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Bleak House, and the ‘Springing of a Mine’

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Abstract

When Lady Dedlock, the most famous beauty of exclusive fashionable society, dies dressed in the clothes of a brickmaker’s wife, lying on the steps of a pauper’s burial ground in one of the most depressed and squalid areas of London, we are directed to one of the chief strands in the novel’s social vision. The first point to note about Bleak House is the almost obsessive manner in which through plot, theme, and emblem the novel asserts the necessary connection between different, apparently self-contained social groups, and argues that society is a system of organically related and interconnected parts. The novel shatters the cosy fiction that respectable society can have no connection at all with the wretched, ragged inhabitants of an urban slum, such as Tom-all-Alone’s. It argues that we are all in this together, all members and groups necessarily connected as part of one total system.

Keywords

  • Urban Poor
  • Urban Slum
  • Spontaneous Combustion
  • Social Vision
  • Happy Ending

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-1-349-05703-0_4
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© 1982 James M. Brown

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Brown, J.M. (1982). Bleak House, and the ‘Springing of a Mine’. In: Dickens: Novelist in the Market-Place. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-349-05703-0_4

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