Bleak House: Chapter 10

Chapter 10: “The Law Writer”

Summary: We meet shy and meek Snagsby and some lawyer, Tulkinghorn. Tulkinghorn comes to Snagsby to find a particular law writer having to do with Jarndyce and Snagsby takes him there. Tulkinghorn goes in and finds the guy strung out on opium, if strung out is a proper descriptor for that state.

Reaction: So boring…Am I getting burnt out here or what? But who really would want to read a chapter about a law writer? The best part was the paragraph-long description explaining that a former partner of Snagsby, who had nothing to do with the plot, was dead–starting with: “He has been recumbent this quarter of a century in the churchyard of St. Andrews.”

Prediction: I noticed that the next chapter continues this plot thread, so I’m not really looking forward to it, but a guy high or whatever on opium at least holds promise.

Why This Book Is a Classic: Opium is in a lot of classic literature. That Coleridge poem “Kubla Khan” has something to do with opium I know. So yes, it is a classic because of opium.

Our Lesson: You can be a sought-after law writer if you do opium–really, Charles Dickens says so!

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