over the mysteries of her boarding-house and Is herself the essence of that which the house f o s t e r s — o r d i n a r y , decent humanity* < "When boarding-house accounts are balanced with a l l other ledgers, and the books of the Recording Angel are made up forever, perhaps there may be seen an entry to thy c r e d i t lean Mrs. Todgers, which s h a l l make thee b e a u t i f u l ! " Mrs. Todgers pursues the main chance but the payment of his eighteen s h i l l i n g s per week allows the youngest gentleman to Martin Chuzzlewlt.PP. 5 0 5 . - ^ M a r t i n Chuzzlewlt. p. 4?4. 47 adopt the poses necessary to his existence. Pecksniff, who pretends that he would take old Martin into his house as a guest and not as a boarder, i s i n r e a l i t y hoping f o r a f i n a n c i a l return f a r greater than that of eighteen s h i l l i n g s per week and he intends that his h o s p i t a l i t y s h a l l destroy, not encourage, his guest's pride and independence. The landlord who i s most cl o s e l y involved i n secrecy i s , of course, Nadgett. He investigates the secrets hoarded by other men and has himself become a walking mystery. Such i s his delight i n secrets that he comes close to destroying the purpose of his existence. It Is essential that, as a spy, he disclose the mysteries which he has uncovered to his employers but, as he himself remarks, " I t almost takes away any pleasure I may have had i n t h i s inquiry even to make i t known to y o u . n l l 5 His enjoyment of his profession threatens to prevent his pursuing i t . He i s swallowed up i n i t and i t i s Nadgett*s r o l e which raises questions about the opposi-t i o n of domestic and professional l i f e i n Martin Chuzzlewlt. The necessity f o r leaving the house and mingling with the outside world i s one which i s recognized i n Dickens* novels. Mr. Pickwick's house i s a haven of secure comfort, an "Eden," as W.H. Auden describes i t , 1 1 ^ but, as J. H i l l i s M i l l e r writes, ^ M a r t i n Chuzzlewlt. pp. 135-137. i : L5Martln Chuzzlewlt.p.480. U 6 W .H. Auden, The Dyer*s Hand and other essays (New York, 1948), p. 408. "Only when he //Mr. Pickwick"! breaks through the secure walls of his room and begins "to penetrate to the hidden countries which on egery side surround I t " does his r e a l l i f e b e g i n . " 1 1 7 The picaresque nature of Pickwick Papers arises from a recog-n i t i o n of t h i s truth. Another early novel, Nicholas Nlcklekv. also somewhat picaresque, demonstrates too that a withdrawal into domestic happiness can be achieved only aft e r a series of encounters with the world. Going out into the world usually (although not i n Mr. Pickwick's case) Involves the adoption of a profession and t h i s , Dickens says, can be either b e n e f i c i a l or harmful. Writing of Great Expectations. Edgar Johnson notices both the noxiousness of Pip's dreams of p a r a s i t i c idleness, contrasted i n the novel with his brother-in-law's honest t o i l , and the almost equal noxious-ness of the work which Jaggers and Wemmick perform. 1 1® There i s a difference, however. I f men accused of crime are to be represented i n court, as i n our conception of j u s t i c e they must be, then, criminal lawyers and t h e i r clerks must ex i s t . Neither Jaggers nor Wemmick are bad men, as we learn from glimpses of th e i r domestic l i v e s , and a p a r a l l e l can usefully be drawn between them and the " f o l l e r e r , " Neckett, In Bleak  House. As long as men l i k e Sklmpole f a i l to pay t h e i r b i l l s H l l l i s M i l l e r , p. 5. Edgar Johnson, 11,^989-991. 49 and as long as society i s bound within an economic framework, then f o l l e r e r s or t h e i r equivalent are needed. What matters i s how a man performs his job. As Mr. Jarndyce says of Neckett, "He might have undertakentto do I t , and not done I t . " 1 1 ? Joe Gargery Is comparatively lucky In that his job i s one which does not arise from the misfortunes of his fellows. Others, l i k e Gaffer Hexam and Blah In Our Mutual  Friend. Panckd" i n L i t t l e D o r r l t . have to s o i l t h e i r hands with that which must be done but which w i l l procure f o r those who do i t the contemptuous d i s l i k e of those who do not. The man to be condemned i s the man who professes a profession but f a i l s to practice i t . Such a man i s Pecksniff. Hard work, espe c i a l l y when i t i s done fo r u n s e l f i s h reasons i s usually to be admired and hence the approval bestowed on Doctor Woodoourt i n Bleak House and the Reverend Milvey i n Our Mutual Friend. Yet Dickens provides f o r many of his heroes an ultimate happiness which consists i n not having to work. True, these young men have been t r i e d and tested but Nicholas Nickleby, Martin Chuzzlewlt and John Rokesmlth a l l s e t t l e down to presumably the kind of idleness which characterizes the l i v e s of Mr. Pickwick and his frien d s , of John Jarndyce and Mr. Brownlow. Edgar Johnson notes that 1 1 9 B l e a k House, p. 16?. 50 the career of Richard Carstone i s a warning "against depending upon •expectations' instead of making oneself of use to the world" and he goes oni But Pip has no occupation and no i d e a l save that of an empty good form. He and the "Finches of the Grove," the club of young men of l e i s u r e to which he belongs, do nothing but spend money, play cards, drink toasts, buy elaborate wardrobes, drive horses, and go to the theatre. They have no culture, no i n t e r e s t i n the a r t s , i n music, i n the world of r e f l e c t i v e thought.120 The dangers of over-absorption i n one's p r o f e s s i o n — t h e de-s t r u c t i o n of the private by the public s e l f — a r e i l l u s t r a t e d i n Martin Chuzzlewlt In Nadgett and, l a t e r , i n Bar, Bishop, Horse Guards and Treasury i n L i t t l e DorrIt. The l a t t e r group of characters represents the grotesque deterioration which would l o g i c a l l y await Nadgett. At a Merdle dinner party, Nadgett would be c a l l e d "Spy." The sane and happy man i s he who knows how to balance private and public, who can withdraw into himself as well as go out to others. A l l a n Woodcourt's quiet-ness suggests his capacity f o r meditation and his a b i l i t y to i n t e r a c t with others i s amply^demyonstrated. Martin Chuzzlewlt ultimately has no need to exercise his professional s k i l l s . He can indulge his private s e l f to i t s utmost. But i t i s important that he should have earned his l e i s u r e by having proved that he could achieve worldly success had he need to do so. The Edgar Johnson, IX, p. 989-990. grammar-school plans counteract the f a i l u r e i n America which i s , i n any case, rather a f a i l u r e of opportunity than of a b i l i t y . Furthermore, The American venture i s a success i n terms of Martin's moral development andtthis i s the kind of success with which Martin Chuzzlewlt i s concerned. As we see i n Martin Chuzzlewlt. the leaving of one's home need not be a voluntary action. Martin, Tom, Buth and John are a l l cast out from t h e i r homes and a l l eventually f i n d happier ones. The t r a v e l l e r , the man who leaves domestic security for the uncertainties of the open road, i s usually, consciously or unconsciously, the searcher and, l i k e the man i n the la b y r i n t h , i t Is his own s e l f for which he searches. Martin's journey down the M i s s i s s i p p i has been compared by Steven Marcus to Marlow's voyage up the Congo i n Conrad's Heart of Darkness. 1 2 1 Like Marlow, Martin travels Into primeval chaos, sees suffering and death and human nature at i t s most b e s t i a l and, again l i k e Marlow, he returns with a new knowledge of himself. The journey into the past i s a Journey into the s e l f and, through i t , Martin loses his selfi s h n e s s , f o r a heightened awareness of himself increases his awareness of others. Thus the departure from home improves both the private and the public s e l f , the two being c l o s e l y linked, and makes possible the happy return. Marcus, p. 254. 52 Exclusion from the domestic hearth can be temporary, as i n the case of ^ a r t i n , but i n the case of the criminal i t i s a permanent exclusion. We have only to look at the inhabitants of Fagin's den to see how the l i f e of crime destroys the t i e s of a f f e c t i o n and replaces them with those of fear and mutual need. Dickens' interest i n criminal 1 2 2 psychology was highly developed. Sketches by Boz contains descriptions of "Criminal Courts" and "A v i s i t to Newgate1? (the l a t t e r ending with a harrowing account of the l a s t hours of a man condemned to death) and thereafter u n t i l The Mystery  of Edwin Drood criminals, prisons, law-courts, convicts, detectives and policemen f i g u r e - l a r g e l y i n Dickens' novels. His biographers and his own American Notes t e l l s u s how this i n t e r e s t led Dickens to v i s i t i n s t i t u t i o n s connected with the detection and punishment of crime. The fac t that Dickens' criminals are usually caught and punished i s by no means Indicative of a lack of sympathy f o r them on the novelist's part. On the contrary, Dickens' concern to probe the criminal mind and to do I t again and again, In novel afterSnovel, must ari s e from a sympathy with I t . Pascal wrote i n his Pensees, "tout l e malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, que est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos, dans une chambre." 1 2^ The connection between this x^<£ F o r a detailed examination of thi s aspect of Dickens' work, see P h i l i p C o l l i n s , Dickens and Crime (London, 1962). 1 2 3 B l a l s e Pascal, Pensees, trans. H.F. Stewart (New York, 1950), pp. 58-59. Stewart gives the following t r a n s l a t i o n f o r the quoted passagei "Man's unhappiness arises from one thing only, namely that he cannot abide quietly i n one room." 53 aphorism and Dickens' examination of c r i m i n a l i t y becomes Evident when we consider the circumstances which immediately precede Jonas': murder of Tigg Montague, Jonas prepares for his crossing from the domestic, s o c i a l world of his own house into the i s o l a t e d , a n t i - s o c i a l world of the murderer i n a room which belongs to both worlds. It was once a yard which had been converted f o r the purposes of business. Later, i t had occasionally housed guests or the old clerk but f o r years " i t had been l i t t l e troubled by Anthony Chuzzlewlt and Son." ^ What was once an open, unsheltered place i s transformed into a sanctuary for public a f f a i r s — business and h o s p i t a l i t y . Later, i t i s used by only one man and f i n a l l y f a l l s into disuse. Now, when Jonas waits there, the room anticipates his crimet It was a blotched, stained, mouldering room, l i k e a vault; and there were water-pipes running through i t , which at unexpected times i n the night, when other things were quiet, c l i c k e d and gurgled suddenly, as i f they were choking.125 It seems to prepare f o r a reversion to i t s o r i g i n a l state and to reveal the man whom i t hides to the open sky and the outside world ("It was lighted by a d i r t y s k y l i g h t " 1 2 ^ ) . The a l l e y which opens from i t i s b l i n d . It can lead i n only one d i r e c t i o n — t o the journey which w i l l conclude i n Tigg's Martin Chuzzlewlt. p. 5 8 0 . 1 2 5 M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. p. 580. Martin Chuzzlewlt. p. 579. 54 death. (The criminal i s often a t r a v e l l e r i n Dickens' novels. B i l l Sykes tramps miles to a housebreaking, as does Bradley Headstone to murder Wrayburn). To leave the room by the house door would be to return to the domestic and s o c i a l — : . the tea-party world shattered by Jonas' entrance. But there i s , i n f a c t , no choice of e x i t s . The room quickly becomes analagous to Jonas' mind and sounds heard outside are the thoughts which revolve around the compulsion to murder which dominates Jonas' consciousness. They passed on, t a l k i n g (he could make out) about a skeleton which had been dug up yesterday, i n some work of excavation near at hand, and was supposed to be that of a murdered man. "So murder i s not always found out, youssee," they said to one another as they turned the c o r n e r . 1 2 ? Momentary hesitati o n i s expressed i n the resistance of the outside door but i t s opening foreshadows the corruption of a r o t t i n g corpse—Jonas' as much as Montague's—"The door r e -s i s t e d for a while, but soon came s t i f f l y open; mingling with the sense of fever i n his mouth, a taste of r u s t , and dust, and earth, and r o t t i n g wood." 1 2 8 For, as Jonas comes to r e a l i z e , he has, i n k i l l i n g Montague, k i l l e d himself. (It i s appropriate that his death should be by his own hand and not by that of the law.) By becoming the man who, i n that Martin Chuzzlewlt. p. 580. Martin Chuzzlewlt. p. 580. 55 v a u l t - l i k e room, resolved to commit murder, Jonas has turned his present s e l f into a ghost. The Jonas i n the room made inev i t a b l e the death of the Jonas i n the wood* He was so h o r r i b l y a f r a i d of that i n f e r n a l room at home. This made him, i n a gloomy, murderous, mad way, not only f e a r f u l f o r himself but of himself; f o r being, as i t were, a part of the roomj a something supposed to be there, yet missing from i t t he invested himself with Its mysterious terrors;and when he pictured In his mind the ugly chamber, f a l s e and quiet, f a l s e and quiet, through the dark hours of two nights; and the tumbled bed, and he not i n I t , though believed to be; he became i n a manner his own ghost and phantom, and was at once the haunting s p i r i t and the haunted man. 1 2 9 The room i s not only the place In which the crime was prepared f o r . I t i s also the place which might bring about the criminal's detection. If Jonas Is not there, then he can be nowhere but by Montague's body* But he was thinking, at the moment, of the closed-up room; of the p o s s i b i l i t y of t h e i r knocking at the door on some special occasion; of t h e i r being alarmed at receiving no answer; of t h e i r bursting i t open; of their finding the room empty i . . . . 3 0 That i s why he fears, when he returns to the room, that the man whom he has k i l l e d w i l l be there, awaiting him. His g u i l t Induces a divided state. He creeps into his room was i f he dreaded to disturb his own imaginary r e s t . " 1 ^ 1 His own face Adivorced from him—"The passage-way was empty when his 1 2 9 M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. p. 5.86. ^ M a r t i n Chuzzlewlt. p. 586. 131 Martin Chuzzlewlt. p. 5 8 $ . 56 murder's face looked into i t . " 1 ^ 2 Jonas 1 concept of time, i s strangely a l t e r e d — " h e came by daylight to regard the murder as an old murder, and to think himself comparatively safe, because i t had not been discovered yet»^33—and the return to normality i s a cause of dread. Jonas returns to await his r e t r i b u t i o n f o r not having been i n the room where he i s supposed to have been and he returns to a room which has taken vengeance upon Jonas f o r having ignored i t s i n v i t a t i o n to inaction and i t s warnings of death. It Is a room, too, which oppresses Tigg Montague i n the f i n a l stages of his r e l a t i o n s h i p with Jonas. Montague r e a l i z e s i n his dreams the insec u r i t y of four walls and a double-locked door: He dreamed that a dreadful secret was connected with it:...Incoherently entwined with this dream was another, which represented i t as the hiding- . place of an enemy, a shadow, a phantom; and made It the business of his l i f e to keep the t e r r i b l e creature closed up, and prevent i t from forcing i t s way i n upon him. With t h i s view Nadgett, and he, and a strange man with a bloody smear upon his head...worked with Iron plates and n a i l s to make the door secure; but though they worked never so hard, i t was a l l i n vain, f o r the n a i l s broke, or changed to soft twigs, or what was worse, to worms, between t h e i r fingers; the wood of the door splintered and crumbled, so that even n a i l s would not remain i n i t ; and the ir o n plates curled up l i k e hot paper. A l l this time the creature on the other s i d e — whether i t was i n the shape of man, or beast, he neither knew nor sought to know—was gaining on them. 1 3 2 M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. p. 587. ^ M a r t i n Chuzzlewlt. p.587 ^ M a r t i n Chuzzlewlt. p. 527. 57 Like Harold Pinter, Dickens dramatizes the fear common to most men of that which stands outside the door and which w i l l demand entrance. Every man has "another door...locked on the outer s i d e . B l 3 5 Outside i s the other—unknown and, therefore, menacing. The fear i s nightmarish and Montague consequently dreams of I t but he awakes to f i n d that his fears are not i r r a t i o n a l . The man who has entered by that door and now stands by his bed intends to and, indeed, w i l l destroy him. While Montague i s asleep his room becomes the content of his mind and the i n t r u s i o n of the "creature•» of his dreams i s the intrusion of g u i l t . Montague shares a complicity i n the supposed murder of Anthony Chuzzlewlt and, i n doing so, i n v i t e s his own murder and thus shares com-p l i c i t y i n that. G u i l t makes a man vulnerable. He becomes highly conscious of the inse c u r i t y of his lodging. The good man, Tom Pinch, can leave his door open1-^6 and be sure that only j u s t i c e and beneficence w i l l v i s i t him. Martin Chuzzlewlt Is, except for i t s American chapters, concerned c h i e f l y with family a f f a i r s , with an exploration of family l i f e at i t s best and at i t s worst. Descriptions of the domestic i n t e r i o r are v i t a l to this exploration f o r , through them, Dickens reveals the ways In which members of a ^ M a r t i n Chuzzlewlt. p. 527. ^ M a r t i n Chuzzlewlt. p. 623. 