* AlternateCharacterInterpretation: A criticism that is almost as old as the book itself is that rather than the modest humble, honest narrator Dickens intended Esther to be, she comes across as unbearably pious, priggish, disingenuous and self-serving. Her attitude towards Ada sometimes seems more morbid, controlling obsession that the simple sisterly affection Dickens' meant, and her actions sometimes seem willfully self-harming. However, even her harshest critics could hardly fail to lose all sympathy for her, as the parts of the book which concern her relationship with her mother or her heartfelt sympathy for the unfortunates she encounters, show her in a much better light.
** The BBC adaptation made no bones about overhauling Esther, keeping her charitable and kind nature, but granting her a sense of humor and a sensible, rather than pathologically self-effacing, attitude to her own virtues and vices.
** Did Nemo commit suicide or was his death an accident?
* FridgeBrilliance: Allan Woodcourt is Welsh. In that time and place, this would have made him a member of a persecuted minority. Who better to ignore prejudice and see Esther for who she really is?
* MoralEventHorizon: The revelation, late in the novel, that Skimpole [[spoiler: was the one who revealed Jo's whereabouts.]]