In “Bleak House”, Dickens uses language to create an atmosphere of fog all over London. He uses different techniques to do this, one of which is a variation of sentence length and another is his punctuation. He also uses repetition and personification.
Firstly the lengths of the sentences are short or long. At the beginning he uses a sentence, but not a grammatically correct one: “Fog everywhere”. Sentences must contain a verb and this one does not. However it still makes sense because it is a statement for the rest of the paragraph. Also this sentence only contains two words which make it really short. After this sentence comes a really long, five clause complex sentence. The sentence length here has a huge difference in comparison to the first. Dickens wrote it like this purposely so it gives the effect of the fog appearing suddenly, for him then to do the opposite and make the moment slow, long and reflective. This creates a miserable atmosphere which is here to stay.
Dickens uses punctuation to create a depressing atmosphere through the use of semi colons and commas. Sentence three is short as it has two phrases which are separated by a comma. In contrast the following sentence is long and it is split by a semi colon. The first part is about the large ships, the second is concentrating on smaller boats. Incidentally
He also uses repetition of the word “fog” with intent. His intention here is not to remind the readers that there is fog but to add the effect of fog. Repetition here reinforces the message and adds conviction to it. This leaves the readers more interested as they know there is fog but don’t know the reasons for it or what will happen because of it.
The use of personification here makes the fog seem alive: “flows”, “rolls”, “Fog “Creeping”. These are all verbs making the “fog” seem alive by allowing it to make human movements. This creates a sense of movement, and it also suggests that the fog has a life of its own. It feels like it is an enemy from which there is no escape. The fog seems ominous. Personification is used here to convey a depressing mood and this makes the text more interesting to read.
In conclusion Dickens uses different methods to describe the idea of “fog everywhere”. This includes short then a long complex sentence, repetition and personification. He does this because of his creative writing abilities of using different techniques at the right time and in a variation.