Portrayal of London in the Opening of Bleak House Essay

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The first paragraph of Bleak House alone gives the reader an instant idea of how Charles Dickens saw London to be around 1842. He has portrayed the streets to be muddy and extremely polluted, "As much mud in the streets as if the waters had but newly retired from the face of the earth." Here Dickens has used a slight amount of Hyperbole to emphasize his point. He also uses personification when referring to the snow flakes, saying that they have gone into mourning, ?smoke lowering down from the chimneypots, making a soft black drizzle, with flakes of soot in it as big as full-grown snowflakes?gone into mourning, one might imagine, for the death of the sun.? the contrast of the imagery he is using helps for the reader to imagine the scene,…show more content…
He also tells the reader that even outside London?s centre fog is still covering everything, ?Fog on the Essex marshes, fog on the Kentish heights. Fog creeping into the cabooses of collier-brigs?. Dickens also uses fog to symbolize death and disease, ?Fog in the eyes and throats of ancient Greenwich pensioners, wheezing by the firesides of their wards?. He makes the reader feel as if it is infecting and killing the inhabitants of London, and gives the reader images. In my opinion Dickens is trying to make the point that the fog is spreading and it is London?s fault that one day everywhere will be covered and everyone will be cloaking on the mistakes London made. The reader is given the impression that Dickens thinks that this is all the Governments fault. Right from the beginning the Lord Chancellor is portrayed and lazy, ?Michaelmas term lately over. Lord Chancellor sitting in Lincoln?s Inn Hall.? He then goes on to refer to Lincoln?s Inn Hall as ?at the very heart of the fog? insinuating that the Lord Chancellor is the cause of the fog. He also says, ?Lord High Chancellor ought to be sitting her?as here he is?with a foggy glory round his head, softly fenced in with a crimson cloth and curtains.? Dickens is making the Lord Chancellor out to be very ignorant to the problems of London and just engulfed in his own power. The fact that the Lord Chancellor has ?Crimson cloth and curtains? gives the impression to
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