In many of Dickens' novels, the comic element, or much of it, is actually in the service of a serious vision of life: The comedy does not exist simply for its own sake but is partly a means of presenting serious material in a way that makes for enjoyable reading. In Dickens' later novels, the comedy becomes subdued. As an example, note that Bleak House, which marks the end of Dickens' youthful ebullience, reflects his frustrations. He was by that time unhappy in marriage, and he thought that his work was having little or no effect on social conditions in England.Nevertheless, despite its dreary atmospheres, dingy locales, and troubled characters, Bleak House remains with the genre (class) of comedy, in the sense that, by and large, all ends happily rather than tragically or pathetically. The book's principal villain, Tulkinghorn, is eliminated. Hortense, the
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