Bleak House: Chapter 7

Chapter 7: “The Ghost Walk”

Summary: We leave Esther and wards for now and go back to that boring Chesney Wold place where my Lady had formerly been so bored. It’s not so boring today though, because the old, fat housekeeper entertains her grandson and the maid with a ghost story about a former Lady/spy who died and vowed to haunt the place, and apparently you can hear her footsteps walking around outside preceding times of hardship and distress.

Reaction: Spooky! Ghosts make everything more fun (see Hamlet). The chapter started out as boring as Chesney Wold claimed to be (even the animals were bored), but it made up for it in the end! Yay! (and it was short 🙂 )

Prediction: I expect this ghost to be real. Even though this is realistic fiction, Charles Dickens’ realism is different than ours–he already claimed in the Preface to believe in spontaneous combustion (which I am still waiting for), and he has obviously written about ghosts before–A Christmas Carol–and I’m looking forward to some real ghosts!

Why This Book Is a Classic: Ghosts that are real (probably) and it’s not some horror story or fantasy. That’s ’cause this is a classic from back when everyone still believed in stuff.

Our Lesson: The current owner of Chesney Wold is an “excellent master” even though he supposedly treats his servants like they’re robots and would apparently die of shock if they showed any personality. I guess he pays them well and on time? So pay your servants well and on time and you can treat them however you want!


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