Bleak House: Chapter 33

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Summary of Chapter XXXIII: Interlopers

 

An immediate inquest is held, as the one for Nemo earlier. The shops stay open all night for the crowds. Meanwhile, Guppy tells Weevle he should stay as a lodger, because they could get all of Krook’s papers that he has been holding on to. They must contain a lot of secrets. They are foiled by the Smallweed family who show up, Grandfather Smallweed declaring that Krook was Mrs. Smallweed’s brother, and therefore the shop is his. He padlocks the door.

 

Mr. Snagsby is caught lurking with the crowds near Krook’s and Mrs. Snagsby hauls him away with an accusing look. Snagsby is filled with torture for withholding Bucket’s secret from his wife. Men of science show up at the inquest, interested in the case.

 

Guppy is forced to go to Lady Dedlock and tell her that the person with the letters is dead, and that he believes the letters are destroyed. She quickly dismisses him. Just as Guppy leaves, Tulkinghorn appears, looking at him suspiciously.

 

Commentary on Chapter XXXIII

 

Lady Dedlock seems to be off the hook momentarily, but Tulkinghorn appears, and the pressure is on again. Guppy’s complaint to Weevle that he has “an unrequited image imprinted on his art” (p. 341) indicates that he really thought this transaction was going to further his romance with Esther. His interest in Krook’s other papers leads one to believe he also has motives of money and power, like Tulkinghorn. Smallweed being related to Krook is one of the sometimes unbelievable surprises in Dickens, but as the novel unfolds, more and more connections are made between the characters.

 

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