Bleak House: plot, character, and the tragic sense
DOI link for Bleak House: plot, character, and the tragic sense
Bleak House: plot, character, and the tragic sense book
One way of giving shape to the baggy monster that is Bleak House has been to regard it as a precursor, or even a founding instance, of the detective genre. Tragic doubt might be considered the hidden emotional origin of Bleak House, which generates the long search for a comic solution. Indeed, one might say that the most powerful gesture in Dickens's art is the refusal of the tragic identity and that what gives such great impetus to his comedy is the flight from a glimpsed tragedy. But in Bleak House, and in mature Dickens generally, characters need not establish connection; indeed they have no hope of escaping it. The plot of Bleak House is thus much like Chancery itself; it is more than the sum of its individual parts and it conforms to no individual will. Bleak House thus approaches the question of personality by way of the problem of identity.