guppy bear
November 5, 2006 11:35 PM   Subscribe

in bleak house, why is guppy so unfortunate?

as i viewed it, every character who was unfortunate, was unfortunate for a reason, except for guppy. what am i missing?
posted by randomizer to Writing & Language (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
His sychophantic opportunism?
posted by strawberryviagra at 3:01 AM on November 6, 2006

... that should read sycophantic, kiddies.
posted by strawberryviagra at 3:03 AM on November 6, 2006

i thought something along those lines, doesn't seem like that in my opinion though. but what do i know.
posted by randomizer at 5:45 AM on November 6, 2006

He's not that unfortunate -- he has a pretty good legal career by the end of the book. He just doesn't get to marry Esther because he's a very silly person and she doesn't love him. But he'll find someone just as silly as himself someday.
posted by JanetLand at 5:49 AM on November 6, 2006

His own Mother, maybe?
posted by strawberryviagra at 5:51 AM on November 6, 2006

I think he has to suffer because he doesn't continue to love Esther when she gets the small pox. It's a sign that despite his declarations to the contrary, he is more concerend with her outward appearance than her lovely character. He's insufficiantly steadfast. A good enough fellow, but not good enough for Esther.
posted by Sara Anne at 8:33 AM on November 6, 2006

I think Mr. Guppy is much more complex than that. We don't ever really learn about his background, but we must suspect it was a very modest one, both in family income and in education. Unlike the evil Mr. Tulkinghorn, Guppy has worked just a little way up from the very bottom of his profession (as symbolized, somewhat, by his eternally ink-stained fingers). Will he reach the level of a Mr. Tulkinghorn? He certainly is learning, through keen observation and stealth, to feast off the misfortunes of others. He may claim to love Esther and only proposes marriage again after he learns of her good fortune. He doesn't love her at all. It's just another method of working his way up. His manners are forced. He lacks the educational foundation to get very far (the ink stains will never work out of his skin) and will forever be, as his name implies, a small fish in a big pond.
posted by Lockjaw at 10:06 AM on November 6, 2006

aw, i went over it again, i had forgot about guppys first encounter with espher after the smallpox. it's very obvious now. thanks.
posted by randomizer at 7:59 PM on November 6, 2006

esther even.
posted by randomizer at 8:00 PM on November 6, 2006

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