Bleak House: Chapter 9

Chapter 9: “Signs and Tokens”

Summary: Esther worries she’s been writing too much about herself. Then Boythorn, a friend of Jarndyce and neighbor to Chesney Wold, comes to visit, and his is loud and blustery but also gentle. Then Guppy comes by, and after getting yelled at by Boythorn, he proposes to Esther, but she says no.

Reaction: I kind of liked Boythorn, but I’ll need to see more of him to know what he’s really about. I don’t blame Esther for shooting down Guppy–I mean he’s a lawyer’s lackey and seems boring.

Prediction: I think Boythorn will play into this more, maybe even as a real character and not just a sketch of some moral position. This link between Bleak House and Chesney Wold will also start to strengthen.

Why This Book Is a Classic: When a man who’s met a woman once in passing can come back and propose marriage it has to be a classic. At least she said no.

Our Lesson: Just because someone likes you doesn’t mean you have to like them back, but you can still be nice.

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