58 family act towards each other and towards others. The house i s conducive to both privacy and p u b l i c i t y and i t i s how a character uses that privacy and p u b l i c i t y which determines our reaction to him. Jonas, planning p a r r i c i d e i n the privacy of his gloomy home, Pecksniff arranging his house as a salesroom f o r the display of his hypocrisy, Ruth creating a j o y f u l domesticity, stand at separate points on the scale which leads from badness to goodness. Martin, who i s to proceed from selfishness to a concern f o r others, must undertake a journey i n order to do so and thus shows the connection between the leaving of and return to the home as a fac t o r i n psychological and moral development. The novel's American chapters give an impression of a wider society than do the English chapters but both deal e s s e n t i a l l y with the same problem—that of the renunciation of p a t r i a r c h a l authority. That renunciation i s , i n Jonas* case, co-existent with the desire to murder his father. The "orphan" Jonas, who i s unable to enjoy domestic happiness, and who, indeed, crushes any attempts on his wife's part to originate i t , becomes a homicide;. And so, too, the renuncia-t i o n by America of the authority of the parent country, England, together with the neglect of private domesticity, leads to the violence of a Hannibal Chollop. It i s d i f f i c u l t to decide whether Dickens foresaw that English sooiety would, i n many respects, take the d i r e c t i o n 59 i n which America was t r a v e l l i n g . The novels which follow Martin Chuzzlewit (leaving aside David Copperfleld) undertake a searching analysis and a damning indictment of English society, i n which authority Is observed to be grasping Its p r i v i l e g e s while neglecting,its r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . Martin  Chuzzlewlt looks forward to these novels but, i n i t s almost exclusive concentration, i n the English scenes, upon the destinies of Individuals, rather than upon society as a whole, places i t s e l f with the early novels of Dickens. Bleak House, however, belongs with Dombey and Son. L i t t l e D o r r i t and Our  Mutual Friend for here the condition of England i n i t s entirety i s diagnosed. The novel's t i t l e indicates i t s intention to demonstrate the r e l a t i o n s h i p between public and private. Paternal authority i s examined i n the governor as well as i n the father. The house i s both a physical structure and an expanding metaphor. The q u a l i t y of l i f e which i t inculcates i s seen to determine the quality.of English l i f e as a whole. 60 CHAPTER THREE BLEAK HOUSE In considering, In 1851, what to c a l l his new novel, Dickens drew up a l i s t of t i t l e s and s u b t i t l e s : Tom-all-Alone 1s: The Ruined House; Bleak House  Academy;The East Wind: Tom-all-Alone'st The  Sol i t a r y House where the Grass Grew; Tom-all- A l o n e ^ : The S o l i t a r y House that was always  Shut up and never Lighted; Tom-all-Alone 1st  The S o l i t a r y House where the Wind howled; Tom-all-Alone 1s: The Ruined House that~Got  into Chancery and-never .got out; Bleak House  and the East Wlndt How they both got Into  Chancery and never got out: Bleak House. The connection between Bleak House and Tom-all*Alone*s was, then, f i r m l y established and the descriptive t i t l e s The Ruined House. The S o l i t a r y House where the Grass Grew. The S o l i t a r y House that was always Shut up and never Lighted, The S o l i t a r y House where the Wind howled and The Ruined House that Got Into Chancery and never got out point to what Edgar Johnson recognizes as a systematic, symbolic use of the place, Bleak House. Johnson, indeed, compares Dickens 1 Bleak House to Shaw»s Heartbreak House and writes, "For Bleak House ( l i k e Shaw*s Heartbreak House, of which i t i s a somber forerunner) i s In Its very core symbolic: Bleak House i s modern England, i t i s the world of an a c q u i s i t i v e society, a monetary culture, and Its heavy gloom Is implied by the Edgar Johnson, IX, p. 7^6 61 very adjective that i s a part o f . i t s t i t l e ? * Certainly there i s , even i n th i s tentative l i s t of t i t l e s , an a n t i -c i p a t i o n of the p a r a l l e l s which are to be drawn i n the novel between the existence of Bleak House and the existence of Tom-all-Alone's^ and between the existence of both of these and the i n s t i t u t i o n of Chancery. Ruin, bleakness, i s o l a t i o n characterize them a l l . - The house which i s to be represented i n the novel's t i t l e i s c l e a r l y more than a physical structure and i t i s more than a shelter f o r family l i f e . But, i f we confine ourselves to the house which i s c a l l e d "Bleak House" and ask the question, "What i s i t ? " we must f i r s t draw a d i s t i n c t i o n , l i k e that of the Christmas ghosts, between Bleak House^ past, Bleak House present and Bleak House future. The old Bleak House was a place of material and s p i r i -t u a l decay. Both house and owner su f f e r the collapse which Chancery brings about and Tom Jarndyce's suicide seems to have been Imitated sympathetically by his houseJ ...the place became dilapidated, the wind whistled through the cracked walls, the r a i n f e l l through the broken roof, the weeds choked the passage to the r o t t i n g door. When I brought ''Edgar Johnson, p. 779. 3Even i f , as George H. Ford suggests, the Tom-all-Alone's of the t i t l e - l i s t i s not the Tom-all-Alone's of the novel. See George H. Ford, "The T i t l e s for Bleak House," The  Dickensian. LXV (May, 1969), 84-89. 62 what remained of him home here, the brains seemed to me to have been blown out of the. house too; i t was so shattered and ruined. 4" Decay and suicide--the natural and the violent approaches to death—are to a f f e c t the men who have the misfortune to be involved with Chancery, them and their dwellings. And Chancery i t s e l f both fades into the fog which surrounds i t and which i t i s and i t explodes i t s e l f occasionally, as at the conclusion of the Jarndyce and Jarndyce case, i n an eruption of costs. Krook's Spontaneous Combustion demon-strates i n another form that the process of corruption i s a sel f - d e s t r u c t i v e one. Progressive r o t t i n g can end only i n an n i h i l a t i o n . Bleak House undertakes an examination of the eff e c t s and res u l t s of time as they are manifested i n the l i v e s of men and i n the structures, physical and i n s t i t u -t i o n a l , which they b u i l d . The concept of the house, physical and i n s t i t u t i o n a l , i s the chief vehicle for this examination. If Tom Jarndyce's Bleak House forms part of the novel's past, i t Is John Jarndyce's Bleak House which constitutes i t s present. It i s , i n the main, a happy house but i t s delightfulness i s i r r e g u l a r , hard to explain, a mystery: It was one of those d e l i g h t f u l l y i r r e g u l a r houses where you gowup and down steps out of one room into another, and where you come upon Bleak House, p. 77 more rooms when you.think you have seen a l l there are, and where there i s a bountiful provision of l i t t l e h a l l s and passages, and where you f i n d s t i l l older cottage-rooms i n unexpected places, with l a t t i c e windows and green growth pressing through them.5 The past continues to obtrude i t s e l f . As Esther, Ada and Richard approach Bleak House f o r the f i r s t time they are confronted by the roof peaks which gave the house i t s old name.6 But Esther's housekeeping contributes much to the happiness of Bleak House. John Jarndyce compares her to the " L i t t l e old Woman" of the nursery rhyme, who sweeps the cobwebs out of the sky. 7 The happiness which Esther creates arises l a r g e l y from her practice*of r e g u l a r i t y , from her steadiness and industry. These were q u a l i t i e s associated with Esther's school l i f e — " N o t h i n g could be more precise, exact, and orderly, than Greenleaf. There was a time f o r everything a l l round the d i a l of the clock, and everything p was done at Its appointed moment," 0—and they are contrasted with the unsteadiness and i r r e g u l a r i t y of the l i v e s of characters such as Mrs. Jellyby, Harold Skimpole and, above a l l , Richard C a r s t o n e — l i v e s which can bring only unhappiness to those brought into contact with them. The r e g u l a r i t y of ^Bleak House, p. 54. °Bleak House, p. 51. 7Bleak House, p. 79. 8Bleak House, p. 20. 63D Esther's adult l i f e i s contrasted, too, with the i r r e g u l a r i t y of her b i r t h and we might see her ef f o r t s to impose r e g u l a r i t y upon the I r r e g u l a r i t y of Bleak House as an attempt to ignore rather than to come to terms with the circumstances of her parentage. F i n a l l y , of course, she must know who she i s and accepts the Implications of that knowledge without shame and without g u i l t . Esther's acceptance i s represented by her marriage to A l l a n Woodeourt who, as John Jarndyce t e l l s Esther, "stood beside your father when he lay dead—stood beside your mother."? The new Bleak House—the novel's f u t u r e — i s a d i f f e r e n t house from that of the novel's present but i t w i l l be a house permeated by the comfortable domesticity of E s t h e r — " I saw, i n the papering on the walls, i n the colours of the fu r n i t u r e , i n the arrangements of a l l the pretty objects, mjr l i t t l e tastes and fancies, my_ l i t t l e methods and inventions which they used to laugh at while they praised them, my odd ways everywhere." 1 0 The house i s d i f f e r e n t irsoCar as the Esther who has recognized her dead mother Is d i f f e r e n t , but I t i s s t i l l Bleak House—a place where order has been wrested out of disorder. Domestic ordering of t h i s kind i s regarded i n Bleak House as an ide a l state. John Jarndyce's projected schemes for A l l a n Woodcourt's future happiness consist i n t h i s — " h i s own happy home, and his own 9Bleak House.^,688-689. 1 0 B l e a k House, p. 687. 64 household gods—and household goddess, M- L 1—and, i h the episode of Richard's death, the new Bleak House i s im p l i -c i t l y equated with Heaven. 1 2 The Bagnett's happiness i s arrive d at through a m i l i t a r y regulation of domestic a f f a i r s t ...Mrs. Bagnett, l i k e a m i l i t a r y chaplain, says a short grace. In the d i s t r i b u t i o n of these comestibles, as i n every other household duty, Mrs. Bagnett develops an exact system; s i t t i n g with every dish before her; a l l o t t i n g to every portion of pork i t s own portion of pot-liquor, greens, potatoes and even mustard! and serving i t out complete.13 For order and the happiness which arises from i t are pre-cariously held. There i s i n Bleak House, as there i s not i n Martin Chuzzlewlt. a continual threat that a l l w i l l degenerate into the chaos which oharaoteriBes the Jellyby household1 But such wonderful things came tumbling out of the closets when they were opened—bits of mouldy pie, sour b o t t l e s , Mrs. Jellyby's caps, l e t t e r s , tea, forks, odd boots and shoes of children, firewood, wafers, saucepans-lids, damp sugar i n odds and ends of paper bags, footstools, blacklead brushes, bread, Mrs. Jellyby's bonnets, books with butter s t i c k i n g to the binding, guttered candle-ends put out by being turned upside down i n broken candlesticks, nutshells, heads and t a i l s of shrimps, dinner-mats, gloves, coflee-grounds, umbrellas.-. '. , 1 4 The Bagnetts are threatened by Grandfather Smallweed's rapacity, the Carstones by the fru s t r a t i o n s of Chancery, •^Bleak House, p. 550. l z B l e a k House, p. 697. 13Bleak House, p. 310. ^ B l e a k House, p. 337. 6 5 Prince and Caddy Turveydrop by Mr. Turveydrop 1s pretensions, the Snagsbys by suspicion and jealousy, and Esther herself must overcome Mrs. Woodcourt's ancestral pride as well as her own psychological problems before she can achieve complete happiness. And even this i s clouded. The unshadowed joy anticipated f o r the young couples at the end of Martin  Chuzzlewlt i s absent from Bleak House. Ada i s widowed, her c h i l d f a t h e r l e s s , Caddy's baby deaf and dumb, Esther d i s f i -gured, Contentment i s dearly won and hardly held. Bleak iatouse i s one of the two houses prominent i n the novel. The other i s Chesney Wold, family seat and f i r s t home of S i r Leicester Dedlock. S i r Leicester's i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of himself with Chesney i s strong and enduring. After the stroke which follows the revelation of his wife's past and of her f l i g h t , his f i r s t concern i s to know whether he i s at Chesney Wold. 1^ i t i s s i g n i f i c a n t that he i s not then at Chesney, f o r the country seat i s the repository of the Dedlock family honour and of the security which has seemed to surround i t . The f l i g h t of Lady Dedlock and the events which precede that, f l i g h t threaten the Dedlock security and s u l l y Its honour. Chesney Wold embodies, i n Bleak House, the dead lock which can be produced by age, r e p e t i t i o n , t r a d i t i o n , wealth and vested i n t e r e s t s . Dickens writes of the world of fashion Bleak House, p. 10. which encompasses the world of Chesney, " I t i s a deadened world, and i t s growth i s sometimes unhealthy f o r want of a i r . "I'D- We see the o s s i f i c a t i o n brought about by t h i s state of a f f a i r s i n Lady Dedlock's f r i g i d i t y , S i r Leicester's r i g i d i t y , Volumnia's j u v e n i l i t y . The house i t s e l f , when without Its owners, assumes something of Lady Dedlock 1s s t a t e l y ennui. The lack of " l i f e of the imagination" i s emphasized and, fancy being otherwise absent, the narrator makes strenuous e f f o r t s to a t t r i b u t e i t to the animals about Chesney Wold; So the rabbits with t h e i r self-betraying t a i l s , f r i s k i n g i n and out of holes at roots of trees, may be l i v e l y with ideas of the breezy days when t h e i r ears are blown about, or of those seaaons of interest when there are sweet young plants to grow. The turkey i n the poultry-yard, always troubled with a c l a s s -grievance (probably Christmas), may be reminiscent of that summer-morning wrongfully taken from him, when he got into the lane among the f e l l e d trees... ' But t h i s i s a fancy directed to the past rather than to the present. Chesney Wold becomes a showplace, a mausoleum, and we see a conducted tour of i t i n which the dead Dedlocks are exhibited and the old legends relat e d . It i s an exhibi-t i o n which communicates to those who experience i t the dreariness which i t e s s e n t i a l l y i s : "Mr. Guppy and his fr i e n d are dead beat before they have well begun. They straggle Bleak House, p. 6. Bleak House, p. 66. 67 about i n wrong places, look at wrong things, don't care f o r the r i g h t things, gape when more rooms are opened, exhibit -I Q profound depression of s p i r i t s , and are c l e a r l y knocked up.""LO S i r Leicester believes that he and a l l that he i s and holds dear are protected by the walls of Ghesney and that his family p o r t r a i t s are, in.some way, a guarantee against encroachment from outside. But Dickens shows i n Bleak.House, not only what i t i s that constitutes S i r Leicester's world, but also how that world should be and Is susceptible to the forces of change. The f i r s t d escription which Dickens gives of Chesney Wold i s of a house affected by the weather. S i r Leicester w i l l only admit Nature as a "good idea" i f "depen-dent f o r i t s execution on your great county f a m i l i e s , " 1 9 yet he and Lady Dedlock are driven from t h e i r house i n the country by the r a i n which aggravates Lady Dedlock's bore-dom. The r a i n has the power to depress even S i r Leicester's ancestors—"The pictures of the Dedlocks past and gone have seemed to vanish into the damp walls i n mere lowness of O A s p i r i t s . " f c W It renders i n s i g n i f i c a n t the e f f o r t s of S i r Leicester's servants to tame Nature—"The weather, for many a day and night, has been so wet that the trees seem wet through, and the soft loppings and prunlngs of the woodman's axe can Bleak House, p. 70 l^Bieak House, p. 7. 20Bleak House, p. 7. 68 make no crash or crackle as they f a l l . x S i r Leicester's e d i f i c e s are worn away by i t — " a n arch of the bridge i n the park has been sapped and sopped away." 2 2 He himself i s affected by the damp and cold which i t brings about—"the cold and damp ste a l into Chesney Wold, though well defended, and eke into S i r Leicester's bones . " 2 3 S i r Leicester i s also susceptible to the v i c i s s i t u d e s of the s e a — " I t i s habitually hard upon S i r Leicester, whose countenance i t greenly mottles i n the manner of sage««cheese, and i n whose a r i s t o c r a t i c system i t e f f e c t s a dismal revolution. It i s the Radical of Nature to him." 2^ But S i r Leicester Dedlock and his house are always threatened by Nature. When the sun shines i t inspects the house and grounds—"The clear cold sunshine glances into the b r i t t l e woods, and approvingly beholds the sharp wind scattering the leaves and drying the moss . n 2 5 i t d i s t o r t s the family p o r t r a i t s — " t o u c h e s the ancestral p o r t r a i t s with bars and patches of brightness, never contemplated by the p a i n t e r s . " 2 ^ I t threatens to discover the secret of Lady Dedlock's p a s t — . "Athwart the picture of my Lady, over the great chimney-piece, i t throws a broad bend-sinister of l i g h t that strikes down crookedly into the hearth, and seems to rend i t . " 2 7 Dickens even draws an analogy between S i r Leicester's depar-oft ting cousins and the leaves which are blown from the trees. *° Bleak House, p. 7. 