Great Expectations - Wemmick

A summary and characterisation of Great Expectations' dual- character...Wemmick,

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  • Created on: 09-12-12 22:58
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Wemmick (Jaggers' Clerk)
Wemmick is extremely self-sufficient and only lives for both himself and
his aged parent.
He works where he does to get the money to keep his father alive, hence
why his work life is strict, Automated and mechanical.
His mouth is described like a post box; this is because he consumes
information like a post-box.
He has a duel-personality which Dickens uses to emphasise the fact that
the law is so unjust that Wemmick feels like he can't carry his sentiments to the
In the office in which Wemmick and Jaggers work in; emotion is strictly
refused and they both have to be completely detached from their compassion for
When Jaggers finds out about Wemmick's personal life, he is so stunned
that they are awkward for a while. As soon as they collectively yell at a client for showing his
feelings their relationship is restored.
Dickens describes Wemmick in London like an automated toy not a person. (Reflective of Dickens'
opinions on Lawyers)
In Chapter 25; Dickens uses Dialogue to emphasise the transition of Wemmick from his two
Instead of office related topics; Wemmick speaks warmly about `home prepared' food and casual
conversation to emphasise the change in his personality.
Pip has never experienced a proper home before so words like `home' are emphasised in
Wemmick's speaking. In addition to this; Wemmick speaks of his parent with utter adoration and of
his home with Pride and excitement.
Dickens also uses informal language within Wemmick's dialogue such as `pals' and `ain't there?' to
emphasise the contrast to his forced formality in the office and his comfort in Walworth.
He also indulged himself to gossip about Jaggers, which he would never do in the office.
As Wemmick says so much within his conversation and not so precise like his office talk; It is
evident that he has had a build up, from working in the office so long, of just wanting to talk to
someone and share his pride of his Walworth personality.
STRUCTURE OF CHAPTER 5: Conversation gets more and more eager and made up from more
dialogue as the chapter goes on as the transition between Office Wemmick and Home Wemmick
is made clear.
This is shown strongly as Wemmick gets more comfortable with Pip, the closer he gets to
The cottage/fortress Wemmick lives in is also significant because it is deliberately made out of
wood, which is natural in contrast to the office in London, made with brick. (which is man mad and
Wemmick did this deliberately to seclude himself from all reminders of office life when he is in his
His cottage is also isolated and able to be shut off if necessary (with the bridge) because he likes to
be as far away from corrupt London as possible.
Wemmick is a Gentleman in sense of his virtue, manners and moral status but not in the sense of
wealth, high class and how he comfortably speaks.
`The aged parent sitting before the his flannel Coat; Clean, Cheerful, Comfortable and Well
Cared for.' ­ Dickens uses alliteration in this passage to deliberately draw attention to the words
and to slow the reader down to stand them out.
This is also used to emphasise the fact these sentiments of a traditional family have never been
experienced by Pip before, and it's his first experience of a conventional home.


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