Bleak House- Charles Dickens
LONDON. This is an abrupt and astonishingly short ‘sentence’ with which to start a six-hundred-page novel. It is grammatically incomplete, because it does not have a verb or an object. It somehow implies the meaning ‘The scene is London.’ It is also written with a capital letters to highlight a place.
- Each of the first four sentences here are ‘incomplete’. Dickens is taking liberties with conventional grammar – and obviously he is writing for a literate and fairly sophisticated readership.
- No v in the sentnc and the tone is telegraphic.
- We also find the variance in sentence length and structure for sustaining interest.
- No justice. Everything is unfair.
- There are lots of sentences without verbs, as in: “Implacable November weather”.
- There are several proper nouns in these sentences, all signalled by capital letters. This helps to create the very credible and realistic world Dickens presents in his fiction.
- We believe that this is the same London which we could visit today. He tries to establish a sense of familiarity for the target reader.
- A present participle is very predominant in this text, because we find 28 -ing forms. The novel is being told in the present tense at this point, that is rather unusual. This effect is just to give vividness and immediacy to the story.
- “As if” – is a comparison applied to muddy streets with the primeval world.
- “Megalosaurus”- is a kind of humorous presentation or irony in negative sense mentioned intentionally. The author is naming the beast with such scientific precision that may be represents parliament, companies with powerful people, abusive power, etc.
- As we observe, this sentence is very long. There is another simile, announced by the word “like”. The author also converts a noun “elephant” into an adjective “elephantine” and couples it to something with is normally small “lizard” to describe this dinosaur.
- Dickens makes a comparison between a dense smoke with another form of depressing atmosphere, a drizzle of rain.
- “as big as” is simile, snowflakes are compared with flake of soot, because they are similar to size and texture.
-“death of the sun” is a negative connotation of oppressive environment. There is no hope. Nothing can be dome. Corruption plays a big role here.
- Different animals are mentioned in the text. There are no verbs in that sentences. May be the author refers to people when he talks about animals, such as dogs and horses.
- Sematic fields: - Nature - Dirty environment: fog, smoke, drizzle, flakes, soot. - Parts of the body: eyes, throats, toes, fingers. - Nautical: river, meadows, ships, barges. - Place or location: fields, street, shops, Temple Bar, Lincoln´s Hall, city, yarg, etc.
-“Fog everywhere” is a very short and simple sentence with no verb. “Fog” has a negative connotation of the environment. The fog in nature seems benevolent, the fog in London seems corruptive.
- We find lots of repetitions of “fog”, “gas”, “afternoon”.
- Use of superlatives (hyperboles): Raw- rawest . Muddy- maddiest. Dense- densest
-Most of the adjectives have negative connotation.
-Metaphors are referred to environment and political problems.
- “never can here come” is a repetition of the same structure
-Chacellor is sitting in Lincoln’s Hall, that is a prestigious place.
- Criticism is direct in the final sentences.
- In the last paragraph, we find religious connotation.
- Lord Chancellor is the origin of the fog.
To conclude, we can say that Dickens makes his passage so effective by using rich vocabulary, making imaginative comparisons, making contrasts and by using the present participle.