2 2 B l e a k House, p. 7. 2 3Bleak House.^>.312. Bleak House, p. 125. 25Bleak House, p. 123. Bleak House, p. 123. 2?Bleak House, p. 123. 2S61e<CK.Hfli?gg-,.P-3*' 69 Lady Wedlock, too, Is compared In her di s t r e s s to "a l e a f before a mighty wind." 2 9 S i r Leicester, who f a l l s i n his stroke, " l i k e a f e l l e d tree," 3 0 ±s stripped of his supports— his wife and r e l a t i v e s — j u s t as his own trees are stripped of t h e i r leaves by the attacking wind. Darkness deprives Chesney Wold of any impression of l i f e from the outsi d e — - " f i r e s gleam warmly through some of the windows, though not through so many as to give an inhabited expression to the darkening mass of f r o n t , " 3 1 — but produces s i n i s t e r impersonations of i t on the i n s i d e — "anything and everything can be made of the heavy staircase beams excepting t h e i r own proper shapes, when the armour has d u l l l i g h t s upon i t not e a s i l y to be distinguished from stealthy movement, and when barred helmets are f r i g h t f u l l y suggestive of heads inside."-^ 2 Both l i g h t and darkness do, i n f a c t , induce hallucinatory effects^and the t r a n s i t i o n from one to the other i s a symptom of the change which i s to engulf Chesney Wold and the l i f e of i t s owner—"But the f i r e of the sun i s dying. Even now the f l o o r i s dusky, and shadow slowly mounts the walls bringing the Dedlocks down l i k e age and death."33 Lady Dedlock compares the claustrophobic growth of the danger that her secret w i l l be disclosed to the danger 29Bleak House, p. 608. 3 0 B l e a k House, p. 610. 3lBleak House, p. 125. 3 2 B l e a k House, p. 4 5 3 . 33Bleak House, p. 4 5 2 . 70 that there would he i f the "woods of Chesney Wold had closed around the house,"34 and the Macbeth-like image forecasts a conclusion as c e r t a i n as the conclusion to Macbeth. The house i t s e l f i s seen by Esther as a h o s t i l e place, h o s t i l e , that i s , to her mother—the obdurate and unpitying watcher of my mother's misery."35 Esther sees Chesney Wold as a place passively h o s t i l e . But his own house becomes p o s i t i v e l y h o s t i l e to Tulkinghorn, whose security had once been that of the maggot i n the nut.3° i t w i l l contain his murderer and Tulkinghorn's return to domestic impregnability w i l l become a Journey to death. Tulkinghorn himself i s to revert to the dust which covers his furniture and papers. For, as Dickens emphasizes through his narrator, Esther, the security which houses seem to ensure i s only i l l u s o r y : The house,with gable and chimney, and tower, and tur r e t , and dark doorway, and broad t e r r a c e -walk, twining among the balustrades of which, and l y i n g heaped upon the vases, there was one great f l u s h of roses, ^ sjeemed scarcely r e a l In i t s l i g h t s o l i d i t y . . . . ' (Although i t might be noted that i t i s a piece of paper describing Chesney Wold which helps to arrest Tulkinghorn*s k i l l e r . The house a s s i s t s i n the discovery of the murder of the man who guards i t s secrets). ^ B l e a k House, p. 410. 3 5 B l e a k House, p. 411. •^Bleak House, p. 105. ^7Bleak House, p. 198. 71 Houses t o t t e r and f a l l throughout Dickens' novels. The building which serves as a meeting-place f o r Monks and the Bumbles i n Oliver Twist i s described as "tottering and bending over the r i v e r and i t forms part of a l i t t l e colony of ruinous houses."3 8 The region which includes Jacob's Island i s a place of "tottering house-fronts projecting over the pavement, dismantled walls that seem to totter...chimneys half crushed, half h e s t i t a t i n g to f a l l . " 3 9 F o l l y Ditch i s l i n e d by "wooden chambers thrusting themselves out above the mud, and threatening to f a l l into i t — a s some have done*"^ While It i s true that Jacob's Island had, at one time, been covered by buildings of t h i s k i n d ^ 1 and that, i n describing them, Dickens was rendering with l i t e r a l accuracy the physical surroundings i n which criminal a c t i v i t i e s would f l o u r i s h , the des c r i p t i o n serves, too, to denote the precariousness of criminal society i t s e l f . The t i e s which bind Fagin's gang are those of mutual dependence and mutual mistrust. One man's broken f a i t h can hang a l l his companions and hence the frenzy of B i l l Syke's rage against Nancy. Nevertheless, the analogy between the houses and the criminals i s an i m p l i c i t one. Much more e x p l i c i t Is the connection made i n L i t t l e D o rrlt between the f a l l of Mrs. Ciennam's house and the revelation of the secrets which i t has enclosed. Here the secret and 3 8 Q l l v e r Twist, p. 222. 3 9 o i i v e r Twist, p. 303. ^ O l i v e r Twist, p. 304. ^ xSee the Preface to Oliver Twist. 72 i t s embodiment i n Mrs. Clennam and i n her house are esta-blished from the beginning of the novel. Here too the house takes i t s colouring from the condition of Mrs. Clennam's mind and i t i s i n that mind that the mystery i s guarded. This difference between the early and the l a t e novel arises from the frequently-noticed (and frequently evident) develop-ment i n the use of symbol and p a r a l l e l which occurs i n Dickens' work. In the two h i s t o r i c a l novels, Barnaby Budge and A Tale  of Two C i t i e s . Dickens shows the destruction of houses which re s u l t s from national upheaval. In Barnaby Budge the Gordon r i o t e r s f i r e the house of a member of the Roman Catholic gentry, while i n A Tale of Two C i t i e s i t i s the chateau of a c r u e l l y oppressive Marquis which goes up i n flames. The destruction of the Marquis' chateau i s brought about by the v i o l e n t change which Is the French Revolution. In Dombey and  Son, houses are destroyed by- another r e v o l u t i o n — t h e Industrial Revolution-whlch drives the railway through Camden Town and o b l i t e r a t e s Staggs' Gardens. The houses which f a l l In Bleak House are those of Tom-all-Alone's—"Twice, l a t e l y , there has been a crash and a cloud of dust, l i k e the springing of a mine, In Tom-all-Alone's; and, each time, a house has fallen...The gaps remain, and there are not unpopular lodgings among the rubbish. As several more houses are nearly ready to go, the next crash i n Tom-all-73 Alone 1 s may be expected to be a good one.;'!k And Dickens ensures that the reader does not f a i l to see a connection between th i s slum and Chesney Wold—"What connection can there be, between the place i n Lincolnshire, the house i n town, the Mercury i n powder, and the whereabout of Jo the outlaw with the broom.. .?" 4For both are i n Chancery, as i s Bleak House i t s e l f , and as we learn at the beginning of the novel, the fog which i s engendered by the tangled l e g a l i t i e s of Chancery i s everywhere—inside as well as outside. If the tenements of Tom-all-Alone's.can crumble, then so too can Chesney Wold and Dickens i s concerned i n Bleak House, as i n his other novels, to show the f r a g i l i t y of the s t a t i c structures which men create i n order to protect themselves from moving forces. Dickens' attitude to s o c i a l change i s d i f f i c u l t to define. Walter Bagehot c a l l e d It "the sentimental r a d i -c a l i s m , " ^ sentimental, that i s , as opposed to the philoso-p h i c a l radicalism of men such as Jeremy Bentham. Humphry House writes t His JfDickens'jf problem a l l through his writing l i f e was to f i n d a kind of p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l power, a government,which he could approve; and i n the end he f a i l e d . He was not a man of great p o l i t i c a l understanding and v i s i o n , not a prophet! ^ B l e a k House, p. 177. ^ B l e a k House, p. 176. ^ W a l t e r Bagehot, Collected Works, ed. Norman St. John-Stevas (London, 1965)» H » P. 100. 74 his imagination worked on the data society gave him; and at times he clutched even with over-ambitious hope at what he was given.^5 Dickens was always aware that something was wrong. At f i r s t i t was p a r t i c u l a r malpractices to which he directed his att e n t i o n — Y o r k s h i r e schools, workhouses, baby farms, Malthu-sian doctrines. Later he saw in d i v i d u a l wrongs as symptomatic of a general malaise and, as he did so, optimism decreased. L i t t l e D o rrlt i s , thus, much gloomier than Oliver Twist, despite the fact that the former Is concerned with the a c t i v i t i e s of criminals i n London's most miserable slums. In Oliver Twist some of the characters are criminals. In L i t t l e D o r r i t a l l are so. But an awareness of what i s wrong does not, i n Dickens' case, produce an awareness of how that wrong can be remedied. On the contrary, Dickens' l a t e r p r o t a g o n i s t s — t h e q u i e t l y - s u f f e r i n g Arthur Clennam, the frustrated Bradley Headstone—seem to embody the incapacity for e f f e c t i v e action which Dickens recognized i n himself and i n those around him i n the face of an all-pervading transgression. The often-quoted statement madsln a speech at the Birmingham and Midland I n s t i t u t e i n 1869, "My f a i t h i n the people governing i s , on the whole, i n f i n i t e s i m a l ; my f a i t h i n the People governed Is, on the whole, i l l i m i t a b l e , a c c o r d s with Dickens' approval of personal benevolence and the implications of that 45Humphry • House, The Dickens World, 2nd ed. (London, 1942), p. 182. 46 The Speeches of Charles Dickens, ed. K.J. Fielding (Oxford, I960), p. 407. 75 statement ' — t h a t government i s usually unsatisfactory because opposed to the wishes of the people—accounts f o r much of the pessimism of the l a t e r novels. If we examine Dickens' attitude to v i o l e n t change as i t i s expressed i n A Tale of  Two C i t i e s , we see that i t i s composed of several elements— a mingled fear of and delight i n the mob, sympathy with i t s origins and deprecation of what i t brings about. This ambi-valence i s present i n the following passage: They danced to the popular Revolution song, keeping a ferocious time that was l i k e a gnashing of teeth i n unison. Men and women danced together, women danced together, men danced together, as hazard had brought them together. At f i r s t , they were a mere storm of coarse red caps and coarser woollen rags; but, as they f i l l e d the place, and stopped to dance about Lucie, some ghastly appari-tion of a dance-figure gone raving mad arose among them. They advanced, retreated, struck at one another's hands, clutched at one another's heads, spun round alone, caught one another and spun round i n p a i r s , u n t i l many of them dropped.*© It i s present, too, i n the mob scenes of Barnaby Rudge and esp e c i a l l y i n those describing a rson—the burning of Newgate and of great private houses. Humphry* House comments: Dickens hated and feared such violence; there i s not a. sign of approval or defence of i t ; he attributes every kind of monstrous wickedness to i t s leaders; but he projects into his treatment of i t his own feelings of desperate impotence i n the face of the problem of p o l i t i c a l power.49 In Bleak House Dickens broaches p o l i t i c a l , economic, s o c i a l ^Implications re-emphaslzed i n Dickens' speech to the Birmingham and Midland i n 1870 when he quoted from Buckle's History of C i v i l i z a t i o n In England. ^ 8A Tale of Two C i t i e s , p. 4l4. llQ 7House, 214. 76 and r e l i g i o u s problems. He does.not off e r all-embracing solutions to them. But he does demonstrate the necessity for and the i n e v i t a b i l i t y of change. S i r Leicester and Chesney Wold (the house i s a physical embodiment of the excessive conservatism of i t s owner) are unhealthily embedded i n a f e u d a l i s t i c past. They are, as we have seen, susceptible to natural f o r c e s — t h e weather, climate—but they are also susceptible to human agencies and, i r o n i c a l l y , not l e a s t to th e i r own re t a i n e r s : There are d e f e r e n t i a l people, i n a dozen c a l l i n g s , whom my Lady Dedlock suspects of nothing but pro-s t r a t i o n before her, who can t e l l you how to manage her as i f she were a baby; who do nothing but nurse her a l l t h e i r l i v e s ; who, humbly a f f e c t i n g to follow with profound subservience., lead her and her whole troop a f t e r them ,. - . . . It i s a measure of the ignorance engendered by the s e l f -enclosed world of fashion that Lady Dedlock i s unaware of her rel a t i o n s h i p to those with whom she comes into contact. She i s unaware of her v u l n e r a b i l i t y to them and cannot penetrate them as they penetrate her. Tulkinghorn, the family lawyer, supposedly dedicated to i t s well-being, does not perhaps, Dickens suggests, respect the Dedlock glory as much as he appears to do—"The peerage may have warmer worshippers and f a i t h f u l l e r believers than Mr. Tulkinghorn, a f t e r a l l , i f everything were known."^1 It i s , of course, Tulkinghorn who 5°Bleak House, p. 9. 5 xBleak House, p. 303. 77 p r e c i p i t a t e s Lady Dedlock's f l i g h t and thus brings about a reve l a t i o n of her secret. Lady Dedlock r e a l i z e s the dangerous power which Tulkinghorn exercises as she does not r e a l i z e the power wielded by her other retainers. S i r Leicester i s , however, bl i n d to Tulkinghorn 1s menace. He i s as obtuse as his a n c e s t o r s — " A y s t a r i n g old Dedlock i n a panel, as large as l i f e and as d u l l , looks as i f he didn't know what to make of i t — . "52 The Dedlocks are, as Skimpole remarks, "stuffed people!"53 They were as fixed.when a l i v e , as S i r Leicester i s , as they have become i n po r t r a i t u r e . Lady Dedlock, too, i n her e f f o r t to deny the past and i n her r e f u s a l to a n t i -cipate the future, i n her struggle to f i x herself In the present, has suffered an apparent death of the warmer emotions "My Lady Dedlock, having conquered her world, f e l l , not into the melting, but rather into the freezing mood. An exhausted composure, a worn-out p l a c i d i t y , an equanimity of fatigue not to be r u f f l e d by int e r e s t or s a t i s f a c t i o n , are the trophies of her v i c t o r y . " ^ That the death i s only apparent we have ample proof i n the course of the novel. Lady Dedlock's r e s t -lessness i s some in d i c a t i o n that her state of mind i s more unsettled than her outward composure would suggest. But the i n t e r i o r s of the Dedlock houses do not encourage speculation nor the kind of r e a l i z a t i o n and acceptance of unpleasantness 5 2Bleak House, p. 126. 53Bleak House, p. 427. 54 , Bleak House, p. 8. ' "-7. ~ 1:_-„-r^ -_~"." S 78 which S i r Leicester i s required to make at the end of the novel—"Words, sobs, and c r i e s , are but a i r ; and a i r i s so shut i n and shut out throughout the house i n town, that sounds need be uttered trumpet-tongued indeed by my Lady i n her chamber, to carry any f a i n t v i b r a t i o n to S i r L e i -cester's ears."55 Yet the complacent unawareness which i s the very atmosphere of the Dedlock house i s constantly disturbed by the presence of>Tulkinghorn and, i n his absence, by reminders of him—he i s talked about, expected, a room at Chesney Wold i s always reserved.for him. Tulkinghorn i s compared i n his Imperturbability-to a hearth-stone, the centre and focus of domestic l i f e , 5 6 but, when i n S i r Leicester's house, he threatens the hearth-side harmony by intruding himself, and a l l that he suspects and knows, upon i t : My Lady lounges i n a great chair i n the chimney-corner, and S i r Leicester takes another great chair opposite. The lawyer stands before the f i r e , with his hand out at arm's length, shading his face57 It i s as i f Tulkinghorn would deny the warmth of S i r Leicester's a f f e c t i o n f o r his wife. 58 Is i t i s , he does destroy t h e i r l i f e 55Bleak House, p. 3 2 9 . 56Bieak House, pp. 4 4 9 - 4 5 0 . 5 7 B l e a k House, p. 1 3 2 . 5 8Tulklnghorn i s described more than once as warming himself before the f i r e . He does so too i n his own chambers. He i s both depriving others of heat and drawing heat into his own c h i l l y person. These descriptions rai s e questions about the nature of Tulkinghorn's passions. Apart from his l i k i n g for old wine, he seems to have no great enthusiasms. His pursuit of Lady Dedlock seems to be motiveless f o r , as Dickens t e l l s us, Tulkinghorn's attachment to the Dedlock family i s probably insincere. S i g n i f i c a n t l y , Tulkinghorn i s k i l l e d by a woman's passion. 