Unformatted text preview: Even in casual conversation, the characters in Bleak House (except for those at or near the very bottom of the social ladder, like Jo) speak rather elaborately. Their grammar (unless Dickens is making fun of some idiosyncrasy of expression) is flawless; they command a sophisticated vocabulary and tend to favor the formal word or phrase; their sentences can become quite involved without becoming unclear. It may be hard for us to believe that people ever really spoke that way. But they did. Correctness, in language as in manners, was a central concern for the typical middle-class person. Correctness and relative formality of expression were part and parcel of a society that was both stratified into classes and strongly influenced by classical education. Bleak House has two oddities of technique — that is, the manner in which the story is presented. has two oddities of technique — that is, the manner in which the story is presented....
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- Fall '08
- Bleak House, presenttense narration, past tense makes