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, the contrast of the black flakes of soot and the white snow flakes, in my opinion could represent good and evil, and the idea that London is so evil and polluted that their snow flakes are no longer white, they have turned black. He also makes reference to the cold dark weather they are having at the time, referring to it as ?the death of the sun?. Readers may see this as Pathetic Fallacy as he refers to the foot passengers on the streets of London as having ?A general infection of ill temper? giving the impression that the cold harsh weather and surroundings make people more irritable but also reflecting the peoples ill temperedness in the weather.
?Fog everywhere. Fog up the river, where it flows among green aits and meadows, fog down the river?. Repetition is used a lot here to have impact. The fact that fog is repeated so many times gives the reader the impression that there is an overwhelming amount of fog, and to give the reader the sense that there is no way they can escape the fog, fog …
…tected from the fog, as if he is like the eye of the storm, ?softly fenced in?.
The fog and misery of London which is portrayed in the opening of Bleak House seems to centre on Lincoln?s Inn Hall and the Lord Chancellor, Dickens has given the reader the impression that the government is to blame and that they are just for show and don?t do anything to help, just put on a show for the people of London, as they are purely ceremonial, ?Running their goat-hair and horsehair warded heads against walls of words and making a pretence of equality with serious faces.? Dickens is making the statement that the Government seems to only have time for the rich and successful apposed to the poor and that they do not view society equally, but they try to pretend they do. This gives the reader the impression that London is very much based on classes according to the government.