79 together, but not S i r Leicester's f e e l i n g s . ("We notice that Tulkinghorn descends upon the Snagsbys at tea-time, thus interrupting the domestic r i t u a l and sowing discord between husband and wife). The " c i r c l e " of Chesney Wold i s , however, no sooner mentioned and described i n Chapter Twelve than men-tioned too i s Mr. Tulkinghorn who i s , as usual, expected.59 In the same way, Guppy, another suspicious of the Dedlock skeletons, breaks i n upon the Dedlocks immediately a f t e r S i r Leicester has s a t i s f i e d himself that a newspaper a r t i c l e which condemns progressive p o l i t i c s does, at the same time, extinguish them. 6 0 Guppy, a poor but ambitious clerk, i s , S i r Leicester f e e l s , an Incongruous figure i n his a r i s t o -c r a t i c home but not a threatening one. S i r Leicester trusts and welcomes Tulkinghorn who i s " r e t a i n e r - l i k e . " 6 1 His murder i s an outrage upon the house which he has served. Yet Bleak  House i s concerned to show that lawyers, involved as they are i n a profession which Is anxious only to make business for i t s e l f and not to administer swift j u s t i c e , are Inevitably harmful. Tulkinghorn i s a maggot, Vholes a cannibal. S i r Leicester i s menaced, too, by other retainers. His wife's maid k i l l s his s o l i c i t o r and the threat which Hortense embodies (and we notice that she comes from France, the land of revolution) i s well evoked i n a passage describing the Bleak House, pp. 129-130. 6 0 B l e a k House, p. 323. 6 l B l e a k House, p. 9. 80 angry woman's return to Chesney Wold afte r a snub from her mistress: We passed not f a r from the House, a few minutes afterwards. Peaceful as i t had looked when we f i r s t saw i t , i t looked even more so now, with a diamond spray g l i t t e r i n g a l l about i t , a l i g h t wind blowing, the birds no longer hushed but singing strongly, everything refreshed by the la t e , r a i n , and the l i t t l e carriage shining at the doorway l i k e a fair y carriage made of s i l v e r . S t i l l , very steadfastly and qu i e t l y walking towards i t , a peaceful figure too i n the landscape, went Mademoiselle Hortense, shoeless, through the wet grass.62 The peacefulness of Chesney Wold i s only apparent. It i s no more r e a l than i s the peacefulness of Hortense's f i g u r e , i t s e l f a r e a l i t y no greater than that of the " f a i r y carriage made of s i l v e r . " Even Mrs. Rouncewell, S i r Leicester's most f a i t h f u l servant, undermines his security f o r she gives b i r t h to a son who a s s i s t s the f a c t i o n h o s t i l e to S i r Leicester i n a parliamentary e l e c t i o n . S i r Leicester i s not, however, the f i r s t Dedlock for whom parliamentary a f f a i r s have presented problems. It was the English C i v i l War which gave Chesney Wold i t s ghost and there i s an obvious l i n k between the wife of S i r Leicester's ancestor, who t r i e d to betray the Royalist cause embraced by her husband, and Lady Dedlock who Introduces herself and her shady past Into the Dedlock family and so brings disgrace Bleak House, p. 207 81 upon i t . The two Lady Dedlocks resemble each other i n manner and circumstance. Both are "haughty," both are of "handsome f i g u r e " and "noble carriage," both are distant i n age from t h e i r husbands, both have c h i l d l e s s marriages.63 S i r Morbury's wife, haunting as she i s said to do the terrace at Chesney Wold, forecasts the disaster which i s to b e f a l l the Dedlocks through S i r Leicester's wife. Lady Dedlock*s daughter imagines, when she walks upon the terrace, that the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r the Dedlock disaster i s hers, but her l a t e r r e a l i z a t i o n — t h a t she cannot be blamed for the circum-stances of her b i r t h — I s the correct one. Esther must know about her parents but should not f e e l g u i l t because of them. Lady Dedlock*s past i s to prove to be the undoing of her husband's present and i t i s by the past, the past that i s not fix e d i n po r t r a i t u r e , the dynamic past which projects i t s e l f into the present and future, that S i r Leicester f e e l s threa-tened. The connection between the revolutionary past and Lady Dedlock has been explained and, f o r S i r Leicester, the new ind u s t r i a l i s m Is as dangerous as the r e b e l l i o n of Wat Tyler. His feudalism makes him r i g i d . Suffering from a stroke, he f a l l s " l i k e a f e l l e d tree;"64 S i r Leicester has l i t t l e f l e x i b i l i t y . He finds i t d i f f i c u l t to adapt -'Bleak House, p. 73. 6 / fBleak House, p. 610. 82 himself to innovation, although,in the case of his wife, he manages to do so. S i r Leicester's feudalism i s asso-ciated with trooper George's mi l i t a r i s m , as the Ironmaster p e r c e i v e s — " i f you prefer to serve i n S i r Leicester Dedlock's household brigade. ..,."65 Both are anachronisms In the age of the Ironmaster for both are i r r e l e v a n t to the world In which they f i n d themselves. George's m i l i t a r y bearing makes him u n f i t f o r the world of money-lenders and s o l i c i t o r s i n which he beomes entangled—"he s i t s forward on his chair as i f he were, from long habit, allowing space f o r some dress or accoutrements that he has altogether l a i d aside. His step too i s measured and heavy, and would go well with a weighty clash and j i n g l e of spurs."66 His uprightness i s , indeed, a p o s i t i v e encumbrance when he encounters those who s h i f t and crawl. He i s forced into an e t h i c a l dilemma i n which two courses of action present themselves, both of which seem to him to be betrayals of f a i t h . In t h i s foggy, ambiguous world the clear-cut, m i l i t a r y dichotomy of bravery and cowardice, r i g h t and wrong i s no longer applicable. M i l i t a r i s m can be accommodated outside the army but only when, as i n the Bagnett's case, a world, a domestic' world, i s created f o r i t . But George's shooting-gallery, as s t e r i l e as i t s owner—"a Bleak House, p. 682. Bleak House, p. 236. 83 great brick b u i l d i n g , composed of bare walls, f l o o r s , roof-r a f t e r s , and skylights, " 6 ?—cannot provide a world of this kind. George i s a man without family and the Bagnetts* domesticity cannot compensate f o r his loneliness. It i s , a f t e r a l l , at the Bagnetts* on an occasion of r i t u a l cele-bration, that he i s apprehended and l a t e r arrested f o r a murder which he has not committed. S i r Leicester finds his encounters with the modern world equally shattering. Reports of change f i l l him with indignation and the revela-t i o n of a change within his own married l i f e renders him an i n v a l i d . I t i s f i t t i n g that S i r Leicester and George yboth wounded by a world that i s not t h e i r own and both brought to a dramatic confrontation with the past, should face the future together. In Chapter twenty-three of Bleak House occurs an image which i s p e c u l i a r l y relevant to Dickens* examination of change* Thus, night at length with slow-retreating steps departs, and the lamplighter going his rounds, l i k e an executioner to a despotic king, strikes o f f the l i t t l e heads of f i r e that have aspired to lessen the darkness.68 Those who oppose despotism have attempted "to lessen the dark-ness" and, when we place the implications of this image beside Dickens' description of S i r Leicester as a man who approves of the I n s t i t u t i o n which, as we see, brings misery to so many, 6 7 Bleak House, p. 2^3. ^ 8Bleak House, p. 368. 84 then we must f e e l that Dickens has considerable sympathy with progressive forces. And yet there exists i n Bleak House, as well as i n other novels, a d i s l i k e , tempering the approval, of a prominent aspect of nineteenth-century change— the new i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n . In some respects Dickens seems to share S i r Leicester*s equation of i t with "a body of some odd thousand conspirators, swarthy and grim, who were i n the habit of turning out by t o r c h l i g h t s , two or three nights i n the week, for unlawful p u r p o s e s . w 6 9 : S e e , f o r example, the de s c r i p t i o n of i n d u s t r i a l country i n The Old Curiosity Shop; But, night-time i n this dreadful s p o t ! — n i g h t , when the smoke was changed to f i r e ; when every chimney spirted up i t s flame; and places, that had been dark vaults a l l day, now shone red-hot, with figures moving to and f r o within t h e i r blazing Jaws, and c a l l i n g to one another with hoarse c r i e s — night, when the noise of every strange machine was aggravated by the darkness; when the people near them looked wilder and more savage; when bands of unemployed labourers paraded the roads, or clustered by t o r c h - l i g h t round th e i r leaders, who told them, i n stern language, of th e i r wrongs,70 This i s , of course, an early novel but Dickens* fear of the mob i s manifested elsewhere (It has been noticed i n Barnaby Budge and A Tale of Two C i t i e s ) and concomitant with the r i s e of industrialism i s the banding together of workers and the consequent meetings and marches which Dickens feared. Humphry?)* House infe r s that i t i s a fear "based on an l n t r o -Bleak House, p. 6 9 . The Old C u r i o s i t y Shop, pp. 281-282. 85 spective knowledge of the hidden depths of b e s t i a l i t y i n every man?1 and the b e s t i a l element i s c e r t a i n l y very apparent i n Dickens* mob descriptions. In Hard Times the orator, Slack-bridge, i s condemned. Slackbridge*s empty speeches turn Stephen Blackpool's fellow workers against him and, In Hard  Times. Stephen i s the repository of many of the f i n e r values. In 1839, Dickens v i s i t e d the i n d u s t r i a l north for the f i r s t time and Edgar Johnson writes of this v i s i t , "On Dickens* imagination the i n d u s t r i a l north made an impression of l u r i d and melodramatic horror, "miles of cinder-paths and blazing furnaces and roaring steam-engines,* looming through fog and smoke l i k e some enormous Alberich's cave of clamorous glares, *such a mass of d i r t gloom and misery, 1 he wrote Kate, 'as I never before witnessed.'"? 2 The Old Curiosity Shop, written not long afterwards, c l e a r l y derives from this impression. It i s , however, an impression which would p e r s i s t , even though i t would co-exist with an appreciation of the i n e v i t a b l l l i t y of i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n and of benefits which would originate i n i t . John Lucas writes (with regard to Dombey and Son, but his observation can be given a wider ap p l i c a t i o n ) , "Dickens...saw so deeply into what ind u s t r i a l i s m might mean that he r e c o i l e d i n horror from the prospect of an i n d u s t r i a l i z e d society." 7 3 George's journey to the north i n Bleak House takes him into a ? 1House, p. 180. 7 2Edgar Johnson, I, p. 224. ?3i)avid Howard, John Lucas and John Goode, ed. Tradition  and Tolerance i n Nineteenth-Century F i c t i o n (London, 1 9 6 6 ) , p. 139. 86 country of "coalpits and ashes, high chimneys and red bricks, blighted verdure, scorching f i r e s , and a heavy neveri lightening cloud of smoke.""^ The landscape i s an ugly one and yet the (admittedly limited)glimpse of l i f e i n an indus-t r i a l township which I t offers Is not altogether dismal. The glimpse i s l i m i t e d . We see only the factory owner's house-hold but i t i s a happy one and not less so than the southern homes into which we have been Introduced. The difference between the Rouncewell home and that of Thomas Gradgrind In Hard Times i s s t r i k i n g . Nevertheless, the implication of Mrs. Rouncewell's son's departure from Chesney Wold for the "iron country"75 i s of a leaving the family home—the paternally f e u d a l i s t i c home of the Dedlock estate as well as the Rounce-well home, represented by the mother,—for the open road and a very d i f f e r e n t way of l i f e . I t would seem to be: ;an opposi-t i o n of c i r c l e s and straight l i n e s — o f the domestic c i r c l e and the h a l f - c i r c l e around the hearth to the railway l i n e , the s t r a i g h t , e f f i c i e n t road, the northern landscape dominated by chimneys. George can reach his brother's house by "going on as straight as ever he can"?6 before coming to a turning. Rouncewell i s the "Ironmaster" and his r i g i d i t y Is emphasized i n his interview with S i r Leicester Dedlock when his attitude 7^Bleak House, p. 678. 7->Bleak House, p. 6 8 . 76 Bleak House, p. 678. 8? i s consistently firm. When he enters the "iron country" George becomes "Mr. S t e e l . " Hard Times, demonstrates a similai? d i s t i n c t i o n between l i n e s and c i r c l e s . In that novel the straight l i n e s of Stone Lodge, of the churches, the Bank, the streets and the f a c t o r i e s are opposed to the circus r i n g of Sleary's horseriding. The d i s t i n c t i o n i s clear-cut. The circus r i n g contains a l l the warmth, humanity, kindness, generosity, f l e x i b i l i t y , lacking i n the s t r a i g h t - l i n e Grad-grlnd world. In Bleak House, however, matters are more ambivalent. The Ironmaster can adapt himself to the s o c i a l observances of S i r Leicester's house just as the iron of which he i s master can be twisted into many shapes—"a great per-p l e x i t y of iron l y i n g about, In every stage, and i n a vast v a r i e t y of shapes; i n bars, i n wedges, i n sheets; i n tanks, In b o i l e r s , i n axles, i n wheels, i n cogs, i n cranks, i n r a i l s ; twisted^wrenched into eccentric and perverse forms."77 Then again, Rouncewell's firmness i s matched by the firmness of S i r Leicester; t h e i r attitudes are simply directed towards d i f f e r e n t ends. The Rouncewell house i n the north encloses a happy domestic l i f e . Rouncewell welcomes his brother with a r e a l warmth and generosity. The i r o n which suits so well the Smallweed household—"she gets together, i n the iron bread-basket, as many outside fragments and worn-down heels of loaves as the r i g i d economy of the house has l e f t i n 7?Bleak House, p. 679. 88 existence. w 7 8 ' — a l t h o u g h probably manufactured i n Rounce-well's area, i s not evident i n his home. Nor i s there that "iron b a r r i e r " 7 9 between r i c h and poor which Esther notices when amongst the southern brickmakers. The manu-facturer's son can marry a m i l l - g i r l , provided, of course, that she Is suitably educated and polished. Nevertheless, Rouncewell i s a rebel (he does not name his son, wWa.tt,w f o r nothing). Not only does he a l i g n himself with the a n t i -reactionary f a c t i o n i n a parliamentary e l e c t i o n , but he also r e j e c t s the English v i l l a g e - s c h o o l as a sa t i s f a c t o r y place of education for his future daughter-in-law. His children are sent abroad to be educated. S i r Leicester foresees the consequence of thi s break with t r a d i t i o n ! From the v i l l a g e school of Chesney Wold, intac t as i t i s this minute, to the whole frame-work of society; from the whole framework of society, to the aforesaid framework receiving tremendous cracks i n consequence of people (ironmasters, lead-mistresses, and what not) not minding their catechism, and getting out of the stat i o n unto which they are c a l l e d — n e c e s s a r i l y and f o r ever, according to S i r Leicester's rapid logic., the f i r s t s t a t i o n . i n which they happen to f i n d themselves; and from that, to t h e i r edu-cating other people out of t h e i r stations, and so ob l i t e r a t i n g the landmarks, and opening the floodgates, and a l l the res t of i t , this Is the swift progress of the Dedlock mind.80 But . :-o • f o r S i r Leicester, even a man such as Boythorn i s "A person who, f i f t y years ago, would probably have been t r i e d at the Old Bailey f o r some demagogue proceeding. Bleak House, p. 235. 7 9 B l e a k House, p. 8 7 . Bleak House, p. 319. 8 l B l e a k House, p. 131. 89 Boythorn i s , for S i r Leicester, a " l e v e l l i n g person" 0* 1 yet, as we see from Dickens* description of his house and garden, Boythorn i s wholly and v i t a l l y involved, not i n v i o l e n t i n surrection, but i n the natural progress of slow growth and decay. I t i s a matter of perspective. S i r Leicester can see Boythorn from only one viewpoint and so misses the va r i e t y of perspectives which / i s the only way to a true estimate. The reader i s more fortunate. He can see that Chesney Wold, whose drawing-room windows look l i k e "a row of jewels" 8^ when seen from a distance, houses the f r i g i d boredom of Lady Dedlock. The Imagination creates i t s own splendours. Guster imagines that the Snagsby house i s "a Temple of plenty and splendour." 8** The a r t i s t who draws Krook's house represents i t as, again, a temple—"he then and there throws i n upon the block, Mr. Krook's house, as large as l i f e ; i n f a c t , considerably larger, making a very Temple of I t . " 8 5 The f a l s i f i c a t i o n i s pleasing to those who are acquainted with the r e a l i t y but the fog which introduces Bleak  House and which obsodr-e,^ r e a l i t y i s welcomed—"The les s the court understands of a l l t h i s , the more the court l i k e s i t j . " Q O The r e a l i t y of such horrors as Krook's death and Tom-all-Alone's — a s p e c t s of the same e v i l — i s too p a i n f u l to contemplate. Variety of perspective leads, not only to some approach to 8 2 B l e a k House, p. 131. 8^Bleak House, p. 104. 8 6 B l e a k House, p. 375. 83Bleak House, p. 128. 85Bleak House, p. 375. 