In the real world, poverty is something that has been around for thousands of years. There are millions of people that live in and struggle with poverty in almost every country from nearly every time period. The show Bleak House is one of the avenues that touches on this idea of slavery or so people think. Much of the story of Bleak House is focused on the Jarndyce and Jarndyce case. This case has been going on for many years with no potential end in sight. Within the 8 episodes on Hulu.com, the viewer is taken through the ends and outs of the case and how it is affecting the lives of many people who are in the family and who are not. The interesting aspect of the show is how there are people who are portrayed as caring and wanting to constantly help the poor-impoverished. However, after finishing the show I have come to the conclusion that not much of anything was ever done to help the poor people within the show. Many of the great philosophers have looked at the question, what is right? I believe that Bleak House attempts to answer the same question through poverty. Is it right that these already wealthy/well off people are receiving all the attention in the show or should more of the attention be focused on just how poor the un-wealthy people are.
The main example that can be seen throughout the whole show is how the wealthy people, or non-impoverished people pretend to care about the happenings of the poor. They do this by going into the poorer part of the cities and trying to help those in need. In one of the first few episodes, the viewer is introduced to this struggling family who has just lost their baby. Esther and some other characters pretend to care, and want to help them. Yet, the family is never mentioned again in the other episodes. Esther cared for them in that moment, but once again the viewer sees that the poor are only being used a a vessel to try to move the plot along. The constant variable that is always brought up is the outcome of the Jarndyce-Jarndyce case. There is not a verdict until the end of the show, but the fact that so many people have cared about this one case for so many years shows that they tend to only focus on matters that may benefit them-the poor are not included in that category.
One character that does play an important role in the content of Bleak House is the poor child named Joe. He is seen in multiple episodes both in the poor part of town, but also in
the setting that are main characters wander through. Joe is a character that the wealthier individuals use a pawn to help do whatever they want. Since Joe is so poor he is easy to manipulate. This is just another example of the wealthy using the poor to benefit for their own gain. It shows that they did not actually care about what Joe was wearing, what he was eating, or where he was living. They only cared about the gain they could achieve from using him. Even the excitement of finding Joe wears off quickly because the people know that he is going to die. They were happy to have found him, but now they are just waiting for him to die. There thinking is that Joe is no longer beneficial to us, and he was just a poor child after all. It wasn’t as if he was someone of importance.
Charles Dickens did have specific intentions when choosing to create his novel Bleak House and I believe one of those was to have a commentary on the philosophy surrounding poverty. People in Bleak House looked at the impoverished as a waste of life to the world. They only found them beneficial when they could complete a task for them. This is an issue that I believe still plaques are world today, and Bleak House is a prime example of how not to interact with people who are not as fortunate.