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Effect of Weather in Bleak House

  • Date Submitted: 01/15/2014 07:29 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 50.3 
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EffectAn Analysis on the Effects of Weather on the Plot, Character Development and Theme of Charles Dickens’ Bleak House
Abstract
Weather represents emotions and foreshadows dramatic change throughout Bleak House; both upon its characters and upon society in general. The first metaphor to be dealt with is the fog and its many purposes: it acts to underpin Dickens’ themes and also serves as a descriptive backdrop. At the outset of the novel, the “fog” is constructive in portraying the physical and social climate of the time. Dickens uses this particular symbol of fog throughout the whole novel to collectively represent the masses’ feeling of desolation and also to symbolize the corruption of Chancery and Parliament. The fog is heavy and slow; it does not move abruptly or change, nor does it ever “break”. On the other hand, wind is a stronger force: sudden and inescapable. The east wind relates to the crises faced by individuals. Overall, weather imagery foreshadows what will happen and seemingly warns the characters of the volatile times ahead.
This thesis will examine weather imagery as a tool in the novel and analyze its value in carrying Dickens’ plot, intertwining his numerous characters, and adding weight to his themes. In Dickens’ preface to the novel, he said that: “everything set forth in these pages concerning the Court of Chancery is substantially true”; clearly angling his novel as a sarcastic and even humorous depiction of the cruelty of 18th century British life.

Table of Contents

Introduction
Bleak House is a social satire written by Charles Dickens. This novel is an inquiry into exploitation of the era with particular focus on human cruelty and the corruption of the Court of Chancery. Dickens’ message is clear: weather, as an entity, is bound to everything. He explores the idea of natural elements dictating the society; mentally and physically poisoning everyone within it. The “fog”, “rain” and “East Wind” are the predominate forces which...

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