90 the truth, but also to the ambivalence of attitude which possession of the truth brings about, an ambivalence which we see i n Dickens 1 depiction of the opposition of feudalism and industrialism, paternalism and independence, an ambi-valence expressed l a r g e l y through his examination of the domestic concept. J. H i l l i s M i l l e r states that i t i s the "enclosed worlds" — t h e worlds of fashion, c i t y l i f e , deportment and law—which describe c i r c l e s In "an endless process of palingenesis." 8? But, in&his indictment of the fasMonable world, Dickens suggests that the "larger worlds" also p a r t i -88 cipate i n t h i s c i r c l i n g , for they " c i r c l e round the sun." What i s wrong i s that the smaller c i r c l e s are not aware of the larger. The domestic c i r c l e . i s unaware of i t s obliga-tions to those outside the family, the fashionable c i r c l e unaware of i t s involvement In issues greater than those of r e l i g i o u s fashion, the law unaware of i t s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to p r i n c i p l e s more important than those of formality and precedent. One way out of the c i r c l e i s by a straight l i n e and the, railway l i n e i s one of the In d u s t r i a l Revolutions contributions to the disruption of family l i f e — a n d yet not e n t i r e l y . In Dombey and Son the coming of the railway 8 ? H i l l i s M i l l e r , p. 187. Bleak House, p. 6. 91 destroys Staggs* Gardens, the home of the Toodles, yet i t provides Mr. Toodle with a f i n a n c i a l security and a pride i n his job which improves rather than diminishes the quality of the Toodle family l i f e . The t r a i n which k i l l s Carker i s a red-eyed giant, a monster, but Carker i s a v i l l a i n and, i n destroying him, the t r a i n serves as an instrument of j u s t i c e . In his account of ,the conditions of English working-class l i f e i n 184); Engels reports that the railway l i n e which was driven through Salford, Manchester, brought about the demolition of some of the worst slums i n the area. 8? Mention of the railway i s scarce i n Bleak House but i t s very s c a r c i t y makes i t s appearance more s i g n i f i c a n t . The railway plays no part i n the p l o t t i n g of the novel; nobody travels by i t . ? 0 Yet Dickens takes care that i t i s seen to be a feature of the change which i s to come upon the country; ...the far-famed Elephant who has l o s t his cas t l e formed of a thousand four-homse coaches, to a stronger iron monster than he, ready to chop him into mince-meat any day he dares.91 Railroads s h a l l soon traverse a l l t h i s country, and with a r a t t l e and a glare the engine and t r a i n s h a l l shoot l i k e a meteor over the wide night-landscape, turning the moon paler; but, as yet, such things are non-existent i n these parts, though not wholly unexpected. Preparations are afo ot, measurements are made, ground i s staked out.92 The way out of Lincolnshire (and, i n terms of the novel, 8 Q F i t e d r i c f r Engels, The Condition of the Working-Class i n  England, trans, and ed. W.O. Henderson and W.H. Chal:©.ner (Stanford, 1 9 5 8 ) , p. 74. ?°See House, pp.30-40, on the vagueness of the chronology of Bleak House. 91Bleak House, p. 307. ? 2Bleak House, p. 597. 92 Lincolnshire i s Chesney Wold with a l l that that house represents) i s to he the way of the railway. S i r Leicester i s g r a t i f i e d that the Ironmaster recog-nizes the absence of hurry at Chesney Wold, "there, i n that ancient house, rooted i n that quiet park, where the ivy and the moss have had time to mature, and the gnarled and warted elms, and the unbrageous oaks, stand deep i n the fern and leaves of a hundred years„''93 However, Sir Leicester's lack of haste i s c l o s e l y associated with that of Chancery—"he regards the Court of Chancery, even i f i t should involve an occasional delay of Justice and a t r i f l i n g amount of confu-sion, as a something, devised i n conjunction with a v a r i e t y of other somethings, by the perfection of human wisdom," 9 ^—and, as Bleak House demonstrates, when people's l i v e s are involved, there should be hurry. It Is r i g h t that the Ivy and moss at Chesney Wold should have time to mature but i t i s not r i g h t that Jarndyce, the man from Shropshire, Miss F l i t e and Richard Carstone should have to wear out t h e i r l i v e s In the maturing process of the "autumnal f r u i t s of the Woolsack." 9^ The Woolsack i s , i n any case, s t e r i l e . It produces, not f r u i t , but paper and costs, and i t b l i g h t s the l i v e s of those who are drawn Into i t s business. Richard Carstone's youth i s ruined by i t — " T h e r e i s a r u i n of youth which Is not l i k e age," 9 6 Tom Jarndyce i s driven to make a premature end to 9^Bleak House, pp. 316-31?. 9 4 B i e a k House, p. 10. 9^Bleak House, p. 695. 9 6 B l e a k House, p. 659 93 his l i f e . It i s the violence of Tulkinghorn's death which shocks S i r Leicester, not the fa c t of death i t s e l f , just as i t i s the grimness of the circumstances surrounding Nemo's death, with t h e i r suggestion of suicide, which make-rthe topic an improper one for introduction at Chesney Wold. Suicide and murder are anarchistic actions. They are i n the Wat Tyler d i r e c t i o n . They deny the natural processes of growth and death which S i r Leicester feels to be embodied i n the Chesney Wold estate. Death i s , for S i r Leicester, a. family possession. It always comes to the Dedlocks from gout and i s "among t h e i r dignities." 9 7 Even th i s democratic force can be converted into a p a t r i c i a n property. S i r Leice s t e r accepts the i n e v i t a b i l i t y of death as long as i t i s a death made f a m i l i a r by t r a d i t i o n and r e p e t i t i o n . Yet, Im his reactionary attitudes, S i r Leicester denies the growth which includes change and thus he ceases to grow. The world of Chesney Wold, l i k e the world of Chancery and of Tom-all-Alone' s to which i t i s e x p l i c i t l y linked, becomes a world of stagnation. S i r Leicester approves of the f i x i t y of his ancestors' p o r t r a i t s . They are changed only by the effects of l i g h t and shade-threatening phenomena, as we have seen, and phenomena which S i r Leicester i s unable to bar from his house. Bleak House contains several characters who try to arrest time as S i r Leicester does. Old. Mr. Turveydrop and Volumnia Dedlock both t r y , by a r t i f i c i a l means, to disavow 97Bleak House, p. 175. 94 the ageing process. Turveydrop "was a fat old gentleman with a f a l s e complexion, f a l s e teeth, f a l s e whiskers and a wig,"98 and, i n his a r t i f i c i a l i t y , he loses the most basic of human attributes—involvement i n the passage from youth to old age. He thus f o r f e i t s humanity—"he was not l i k e youth, he was not l i k e age, he was not l i k e anything i n the world but a model of Deportment,"?9 Volumnia Dedlock, mean-while, Is "a young lady (of s i x t y ) . " 1 0 0 Both are grotesque and theirs i s a grotesqueness which i s shared by characters i n other novels—by Mrs. Skewton,in Dombey and Son, by Lady Tlppins i n Our Mutual Friend. Characters i n Dickens 1 novels can approach the condition of things by becoming, as we see i n the case of Merdle's guests i n L i t t l e D o r r l t . wholly taken up with t h e i r jobs to the exclusion of a l l else. They can be de-humanized by allowing one aspect of t h e i r per-so n a l i t y to dominate the rest and so .'. ,: come to share the attrib u t e s of a machine. Such Is Lord Lancaster S t i l t s t a l k i n g i n L i t t l e D o r r l t . whose f r i g i d i t y has eliminated i n him any other c h a r a c t e r i s t i c and has turned him into a r e f r i g e r a t o r . But i t i s the dehumanization which results from the denial of age which Dickens seems to .have regarded with p a r t i c u l a r detestation and hence the acerbity of his p o r t r a i t s of those who practice i t . Turveydrop*s kind of o s s i f i c a t i o n i s seen by Esther to be u b i q u i t o u s — " I began to inquire i n my mind 98Bleak House, p. 153. 99sieak House, p. 153. 1 0 0 B l e a k House, p. 313 95 whether there were, or ever had been, any other gentlemen, not In the dancing profession, who l i v e d and founded a reputation e n t i r e l y on th e i r Deportment. This became so bewildering, and suggested the p o s s i b i l i t y , of so many Mr. Turveydrops, that I said, ''Esther you must make up your mind to abandon this subject altogether .' n l G 1 It i s c e r t a i n l y evident i n Chancery, endlessly pre-occupied with the forms of j u s t i c e rather than with j u s t i c e i t s e l f , and i n the several worlds of fashion, a r i s t o c r a t i c , r e l i g i o u s , philan-thropic. Each of these xforlds i s peopled by those who, l i k e Turveydrop, ex i s t only to show themselves. Their super-f i c i a l i t y aligns them with the Americans i n Martin Chuzzlewlt but theirs i s a s u p e r f i c i a l i t y concentrated into and mani-fested i n the perpetuation of etiquette, rather than, as In America, the repudiation of i t . . . These characters and the c i r c l e s i n which they move are tainted by th e i r f a i l u r e to mature. In Boythorn*s house and garden i s to be seen the process,.of maturation i n a l l i t s health: He l i v e d i n a pretty house, formerly the Parsonage-house, with a lawn i n front, a bright flower-garden at the side, and a. well-stocked orchard and kitchen-garden i n the rear, enclosed with a venerable wall that had of i t s e l f a ripened ruddy look. But, indeed, everything about the place wore an aspect of maturity and abundance. The old lime-tree walk was l i k e green c l o i s t e r s , the very shadows of the cherry-trees and apple-trees were heavy with f r u i t , the gooseberry-bushes Bleak House, p. 157. 96 were so laden that t h e i r branches arched and rested on the earth.102 The l i n e s quoted above are taken from the beginning of Dickens' description which is.long and f u l l and f o r good reason. Dickens i s doing morefehere than providing a pleasant holiday spot for Esther and Ma. Out of the sound mellow-ness of Boythorn's house and garden arises i t s owner's anger, an anger directed against the fixed attitudes of S i r L e i -cester. The Boythorn house and the Dedlock country seat stand, next door to each other. They are de l i b e r a t e l y con-trasted. While the sun always ahines at Boythorn's, i t i s usually raining at Chesney Wold. , The f e r t i l i t y of Boythorn's home seems to both produce and r e f l e c t the generosity of his own nature. His anger does not d i r e c t i t s e l f into v i o l e n t action, as does that of Hortense, nor does i t turn inwards and destroy i t s possessor, as happens i n Gridley's case. What i t does i s to provide a means of discharge f o r the f r u s -trations and resentments accumulated i n the novel as i n s t i -tutions and individuals are examined and fottnd to be badly flawed. Boythorn's i n s t i n c t s are good, as his house i s good. His anger i s healthy and i s eventually transformed into an act of kindness directed towards his old enemy, Sir Leicester. Growth, maturity and the s p i r i t u a l health which accom-panies the proper evolution of these etre r e f l e c t e d i n the 102 Bleak House, p. 199. 97 Boythorn home and i t i s i n terms.of a house, too, that Esther's s p i r i t u a l development i s seen. The house i s , of course, Bleak House, which i s l i k e Boythorn's house i n i t s irregularity.w When Charley goes to fetch the* l e t t e r which contains John Jarndyce's proposal of marriage, Esther can hear her footsteps and imagines her passage through the house.103 Esther's awareness of Bleak House at t h i s time of c r i s i s i n her l i f e i s accompanied by a looking back to the events of he;p p a s t . 1 0 ^ The happiness which John Jarndyce's home has brought her i s remembered i n terms of the house i t s e l f — " I r e c a l l e d the f i r s t bright gleam of welcome which had shone out of those very windows upon our expectant faces on that cold bright night, and which had never p a l e d . w X ° 5 The essence of Esther's goodness i s domestic; she Is a home-maker and i t i s , therefore, appropriate that i t i s a sudden heightened awareness of the house i n which she l i v e s that should cause her to review her l i f e . During the c r i s i s of her i l l n e s s Esther confuses the stages of her growth; While I was very i l l , the way i n which these di v i s i o n s of time became confused with one another, distressed my mind exceedingly. At once a c h i l d , an elder g i r l , and the l i t t l e woman I had been so happy as, I was not only oppressed by cares and d i f f i c u l t i e s adafited to each st a t i o n , but by the great perplexity^endlessly trying to reconcile them. I suppose that few who have not been i n such a con-d i t i o n can quite understand what I mean, or what 1 Q 3 B l e a k House, p. 488. IQ^Bleak House, p. 488 *°^BIeak House, p. 488. 98 p a i n f u l unrest arose from this s o u r c e . X U D Esther's s p i r i t u a l development i s an Important element i n Bleak House fo r the success with which she comes to terms with her past, sees i t i n true perspective, discards respon-s i b i l i t y which i s not due to her and accepts that which i s , becomes a touchstone by which the novel's other characters may be measured. The confusion of parts of her past which occurs i n Esther's mind, the f a i l u r e to r e l a t e one part to another, i s , then, a diseased s t a t e — a s undesirable as the smallpox i t s e l f . But this c r i s i s at Bleak House, l i k e the l a t e r one at Chesney Wold, during which Esther suffers an i r r a t i o n a l g u i l t for her b i r t h but loses i t following a reminder of her value as a housekeeper, i s successfuly resolved and the new Bleak House can come into being. For Esther accepts change and welcomes others into h e r . l i f e . She weeps at leaving her school but i s f u l l y ready to.enter a new environment and to make herself useful to another set of people. Esther's " c i r c l e of d u t y " 1 0 7 does not.revolve into stagnation but expands. We might contrast her with Guppy who, l i k e S i r Leic e s t e r , fears i n t r u s i o n , change, as a threat to his sec u r i t y but his fears, unlike those of S i r Leicester, are groundless. Mr. Guppy suspects everybody who enters on the occupation of a s t o o l i n Kenge and Carboy's 1 0 6 B l e a k House, p. 391 1 0 7 B i e a k House, p. 84. 99 o f f i c e , of entertaining, as a matter of course, s i n i s t e r designs upon him. He i s clear that every such person wants to depose him. If he be ever asked how, why, when, or wherefore, he shuts up one eye and shakes his head. On the strength of these profound views, he i n the most ingenious manner takes i n f i n i t e pains to counterplot, when there i s no p l o t . 1 Q S Guppy's paranoia i s associated with the paucity of his a b i l i t y to love. His tender emotions are, l i k e the language i n which he expresses them, modified by the uses of his profession. Guppy's emotional poverty i s contrasted with Esther's emo-ti o n a l richness and the contrast i s expressed f o r c e f u l l y i n terms of the houses i n which they are to spend th e i r futures. The Yorkshire Bleak House, i n a l l i t s pleasant f e r t i l i t y , i s contrasted with Guppy's "six-roomer, exclusive of k i t c h e n . " 1 0 9 Dickens does, then, use his houses to represent and define attitudes and values examined i n Bleak House—attitudes and values.concerned with t r a d i t i o n and progression, with f i x i t y and change—the forces which Dickens found to be perplexing and shaping nineteenth-century England. In Martin Chuzzlewlt these matters are explored but c h i e f l y within the context of the family. The American chapters apply observations made about domestic l i f e to public l i f e but the English scenes remain domestic. In Bleak House, however, the meaning of the house d i l a t e s . Bleak House i s the place where the the Jarn-dyces and, l a t e r , others l i v e but i t i s more than that. W8 Bleak House, p. 219. 1 Q 9 B l e a k House, p. 691. 100 Domestic l i f e and public l i f e are seen i n Bleak House to be c l o s e l y i n t e r r e l a t e d . The problems of the family become the problems of the nation and even more do the problems of the r u l e r s and administrators become the problems of those ruled and those administered. It i s hard not to agree with Edgar Johnson that Bleak House i s England. In S i r Leicester Dedlock and Chesney Wold i s represented, as we have seen, the f i x i t y which i n v i t e s stagnation and s t e r i l i t y and . to which the new industrialism i s opposed, and i t i s the f i x i t y of a p a t r i a r c h a l feudalism. S i r L e i -cester's authority over his servants and retainers i s pater-n a l i s t i c and the distance In age between himself and his wife gives his r e l a t i o n s h i p to her a somewhat fat h e r l y complexion. (We note that they have no c h i l d r e n ) . But, i f he i s a father, he does not understand his children—"He supposes a l l his dependents to be u t t e r l y bereft of i n d i v i d u a l characters, intentions, or opinions, and i s persuaded that he was born to supersede the necessity of t h e i r having a n y , " 1 1 0 — w h i l e they, i n turn, are usually less than reverent to him. This f a i l u r e of rapport contributes to the p r e v a i l i n g fogglness i n Bleak House. C o n f l i c t between the generations i s a prominent theme i n Martin Chuzzlewlt and reappears i n Bleak House, but the extended meaning of paternalism in the l a t t e r novel makes impossible the kind of r e c o n c i l i a t i o n found i n the former. llOBleak House, p. 78. 101 Old Martin's p a t r i a r c h a l authority i s reestablished at the end of Martin Chuzzlewlt because both he and his grandson have.conquered undesirable t r a i t s within th e i r own characters, but S i r Leicester's authority i s rapidly becoming a thing of the past. The younger generation i s leaving the Chesney Wold estate, the railway w i l l soon run out of Lincolnshire. Dickens always acknowledges S i r Leicester's f i n e r p o i n t s — "a gentleman of s t r i c t conscience, d i s d a i n f u l of a l l l i t t l e -ness and meanness," 1 1 1—but his views on the position i n which a baronet stood i n r e l a t i o n to his servants might be found i n Dickens' reply to an inquiry why he did not dress his servants i n l i v e r y — " I do not consider that I own enough of any man to hang a badge upon. 1 , 1 1 2 Master-servant r e l a t i o n -ships and those which are dependent upon the benevolence-gratitude nexus are seen to be-fraught with d i f f i c u l t i e s and dangers. John Jarndyce hates to be thanked for his generosity; the brickmakers resent Mrs. Pardiggle's patronage; Judy Smallweed b u l l i e s Charley; Mrs. Snagsby i l l - t r e a t s G uster. 1 1^ Bleak House, p. 7. 1 1 2 E d g a r Johnson, 11, p. 755. 1 1 3 T h i s l a s t instance acquires p a r t i c u l a r s i g n i f i c a n c e when seen i n the l i g h t of the Sloan scandal of 1850. See Trevor Blount, "Bleak House and the Sloane Scandal of 1850 again," Dickens Studies, 111 (March 1 9 6 7 ) , 6 3 - 6 7 . The case i s a reminder of the p o t e n t i a l l y s a d i s t i c element i n the master-servant re-l a t i o n s h i p . We remember Squeers* treatment of Smike and Jonas' treatment of Chuffey. 102 These are examples of in d i v i d u a l relationships i n which a r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s undertaken by the act of bringing the re l a t i o n s h i p into being and the reader i s inv i t e d to judge whether that r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s properly carried out. By int e r e s t i n g herself i n the brickmakers Mrs, Pardiggle should make herself responsible for b e n e f i t t i n g them. By employing a servant the Smallweeds and Mrs. Snagsby should make them-selves responsible f o r treating her decently. A l l f a i l i n t h e i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . John Jarndyce i s , by contrast, f u l l y responsible and so, too, i s Esther i n her rel a t i o n s h i p with her maid, Charley,and George i n his with P h i l Squod. In taking up positions of authority the government and public administrators also assume r e s p o n s i b i l i t y — t o a l l the members.of the nation whom they govern and administrate. There i s , I t Is assumed, something wrong when the ruler of Borrioboola-Gha s e l l s his subjects for rum. But Bleak House shows us that, i n England, too, r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s neglected and that misery r e s u l t s from neglect. "The universe," says John Jarndyce, "makes rather an i n d i f f e r e n t p a r e n t , " 1 1 ^ and i t i s f o r this reason, the novel implies, that those " i n charge" should attempt to make better ones. The Lord Chancellor i s required to act as father to wards i n Chancery, appointing t h e i r guardians and supervising t h e i r careers. Robert A. Donovan quotes from Blackstone's Commentaries on H^Bleak House, p. 58 103 the Laws of England i n order to show how the o f f i c e of Chancellor arose and how i t came to acquire a paternal complexion i n i t s r o l e as^ an interceder on behalf of ju s t i c e and mercyj When the courts of law, proceeding merely upon the ground of the king's o r i g i n a l w rits, and confining themselves s t r i c t l y to that bottom, gave a harsh or imperfect Judgement, the applica-t i o n for redress used to be to the king i n person assisted by his privy council...and they were wont to r e f e r the matter either to the chancellor and a select committee, or by degrees to the chancellor only, who mitigated the severity or supplied the defects of the judgements pronounced i n the courts of law, upon weighing the circumstances of the case.115 The Lord Chancellor i n Bleak House shows, when encountered i n private, a f a t h e r l y concern for the well-being of his orphan wards but, i n his involvement i n the fog of Chancery r i t u a l , brings those under his care to g r i e f and r u i n . The r e s u l t i s unintended by the Chancellor but the reader might detect i n the Chancellor's court pronouncement that Richard Carstone (then a young man) i s a "vexatious and capricious i n f a n t , , l x 6 something of the clash between father and c h i l d so evident i n Martin Chuzzlew&t and now given even wider ap p l i c a t i o n i n Bleak House. But i t i s *\- through the orphan, Jo, that Dickens delivers his most searching i n d i c t -ment of r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s ignored. Through Jo he condemns S i r William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of  England (London, 1800), 111, pp. 50-51. Quoted i n Robert A. Donovan, "Structure and Idea i n Bleak House." ELH, XXIX (1962), 175-201. 116 Bleak House, p. 270. 104 r e l i g i o u s and philanthropic organizations, the workhouses and the p o l i c e force. None of these w i l l accept responsi-b i l i t y f o r Jo. A l l stand i d l e , stagnate i n t h e i r hypo-c r i t i c a l heedlessness, while Jo must continually move on. When we f i r s t see Jo he i s enabled to afford food and lodging by g i f t s from a man c a l l e d no-one. (He Is con-trasted with Skimpole, who i s always rescued from d i f f i c u l t y by Somebody. L i t t l e D o r r l t was to have been c a l l e d Nobody's  Fault.) Later he receives help from in d i v i d u a l generosity. Dickens* apostrophe on Jo's death 1 1? r e c a l l s his c a l l to duty i n Martin C h u z z l e w l t . 1 1 8 but i t s greater urgency and i t s greater desperation arise from a perception of a greater wrong. The need for r e s p o n s i b i l i t y arises from the connections which exist between one man and another and these are i n -s i s t e d upon i n Bleak House—"What connexion can there have been between many people i n the innumerable h i s t o r i e s of this world, who, from opposite sides of great g u l f s , have, never-theless, been very curiously, brought t o g e t h e r ! 1 , 1 1 9 The novel's dense p l o t t i n g , i t s use of coincidence, the image of the pauper burial-ground which transmits fever to r i c h and p o o r — a l l these contribute to the establishment of a sense of connection. Esther dreams, when she i s i l l , that "strung together somewhere i n great black space, there was a 1 : L7Blaak House, p. 520. 1 1 8 M a r t l n Chuzzlewlt. p. 403 1 1 9 B l e a k House, p. 1?6. 105 flaming necklace, or r i n g , or starry c i r c l e of some kind, of which I was one of the beads! And when my only prayer was to be taken off from the re s t , and when i t was such i n e x p l i -120 cable agony and misery to be a part of the dreadful thing." Here we see again the c i r c l e which figures l a r g e l y i n the symbolism of Bleak House end here It represents- the community of man. Esther envisages this community and, with i t , the "agony and misery" which i t s r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s bring with i t — the dilemmas and torments of decision, action, conscience and g u i l t . Esther's notion of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s , as we have seen, f i r s t and foremost a domestic one, directed towards those who surround her. It i s seen i n terms of the house i n which she i s housekeeper and Bleak House does, indeed, usually demonstrate r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i n terms of houses. John Jarndyce provides f o r his cousins and f o r Esther by giving them a pleasant house i n which to l i v e . Harold Skimpole, on the other hand, allows his family to l i v e i n discomfort i n a house which partakes of the entropic decadence of Chancery: It was i n a state of d i l a p i d a t i o n quite equal to our expectation. Two or three of the area r a i l i n g s were gone; the water-butt was broken; the knocker was loose; the bell-handle had been pulled o f f a long time, to judge from^rusty state of the wire; and d i r t y footprints on the steps were the only signs of i t s being inhabited.121 Those who do not behave i n a f u l l y responsible way towards those with whom they l i v e w i l l not do so towards those with Bleak House, p. 391. 1 2 1 B l e a k House, p. ^76 106 whom they do not l i v e . We have proof of this i n Martin Chuzzlewlt, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the case of Jonas, and, i n Bleak House, Sklmpole's selfishness with regard to his family i s matched by his selfishness i n dealing with those outside his family. The Snallweeds prey upon those who are not Smallweeds but they are quick to turn upon each other, Richard Carstone's misguided sense of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s r e f l e c t e d i n the places i n which he l i v e s once he has l e f t Bleak House. His room i n barracks Is "a great confusion of clothes, t i n cases, books, boots, brushes, and portmanteaus, 122 strewn a l l about the f l o o r . " Symonds Inn, where he spends his married l i f e , i s constructed "of old building materials, which took kindly to the dry rot and to d i r t and a l l things decaying and d i s m a l . " 1 2 3 S i g n i f i c a n t l y , Richard sees his continuing state of expectation as being analagous to l i v i n g i n an unfinished house—"If you l i v e i n an unfinished house, 1 ?4 you couldn't s e t t l e down i n i t . " Only when domestic con-d i t i o n s are secure can plans be made and rest found. The i d e n t i f i c a t i o n between the domestic c i r c l e and the notion of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y Is, then, a close one i n Bleak House. Even Skimpole recognizes this—"When I see you, my dear Miss Summerson, intent upon theperfect working of the whole l i t t l e orderly system of which you are the centre, I f e e l i n c l i n e d 1 2 2 B l e a k House, p. 496. l 23Bleak House, p. 438. 1 2 l | ,Bleak House, p. 258. 107 to say to m y s e l f — i n f a c t I do say to myself, very o f t e n — that's r e s p o n s i b i l i t y ! " 1 2 5 Responsibility i s to be d i s t i n -guished from r e s p e c t a b i l i t y . Vholes i s always anxious about his good name, Hortense looks "genteel," but one i s de-vouring his c l i e n t i n order to regurgitate him for the support of his dependents while the other i s a murderess. But Esther i s , as Inspector Buckett says, "a pattern."• L < c o The "row of j e w e l s " 1 2 7 which the Chesney Wold windows resemble by night are c o s t l i e r than Esther's necklaoe of beads but they are unconnected with each other., So too the way of l i f e embodied i n Chesney Wold would, i f i t , c o u l d , remain disconnected from the ways of l i f e with which It i s inextricably bound. It has already been suggested that Bleak House undertakes, as part of Its design, an examination of family l i f e . Here, as In so many of Dickens* novels, we f i n d orphans and children who, because of th e i r parents* neglects, might as well be orphans. Ada and Richard are orphans i n fac t and f i n d a bad father i n the Lord Chancellor. Richard's involvement i n Chancery alienates him from the man who t r i e s to act as a good father to him. It thus brings about his death and the b i r t h of another fatherless c h i l d . - Esther does not know whether she has parents, believes f o r a. while that John Jarndyce i s her r e a l father, i s enlightened and finds a substitute father 1 2 * B l e a k House, p. 426. 1 2 6 B l e a k House, p. 642 1 2 ? B l e a k House, p. 128. 108 i n him. The uneasy reaction which she and the reader have to Jarndyce's proposal of marriage arises from the father-c h i l d r e l a t i o n s h i p which has been established between Esther and Jarndyce. Here the problem i s resolved. Esther marries a man of her own age and Jarndyce resumes his paternal r o l e , but i t i s Interesting to compare this solution with those of s i m i l a r l y incongruous relationships i n David Copper-f i e l d and L i t t l e D o r r l t . Both these novels contain marriages between people of disparate ages but both convey the sense of unease which attends the proposed Esther-Jarndyce marriage. Generations divide as f a t a l l y as " u n s u i t a b l l l t y of mind and purpose." 1 2 8 Esther, l i k e trooper George, i s eventually reunited with her mother and for both these characters the r e c o n c i l i a t i o n with the mother i s ess e n t i a l to their future happiness. Parental and ancestral influence i s a powerful and d i s -quieting force i n Bleak House. S i r Leicester Dedlock i s 'bemusedby his ancestors and battened upon by his cousins; the Jarndyce and Jarndyce case, brought about by forgotten an-cestors, sets r e l a t i v e s against each other and ruins whole f a m i l i e s ; Esther's early l i f e i s clouded by g u i l t y speculation about her mother; George worries about having l e f t his mother; Caddy and Prince Turveydrop s a c r i f i c e themselves to David Copperfleld. p. 552. 109 Prince's father. Only Rouncewell, the Ironmaster, seems to escape this kind of domination. He has been, from c h i l d -hood, a l i e n to his surroundings and he leaves home i n order to take up a profession previously unknown i n his family. He seems to f e e l none of the g u i l t which leaving home causes his brother. J. H i l l l s M i l l e r , writing of O y Mutual Friend, discusses the Hiarmon w i l l which places •characters i n s i t u a -tions which bereave them of a l l freedom and i n i t i a t i v e " and so brings'about "an oppressive sense of the absurdity and emptiness of one's l i f e , an i n a b i l i t y to act which r e s u l t s from sheer e n n u i . " 1 2 9 Symptoms of thi s state can be seen i n the anxieties of Esther and George, i n Jarndyce's East Wind and Growlery and espe c i a l l y i n Richard's v a c i l l a t i o n and Lady Dedlock's boredom, but a l l these characters do try very strenuously to act, even though burdened by the weight of the past. Rouncewell i s seemingly unburdened, acts purposefully and e f f e c t i v e l y and makes f o r himself a l i f e unthreatened by the demands of the past. Yet, i f we turn to Hard Times, we see that Rouncewell*s d i s s o c i a t i o n of himself from the past can have undesirable r e s u l t s . The Gradgrind-Bounderby world i s one which repudiates mothers, denies a past which cannot be encompassed by facts—hence i t s a r i d i t y . 1 2 9 H i l l l s M i l l e r , p. 300 110 In Bleak House i t i s usually parents who abuse children rather than children who abuse t h e i r parents. In our f i r s t glimpse of the Jellyby house we see the youngest c h i l d with his head caught between the r a i l i n g s — a n image of helpless s u f f e r i n g which could be applied to a l l the Jellyby children. For Mrs. Jellyby's eyes, l i k e the windows of her house, "so encrusted with d i r t , that they would have made Midsummer sunshine dlm,""L^° dotsnot look upon what i s before her. They can see, as Richard observes, no closer than Africa^-^but A f r i c a i s too far away to be^seen. Mrs. Jellyby sees only her own conception of Africa, which i s a. f a l s e one. The betrayal of his subjects by the r u l e r of Borriboola-Gha proves that. So Mrs. Jellyby*s ceaseless a c t i v i t y i s f u t i l e . Insjjead of d i r e c t i n g her energies towards preventing chaos i n her own house and making sure that her daughter receives a formal education, Mrs. Jellyby becomes more and more detached from the r e a l i t y that i s around her. She has, she says, neither the i n c l i n c a t l o n nor the time to be angry with Caddy. Neither emotion nor time are invested i n her c h i l d r e n and they suffer accordingly. Mrs. Pardiggle i s another who f a i l s to see that which should concern her most clo s e l y . The Pardiggle children are used to support t h e i r mother's philan-thropic e f f o r t s — w i t h alarming results—"We had never seen 1^°Bleak House, p. 37. 1 3 1 B l e a k House, p. 30. I l l such d i s s a t i s f i e d children. It was not merely that they were weazened and s h r i v e l l e d — t h o u g h they were c e r t a i n l y that too—but they looked absolutely ferocious with d i s -content. n l 3 2 Mr. Jellyby's reduction to silence and inaction i n the face of his wife's absorption i n non-domestic a f f a i r s r e f l e c t s the f a i l u r e of paternalism In the novel as a whole. Husbands and fathers die more often than do wives and mothers. Guppy, Esther,, the Rouncewell brothers, Ada's c h i l d have mothers but no fathers. Mr. Bagnett i s merely an echo of his wife; Mr. Snagsby i s brow-beaten by Mrs. Snagsby; Mr. - Bayha;m;< Badger prostrates, himself before the memory of his wife's former husbands; Prince Turveydrop i s his wife's "darling c h i l d . " x 3 3 In Barnaby .Rudge we see paternal authority wrongly conceived. John W i l l e t t continues to treat his son as a c h i l d when he.has become a young man (as the Court of Chancery treats Richard Car3t one), while Mr. Chester models his behaviour towards his son on Lord Chester-f i e l d ' s l e t t e r s to his son, l e t t e r s which regard an adolescent boy as a miniature adult, owning the same passions and subject to the same experiences. (Bart-Smallweed f i t s this concep-t i o n of adolescence and the paternal attitude which i t r e f l e c t s i s to be found i n Dombey's treatment of his son. Childhood and youth have no valuable c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of their ft32Bleak House, p. M l , 133Bleak House, p. 261. 112 own. They are merely an Inconvenient i n t e r v a l before manhood i s reached,); Martin Chuzzlewlt explores the problem again and resolves i t happily i n i t s English scenes. In Bleak House, however, the breadth and depth of Dlokens* exploration makes i t Impossible f o r the problem of paternity and authority to be so s a t l s f a c t o r a r l j y resolved. It Is a major problem i n the i n d i v i d u a l household and i n the nation at large and Dickens cannot be optimistic about i t s handling. Old Mr. Turveydrop*s treatment of his son resembles Mrs. Pardiggle*s treatment of.,her children i n that he exploits him f o r his own ends, but the r e s u l t i s d i f f e r e n t . Prince subsists i n u n c r i t i c a l devotion to his father and such i s the success of the l a t t e r * s hypocrisy that Caddy, who perceives the misery which her mother brings about, cannot f i n d f a u l t with her father-in-law. At Caddy's wedding the unsatisfactory parents are brought together and i t i s only through the f a t h e r l y diplomacy of John Jarndyce that t h i s assembling of narrowvisions can be brought to any kind of s o c i a l i n t e r -a ction with each others "None of them seemed able to talk about anythihg but h i s , or her, one own subject, and none of them seemed able to t a l k about even that, as part of a world i n 134 which there was anything el s e . " • The offspring of the Turveydrop-Jellyby marriage i s a deaf and dumb baby, "a poor l i t t l e baby—such a tiny old-faced mite, with a countenance •V^Bleak House, p. 340. 113 that seemed to be scarcely anything but cap-border, and a l i t t l e lean, long-fingered hand, always clenched under Its chin. n l35 i t bears clear marks of the misfortunes of Its p a r e n t s — " I t had curious l i t t l e dark veins i n i t s face, and curious l i t t l e dark marks, under i t s eyes, l i k e f a i n t remembrances of poor Caddy's .inky, days.*,136 j ^ s patience, weakness and quietness derive; .from the same c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s i n i t s father. Mrs. Jellyby~and.Mr. Turveydrop have drained the v i t a l i t y , not only from the lr.„ spouses and chi l d r e n , but also from th e i r grandchild. Harold Skimpole provides yet another v a r i a t i o n on the theme of parental e x p l o i t a t i o n of chi l d r e n . While Mrs. , Jel l y b y and Mr. Turvejr_drop use. t h e i r children as slaves, Skimpole uses his as properties i n the a r t i f i c e which i s his l i f e t , ... His p i c t o r i a l tastes were consulted, I observed, i n t h e i r respective styles of wearing t h e i r hair; the Beauty daughter being i n the c l a s s i c manner; the Sentiment daughter luxuriant and flowing; and the Comedy daughter i n the arch s t y l e , with a good deal of sprig h t l y forehead, and vivacious l i t t l e c urls dotted about the cornels of her eyes.137 Unlike Prince and Caddy, the Skimpole children Inherit one of t h e i r father's chief c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s — h i s I r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y — and begin to propagate the domestic discomfort to which that i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y gives r i s e . x 35Bleak House, p. 5^5. ^ B l e a k House, p. 545. • ^ B l e a k House, p. 480. 114 The Jellyby, Pardiggle, Turveydrop and Sklmpole children are orphans i n the sense that t h e i r parents Injure rather than benefit them. Jo and Guster, who are without parents and who are, therefore, the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the government, are further orphaned i n that the government f a l l s to provide for i t s children. Nemo, who,has declared his landlord, Krook, to be his closest r e l a t i v e , takes opium i n order to escape the condition which i s represented by that s o l i t a r y r e l a t i o n s h i p — a condition of utter misery. But Krook, too, attempts to escape and both destroy themselves by the means with which they do so. Krook, as he himself explains, i s c a l l e d "the Lord Chancellor ' 4? 8 and Dickens draws clear p a r a l l e l s between the contents of Krook*s shop and the busi-ness of Chancery, between the methods and procedures of the deals i n junk and the forms and procedures of his "noble and learned brother" 1^? In court. If Krook Is the Lord Chancellor It i s appropriate that his nearest r e l a t i v e should be a man c a l l e d Nobody. The man who isolates, himself to such an extent that he cannot even tr u s t anybody else to teach him to read i s an apt analogy to the Lord Chancellor, Isolated by l e g a l forms from the people whose l i v e s he controls. In point of f a c t Krook has a close r e l a t i v e — a circum-stance unrevealed u n t i l the l a t e r part of Bleak House. Krook i s Grandmother Smallweed*s brother but, In a novel ^ " B l e a k House, p. 42. ^ B l e a k House, p. 42. 115 where family relationships are,generally defective, i t i s not surprising that t h i s t i e of.kinship should not be acknowledged u n t i l there i s some prospect of f i n a n c i a l gain by i t s acknowledgement. The.Smallweeds r e c a l l the Chuzzlewlt family and, indeed, Dickens•.account of the perpetuation of miserly greed amongst the Smallweeds i s anticipated by his examination of selfishness in.the Chuzzlewits; His s p i r i t shone through his son, to whom he had always preached of "going out" early i n l i f e , and whom he made a c l e r k - i n a sharp scrivener's o f f i c e at twelve years old. There the young gentleman improved his.mind, which was of a lean and anxious character; and, developing the family g i f t s , gradually elevated himself into the d i s -counting profession. Going out early In l i f e , and marrying l a t e , as his father had done before him, he too begat a lean and anxious-ml nded son; 1** 0 But the analysis of family flaws contained i n Bleak House i s more penetrating than that of Martin Chuzzlewlt. The Small-weeds present an e v i l which i s threatingly pervasive, as Jonas Chuzzlewlt does not. The Chuzzlewlt e v i l can be con-tained i n the world of Martin.Chuzzlewlt because there Is i n that novel l i t t l e sense (apart, of course, from the American scenes) of a complete s o c i a l structure outside the family. Bleak House, on the other hand, presents us with a picture of the whole of English society, from the government and .aristocracy to the crossing-sweeper and brick-maker, and the SMallweeds are firmly placed within t h i s society. They belong l i t , QBleak House, p. 231, to the ranks of money-lenders and, as such, are able, as we see, to penetrate a l l l e v e l s of society, bringing with them the degeneracy which i s t h e i r s . That degeneracy consists i n the d i s t o r t e d growth which a f f l i c t s every member of the Smallweed family—"There has ..been only one c h i l d i n the Smallweed family f o r several generations. L i t t l e old men and women there have been, but no c h i l d . " 1 * 1 ' 1 Denied opportunities for play and acquaintance with "story-books, f a i r y t a l e s , f i c t i o n s , and fables,"1^2 the Smallweed offspring are de-prived of the experience of natural development. The only childhood which they experience i s second childhood, a gro-, tesque imitation of the f i r s t — " M r . Smallweed*s grandmother, now l i v i n g , became weak i n her i n t e l l e c t , and f e l l (for the f i r s t time) Into a c h i l d i s h state. With such infantine graces as a t o t a l want of observation, memory, understanding and Interest, and an eternal d i s p o s i t i o n to f a l l asleep over the f i r e and into i t . w l ^ 3 Thus.we see Bart Smallweed, not yet f i f t e e n , seeming to possess the tastes, i n c l i n a t i o n s andsavolr f a i r e of a man twice his age. There i s , as Dickens suggests, something "weird," "el f i n " 1 * 1 ' 2 * about him. (We are. to be reminded of his premature age by Caddy Jellyby*s baby— " o l d - f a c e d " 1 ^ at b i r t h ) . Bart's precocious s o c i a l ease proceeds from the s p i r i t u a l poverty which his upbringing has l ^ l B l e a k House, p. 230. 1 / f 2 B l e a k House, p. 231. ^ B l e a k House, p. 230. 1 / f Z fBleak House, p. 221. ^ B l e a k House, p. 5^5. 117 given him. Lacking any other focus f o r his energies, he concentrates them upon resembling, someone e l s e — " T o become . a Guppy i s the object of his; ambition. He dresses at that gentleman (by whom he i s patronized), talks at him, walks at him, founds himself entirely, on him. So empty i s the vessel c a l l e d Bart Smallweeds that he has only to adopt a c e r t a i n mode of dress and manner i n order to become Mr. Guppy. His sister, Judy, "appears t o . a t t a i n a p e r f e c t l y geological age, and to date from the remotest periods."1^7 She, l i k e 148 her twin, i s de-humanized. Bot h a r e l i k e "old monkeys." • Grandfather Smallweed i s so devoid of human c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s that he must, a f t e r exertion, >be~"shaken up l i k e a great b o t t l e and poked and punched.like a great b o l s t e r . " 1 ^ ? His daughter, "as dry as a c h l p , ? 1 ^ has suffered the fate of chipwood and "dwindled away."?;-?1 His wife has become a s k i t t l e to be bowled over when.she becomes troublesome. x-> 2 Judy and Bart, l i k e Jonas Chuzzlewlt, regard the r e l a t i v e whose wealth they w i l l Inherit as, an object, as that which stands between themselves and t h e i r inheritance, and they an t i c i p a t e with Impatience the removal of t h i s Impediment. The Smallweed house exactly r e f l e c t s the condition of i t s inhabitants. It i s , as b e f i t s the Smallweeds, grav e - l i k e j l 4 6 B l e a k House, P. 219. ^ B l e a k House. P. 235. l 4 8 B l e a k House, p. 231. l l f 9 B l e a k House, p. 232. ^ B l e a k House, P. 235. 1 5 1 B l e a k House, P. 235. x 5 2Bleak House, P. 234. "the dark l i t t l e parlour c e r t a i n feet below the l e v e l of the street^ 5 3,i -And It Is set i n a street which resembles a tomb. 1^ It Is a place of confinement. Grandfather and Grandmother Smallweed s i t " l i k e a couple of sentinels long forgotten on t h e i r post by the Black Serjeant, Death. w l 55 Mrs. Clennam 1s house In L i t t l e D o r r l t i s foreshadowed by the Smallweed basement. This, too, i s a place of confinement, the house become a prison, corrupting i t s inmates or reducing them to apathy or impotent fury.« The Clennam house, l i k e that of the Smallweeds, demonstrates the unhealthiness of t h i s kind of confinement. Mrs. Clennam*s I n a b i l i t y to leave her room i s the r e s u l t of a psychosomatic i l l n e s s . She i s Imprisoned i n her room because^ and Just as, shet i s imprisoned by her distorted notions of morality. Arthur Clennam manages to escape from the prison of,his youth but the experience of imprisonment has a demoralizing e f f e c t upon his character and w i l l bring him, a prisoner, to the Marshalsea. Trooper George's remark that the Smallweed house "wants a b i t of youth as i t wants f r e s h a i r w l 5 6 could equally well be applied to.Mrs. Clennam*s house. The presence of Charley i n the one and of L i t t l e D o r r l t i n the other only emphasize, by contrast, the s t a l e decay. Both these g i r l s are, i n any case, made to • ^ B l e a k House, p. 231. i ^ B l e a k House, p. 230. 1 5 5 j i e a k House, p. 232. 1 5 6 B l e a k House, p. 239. seem prematurely old by the burden of too much responsibility, Charley Is "childish in figure.but shrewd and older-looking in the face w l57 while Amy D o r r l t l s a " L i t t l e Mother" 1 5 8 to a woman twice her age. Responsibility for dependents can deform youthful growth, as we see most strikingly in Jenny Wren in Our Mutual Friend. Even„Esther Is threatened. Her nicknames, "Old Woman, and L i t t l e Old Woman, and Cobweb, and Mrs. Shipton, and Mother Hubbard,, and Dame Durden, and so many names of that sort','x->? testify to the weight of depen-dency which she has to bear.^O Contrasted with the diseased s t e r i l i t y of the Smallweed environment—"there yet lingers the stump of an old forest tree, whose flavour i s about .as fresh and natural as the Smallweed smack of youth,"1**1 — is the Bagnett household, associated always with the greens that Mrs. Bagnett is for- 6 ever washing. The greens are-an obvious reflection of the healthy f e r t i l i t y which the Bagnetts bring about. Mrs. Bagnett's appearance derives from the beneficial effects of being outdoors—"freckled by;the sun and wind which have tanned her hair upon her forehead."A- Greens are consumed at every meal and receive favour in any plan of a c t i o n — "Wait t i l l the greens is off her mind. Then we'll c o n s u l t . " x ^ ^ B l e a k House, p. 168. 1 5 8 L l t t l e Dorrlt. p. 82. x 59Bieak House, p. 79. l 6 0 F o r a discussion of Esther's nicknames, see William Axton, "Esther's Nicknames: A Study i n Relevance," The  Dickenslan. LXII (September, 1966), 158-163. ^ B l e a k House, p. 230. ^ B l e a k House, p. 308. 120 But even this stronghold of health is menaced by the ev i l of the Smallweeds. Grandfather Smallweed*s usury nearly brings bankruptcy upon Mr. Bagnett. It is through Grandfather Smallweed that George is financially embarrassed, through him that he meets Tulkinghorn. The compulsion which George is under to v i s i t the Smallweeds, the intrusion of that family into the Shooting Gallery produce contamination. The con-finement which the Smallweeds embody is suffered by George in prison. John Jarndyl©© and Esther, are forced to accept a v i s i t from the Smallweeds—and so too are the aristocracy. Grandfather Smallweed has himself carried into Sir Leicester Dedlock*s town house and here one form of f i x i t y faces another. Dickens brings them together.in order to equate them and to show that, in a complex social structure in which every level is inextricably intertwined with every other level, the existence of a Sir Leicester makes possible and necessitates the.existence of a Smallweed and vice versa. The fog which covers a l l , giving them a kind of, community, a link with the other, does at the same time prevent the communication and understanding which would result in true communion. The Smallweeds, like the Chuzzlewlts, unite to prey on outsiders but divide to savage each other: "Fi r s t , the avaricious grandchildren s p l i t upon him, on account of their objections to his living,so unreasonably long, and then they s p l i t on one another. LordJ there ain*t one of the family that wouldn't s e l l the other for a pound or two, except the old lady—and she's only out of i t because she's too weak i n her mind to drive a bargain.^-6** It i s f i n a l l y , Dickens suggests, the t i e s of love, rather than those of kinship which are l a s t i n g . S i r Leicester's concern for his family honour Is, he r e a l i z e s , less important than his a f f e c t i o n for his wife. A l l a n Woodcourt loves the i l l e g i t i m a t e Esther more than.the glory of Morgan-ap-Kerrig. Yet love and domestic happiness are, i n Bleak House, r e l a -t i v e l y feeble forces when confronted with organized indifference and ..individual e v i l . Esther Is concern for Jo cannot prevent his death. It can only bring about her own disfigurement. Ada's devotion to Richard cannot postpone her widowhood. The e f f o r t demanded by the creation of a happy domesticity i s perpetually threatened, not by the r e b e l l i o n raised against outmoded forms of government, but. by the extinction of that which i s human through the monstrous resurrection of that which i s not t LONDON. Michaelmas Term l a t e l y over, and the Lord Chancellor i n Lincoln's Inn H a l l . Implacable November weather. As much mud i n the s t r e e t s , as i f the waters had but newly r e t i r e d from the face of the earth, and i t would not be wonderful to meet a Megalosaurus, f o r t y feet long or so- waddling l i k e an elephantine l i z a r d up Holborn H i l l . 1 6 * •"^Bleak House, p. 675. 1 6 5 B l e a k House, p. 1. 122 Bleak House i s , f i n a l l y , a pessimistic novel. I t i s pessimistic because i t s imaginative force comes les s from the parts of the novel dealing with Esther (and narrated by her), than from those which are concerned with the misery of Tom-all-Alone*s. This results, i n part, from the fact that Esther i s not a very i n t e r e s t i n g or even a very l i k e a b l e character. In making her a moral touchstone Pickens f a i l e d to provide her with the v i t a l i t y which we find i n less p e r f e c t l y good heroines, such as Helena. Landless and Be l l a Wilfer. Thus, Esther's creation of domestic happiness at John Jarndyce's Bleak House and her acts of generosity towards the unfortunate do not convince us that hers i s a s p i r i t of kindness which w i l l eventually permeate the nation. The new Bleak House i s a r u r a l retreat from the world of miserable poverty and s o c i a l change, much as, i n Dombey and Son, the Wooden Midshipman i s a retreat from the world of the new men, Dombey and Carker, and the degradation embodied in Good Mrs. Brown and A l i c e . Esther's goodness i s exceptional, just as Uncle Sol's luck in h i s investments i s exceptional. Goodness and good luck of this kind cannot provide a convincing panacea for the i l l s of i n d u s t r i a l England. Dickens wishes to believe that the goodness of an Esther, a goodness represented c h i e f l y i n terms of her 123 domestic a c t i v i t i e s , can constitute a source of hope, but h i s f a i l u r e to render that goodness credible or a t t r a c t i v e leads the reader to suppose that the nov e l i s t ' s convictions l i e elsewhere. The unnamed narrative voice which describes Chancery, the slums, the Smallweeds i s we f e e l , closer to the voice of the n o v e l i s t than i s that of Esther. These two strands i n the novel are intertwined many times. Esther i s infected by the smallpox engendered i n the pauper b u r i a l ground. The private, domestic world of Bleak House i s thus invaded by the world brought about by the i n e f f i c i e n c y and i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of public administration. This being the case, the whole of England i s infected by the condition of decay represented by the r o t t i n g corpses of Tom-all-Alone's. And i t i s the image, of Tom-all-Alone's, not the image of Esther's j i n g l i n g keys or of the Yorkshire Bleak House, which dominates the novel. I t is in the creation of t h i s image that Dickens's imaginative powers are most f u l l y and successfully employed. 0 •^C }f( *(c J^ C 5$C 3^ C J^ C 124 CHAPTER FOUR CONCLUSION In Bleak House we see the house evoked i n i t s physical a c t u a l i t y while i t assumes, at the same time, metaphorical s i g n i f i c a n c e . Descriptions of domestic i n t e r i o r s are a means of "putting man wholly,into his physical s e t t i n g , " a function which A l l e n Tate believes to appertain to the novel form i n p a r t i c u l a r . 1 Thus.,they contribute to the novel's r e a l i z a t i o n of a world of. physical r e a l i t y as well as both r e f l e c t i n g and determining the characters of those who .inhabit that world. Dickens! description of the Bagnett l i v i n g room enables us to imagine, what that l i v i n g room looks l i k e (Phiz's i l l u s t r a t i o n must exercise some influence upon the reader's Imagination, of.course), but i t also r e f l e c t s the military-mindedness of the Bagnetts and demonstrates how they have been affected by barracks-living. The house i s the place i n which children are reared and the quality of l i f e c u l t i v a t e d by parents within a house w i l l , to a large extent, decide the qual i t y of l i f e which w i l l f l o u r i s h i n other houses*wherein children grow./ up and become parents themselves. Dickens explores the working of •••Quoted by Ian Watt i n The Rise of the Novel (London, wm, P. 27. t h i s kind of Influence i n Martin Chuzzlewlt. giving us a panoramic view of the whole Chuzzlewlt family with i t s ingrained selfishness and taking us inside homes i n order to show us i n small what he also shows us i n large. In Bleak  House i t i s the Smallweeds who reveal the maleficence which family l i f e can f o s t e r . The.later novel i s more pessimistic than.the former about the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of a healthy family l i f e . Orphancy, which has been prominent In Dickens' work from Olive r Twist onwards, becomes the condition of many of the. characters In Bleak House.. For the house i s p e c u l i a r l y apt to ex p l o i t a t i o n for the most.desired ends of i t s inhabi-tants, and Dickens uses his domestic settings i n order to show the reader what those ends are. - » .Domestic happiness remainshowever, the supreme source of joy; and happy households are described i n order that t h e i r values may be made concrete. Indeed, i t i s l a r g e l y through the contrasts which he makes between the good house (clean, ordered, contented) and the bad ( d i r t y , chaotic, quarrelsome that Dickens defines the values of his novels. The beauty of a house, for Dickens, resides i n the quality of l i f e l i v e d within i t and not i n Its a r c h i t e c t u r a l features. Its s t a b i l i t y i s dependent upon the condition i n which i t i s founded, for the l i f e l i v e d within a house i s , i n Dickens, always rel a t e d to the l i f e l i v e d without I t . Squeers says, "A man may c a l l his house an Island i f he l i k e s b u t 2Nlcholas Mlckleby. p.62. Dotheboys Hall i s no more an i s l a n d than i t i s a h a l l . It i s open to access from Nicholas, who threatens the l u c r a t i v e r e t r e a t created by i t s owner. Both the Marquis 1 chateau in. A Tale of Two C i t i e s and Mr..Haredale's house i n Barnaby  Budge succumb to the e f f e c t s of s o c i a l upheaval. The stag-gering houses of Jacob's Island and the f a l l i n g tenements of Tom-all-Alone's are the r e s u l t of administrative neglect. Contrast i s one means by which d e f i n i t i o n i s effected. To draw an outline Is to show what l i e s outside one's l i n e as well as what l i e s within i t . .Dickens defines what i t i s to p a r t i c i p a t e i n domestic l i f e , what i t i s to be s e t t l e d , by contrasting these states with that of the non-par£lcipant, the unsettled. Conversely, i t Is through our acquaintance i n the novels with domestic l i f e that we are helped to understand what i t i s to be barred from or to remove oneself from domesticity. The Job, as well as the Journey, necessi-tates leaving the house. Dickens compares and contrasts private and professional l i f e , these being the two stages between which most men divide t h e i r l i v e s . Furthermore, Dickens does, through his examination of family l i f e , reveal i t s p o l i t i c a l structuring Just as he perceives f a m i l i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s i n public a f f a i r s . Here the house acquires metaphorical s i g n i f i c a n c e . It becomes a microcosm of the l a r g e r world which surrounds i t . It Is only by understanding 127 the nature of the various households i n Bleak House that we can f u l l y understand the England which Dickens presents to us i n the novel. Dickens's conception of English society, as he expresses i t in h i s novels, is an ambivalent one. He:; perceives i t s i l l s , and suggests a remedy for them but f a i l s to make his remedy as convincing as the disease which makes i t necessary. Dickens's remedy f o r private and public i l l s i s f o r the establishment of a wise, paternal authority i n public and private l i f e . Martin Chuzzlewlt demonstrates that, when paternal authority (that of old Martin) eventually becomes a wise authority, then i t i s both right f o r and b e n e f i c i a l to the younger generation to be bound by i t . When paternal authority i s unwise, the younger generation quarrels with, escapes from or r i s e s up against i t . Nevertheless, Dickens emphasises that, without authority, the c h i l d w i l l go astray. Jonas scorns the defective authority of his father and becomes a murderer; the American colonists repudiate the authority of the B r i t i s h monarchs and become lynchers and enslavers; young Martin must return to beg forgiveness from his grandfather before he can acquire either a profession or a wife. A f a i l u r e in paternity produces =• orphans i n both Martin Chuzzlewlt and Bleak House. Each individual, Dickens believes, i s the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of somebody and i n Bleak -House, he shows that, when r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s neglected, 128 the house of the nation i s blighted by a f a i l u r e i n paternalism and so becomes bleak. When, not only the government, but also r e l i g i o u s and philanthropic i n s t i t u t i o n s f a i l to show a f a t h e r l y care f o r Jo, when they deny him a home, forci n g him always to move on, then Jo i s t r u l y an orphan. He dies from neglect. Dickens hopes for a f u l l y responsible and wise p a t e r n a l i s t i c authority to control public l i f e . And, as i n the i d e a l private f a m i l i e s which he shows us he hopes that that authority w i l l be tempered by the maternal p r i n c i p l e s of kindness, mercy and generosity. Good government of t h i s kind would, Dickens believes, both a s s i s t towards and be assisted by a warm, cheerful, private domesticity. The domestic happiness of John and Ruth, Martin and Mary in Martin Ghuzzlewlt, and Esther and A l l a n i n Bleak House i s conceived as an i d e a l state. The f a m i l i a l solution to public and private problems Is not, however, presented altogether persuasively and t h i s i s e s p e c i a l l y true of Dickens's l a t e r novels. Private domestic happiness seems to be a r e t r e a t from s o c i a l problems and so powerful an evocation does Pickens present of the all-pervading nature of these problems, that hope fo r i s more than equalled by despair of t h e i r solution. 129 The ambivalence between confidence and leCcKof confidence i n the power of the domestic values l i e s at the heart of Dickens's novels and becomes progressively more important. Houses, the places i n which fa m i l i e s l i v e , are, as we have seen, shown in their precariousness from O l i v e r Twist onwards. The concept of the house, the family and domesticity i s a key, not only to the concept of Martin Chuzzlewlt and Bleak House, but also a l l of Dickens's novels. 'f* ^  ^ ^ ^  A SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY I. PRIMARY SOURCES Dexter, Walter, ed. The Letters of Charles Dickens. The Nonesuch Dickens. Vols. 10-12. Bloomsbury, 1938. Dickens, Charles. The Works of Charles Dickens. The Biographical E d i t i o n . 19 v o l s . London, 1903. F i e l d i n g , K.J., ed. The Speeches of Charles Dickens. Oxford, I960. Johnson, Edgar, ed. The Heart of Charles Dickenst As revealed i n his l e t t e r s to Angela Burdett-Coutts. New York, 1952. 2. SECONDARY SOURCES Armens, Sven. Archetypes of the Family In L i t e r a t u r e . Seattle, 1966. Auden, W.H. The Dyer's Hand and Other Essays. New York, 19^8. Axton, William- ."Esther's Nicknamesj A Study i n Relevance," The Dickenslan. LXII (September 1966), I58-I63. Bagehot, Walter. Collected Works, ed. Norman St. John-Stevas. 2 vols. London, 19o5. Blount, Trevor. "Bleak House and the Sloane Scandal of 1850 again." Di S. I l l (March. I967), 63-67. - "Chancery as E v i l and Challenge i n Bleak House." Di S. I (September, I965), 112-120. - . - "Dickens's Slum Satire i n Bleak House." MLR, LX (1965), 340-351. "Documentary - Symbolism of Chancery i n Bleak House." The DiCkenslan. l x i l (1966), 47-52; 106-111; 167 - 1 7 C . "The Chadbands and Dickens's View of Dissenters," ML§, XXV (1964), 295-30?. 131 Blount, Trevor. "The Importance of Place in Bleak House." The Dickenslan. LXI (September 1965), 140-149. . "The Ironmaster and the New Acquisitive-ness! Dickens's Views on the Rising Industrial Classes as Exemplified in Bleak House." Essays In  Criticism. XV (1965), 414-W^ . "Sir Leicester Dedlock and 'Deportment' Turveydrop! Some Aspects of Dickens's Use of Parallelism," NCE, XXI (1966), 149-165. B o l l , Ernest. "Charles Dickens In Oliver Twist." Psychoanalytical Review. XXVII (1940), 133-143. Booth, Wayne C. The Rhetoric of Fiction. Chicago, 1961. Brogunier, Joseph. "The Funeral Pyre and Human Decency! The Fate of Chancery in Bleak House." The Dickenslan. LXI (1965), 57-62. ~ Butt, John and Kathleen Tlllotson. Dickens at Work. London, 1957. Chesterfield, Lord Philip Dormer. Letters Written by Lord  Chesterfield to His Son, ed. Charles Stokes Carey. 2 vols. London, 1870?. Chesterton, G.K. Appreciations and Criticisms of the Works  of Charles Dickens. Washington, 1966. Cockshut, A.O.J. The Imagination of Charles Dickens. London, 1961. Collins, Philip. Dickens and Crime. London, 1962. • Dickens and Education. London, 1963. Cox, C.B. "A Dickens Landscape," C r i t i c a l Quarterly. II (Spring I960), 58-60. de Balzac, HonoreV Old Goriot. trans. Marlon Ayton Crawford. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, 1951. Donovan, Robert A. "Structure and Idea In Bleak House." ELH. XIX (1962), 175-201. Dunn, Richard J. "Esther's Role In Bleak House," The The Dickenslan. LXI I (September 1966), 163-166. 132 Dunn, Richard J. "Skimpole and Harthousei The Dickens Character in Transition," DIS, I (September 1965), 121-128. Dyson, A.E. "Barnaby Budget The Genesis of Violence," C r i t i c a l Quarterly. IX (1967), 142-160. . ed. Dickenst Modern Judgements. London, 1968. Engel, Monroe. The Maturity of Dickens. Cambridge, Mass., 1967. Engels, Fried rich. The Condition of the Worklng-Class In  England, trans, and ed.-W.0-. Henderson and W.H. Chaloner. Stanford, 1958. Ford, George H. Dickens^and his Readerst Aspects of Novel- Criticism since 1836. Princeton, N.J.,1955. • "The Titles for Bleak House," The Dlckenslan. LV (May 1969), 84-89. , and,Laurlat Lane Jr., ed. The Dickens C r i t i c s . Ithaca, N.Y., I96I. Forster, John. The Life of Charles Dickens, ed. A.J. Hoppe. 2 vols. London, 1966; Fradln, Joseph L. "Will and Society in Bleak House." FMLA, LXXXI (1966), 95-109. Friedman, Norman. "The Shadow and the Sunt Notes Toward a Reading of Bleak House." Boston University Studies In  English. I l l (Spring 1957), 147-166. Gibson, Frank A. "Discomforts In Dickens," The Dlckenslan. L (March 1954), 86-89. . "Hard on the Lawyers?" The Dlckenslan. LIX (September 1963), 160-164. Gissing, George. C r i t i c a l Studies of the Works of Charles Dickens. New York, 1924. . The Private Papers of Henry Ryecroft. London, 1903. Gross, John and Gabriel Pearson, ed. Dickens and the Twentieth Century. London, 1962. ^L33 House, Humphrey. The Dickens World. 2nd ed. London, 1942. Howard, David, John Lucas and John Goode, ed. Tradition and  Tolerance In Nineteenth-Century Fiction. London, 1966. Johnson, Edgar. Charles Dickens: His Tragedy and Triumph. 2 vols. New York, 1952. Leavis, F.R. The Great Tradition: George E l i o t . Henry James. Joseph Conrad. London, 1948. Lo©hhead, Marlon. "Victorian Booms in Fiction," The  Quarterly Review. CCG (July 1963), 318-329. Mack, Maynard and Ian Gregor, ed. Imagined Worlds: Essays on  Some English Novels and Novelists in Honour of John Butt. London, 1968. Marcus, Steven. Dickens from Pickwick to Dombey. London, 1965. Miller, J. H i l l l s . Charles Dickens: The World of His Novels. Cambridge, Mass., 1958. Monod, Sylvere. Dickens the Novelist* Norman, Oklahoma, 1967. Moore, D.C. " P o l i t i c a l Morality in Mid-Nineteenth Century England: Concepts, Norms, Violations," VS, XIII (September 1969), 5-36; Moth, Susan. "The Llght/Dar^mess/Sight Imagery In Bleak House." DI S. I (1965), 76-85. Ortega y Gasset, Jose. "In Search of Goethe from Within," Partisan Review. XVI (December 1949), 1163-1188. Orwell, George. Dickens. Pali and Others: Studies in Popular  Culture. New York, 1946. Pascal, Blaise. Pensees. trans. H.F. Stewart. New York, 1950• Passerinl, Edward M. "Hawthornesque Dickens," Di S. II (January 1966), 18-25. "Jo's Will, Chapter XLVII of Bleak House." Di S. I (January 19 65), 27-33. Praz, Mario. The Hero In Eclipse In Victorian Fiction, trans. Angus Davidson. London, 1956. 13.4 Price, Martin, ed. Dickens: A Collection of C r i t i c a l Essays ("Twentieth Century Views"), Englewood C l i f f s , N.J., 1967. Ruskin, John. The Complete Works of John Ruskin. 15 vols. New York, I B 9 0 T ~ Scott, Geoffrey. The Architecture of Humanism. 2nd ed. London, 1924. Scholes, Robert, ed. Approaches to the Novelt Materials  for a Poetics. Rev. ed. San Francisco, 1966. Scully, Vincent J. Jr; "Modern Architecture : Toward a Redefinition of Style," Perspeclta: The Yale Archi- tectural Journal. IV (1957), 5-10. Smith, Grahame. Dickens. Money, and Society. Berkeley, 1968. Steig, Michael. "The Iconography of the Hidden Face in Bleak House." Di S. IV (March 1968), 19-22. Stoehr, Taylor. Dickens: The Dreamer's Stance. Ithaca, N.Y., 1965. Thompson, David. England in the Nineteenth Century  (1815-1914). Harmondsworth, Middlesex, 1950. Tillotson, Kathleen. Novels of the Elghteen-Fortles. Oxford, 1954. T r i l l i n g , Lionel. The Liberal Imagination: Essays on  Literature and Society. New York, 1950. Van Ghent, Dorothy. "The Dickens World: A View From Todgers's," The Sewanee Review. LVIII (Summer 1950), 419-438. Vande Kieft, Ruth M. "Patterns of Communication in Great  Expectations." NCF, XV (I96O-I96I), 325-334. Watt, Ian. The Rise of the Novel. London, 1957. Weinstein, Philip M. "Structure and Collapse: A Study of Bleak House." Di S. IV (March 1968), 4-18. 135 Whitley, John S. "The Two Hells of Martin Chuzzlewlt," PMASAL. L (1965), 585-597. Wilkinson, Ann Y. "Bleak House: From Faraday to Judgement Day," ELH, XXXIV (1967), 225-247. Willey, B a s i l . More Nineteenth Century Studies. London, 1956. . Nineteenth Century Studies. London, 19*49. Williams, Raymond. "Social C r i t i c i s m s i n Dickens: Some Problems of Method and Approach," C r i t i c a l Quarterly. VI (1964), 214-217. Wilson, Angus. "Charles Dickens: A Haunting," C r i t i c a l  Quarterly. II (Summer i 9 6 0 ) , 101-108. Wilson, Edmund. The Wound and the Bow: Seven Studies i n Li t e r a t u r e . New York, 1947. Woodward, Llewellyn. The Age of Reform. 1815-1870. 2nd ed. Oxford, 1962. Zabel, Morton Dauwen. Craft and Character In Modern F i c t i o n . New York, 1957. 

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