Wemmick is in Great Expectations for many reasons. Firstly he has a two sided character one is his work side and the other is his personal side. This is shown when he says:
“Walworth is one place, and this office is another. Much as the Aged is one person and Jaggers is another. They must not be confounded together. My Walworth sentiments must be taken at Walworth; none but my official sentiments can be taken in this office.”
This clearly shows his two sided character and that business and personal matters should not be mixed. This is a similarity to Jaggers who also believe these statement, they also believe in receiving portable property. Wemmick’s personal side is a contrast of Jaggers character although Jaggers does not really have a personal side to him it is mostly work related. For example he looks after his old father, the Aged, and with his creative mind he builds his father an imaginative castle. Another contrast is that Jaggers only really sees the bad in the human character whereas Wemmick does not. Dickens probably uses Wemmick as a statement that not all people in London have got their hearts on power and money in London.
Wemmick is also a contrast to Pip because Wemmick looks after the Aged and is not embarrassed whereas Pip is ashamed of Joe’s bad language and grammar. For example when Joe visits Pip, Joe’s grammar gets terrible this is shown when Joe’s says “As it is there drawd too architerectooralooral.” Dickens clearly exaggerates this for effect that he is uncomfortable around Pip. There is the arguable fact that Wemmick never takes the Aged out of the castle.
Wemmick is also has similarity of Pip’s character. For example they both are associated with criminals and convicts. Pip convict is Magwitch and Wemmick goes to Newgate prison to talk to many convicts. Wemmick goes to Newgate prison because he is a go between for Jaggers. If Jaggers went to Newgate prison and talk to the convicts he would look to caring so Wemmick is there to do it. Wemmick is described to have “a post-office of a mouth,” I think this is a metaphor for being a messenger for Jaggers. This is because you go to the post office to deliver and receive mail and Jaggers uses Wemmick to receive news from Newgate prison. His two lives makes us focus more on Pip’s and Jaggers’ character because when you compare them to Wemmick you realises that they are doing wrong or good or how they can improve in being a better person.
I think the main reason for Wemmick’s two-sided character is to show that everything is the book is two-sided not just Wemmick. For example Estella is two sided when he is mean to Pip at Satis House when she slaps him but then later Pip and Estella have a conversation and says:
“Do you want me then…to deceive and entrap you?”
“Do you deceive and entrap him (Drummle), Estella?”
“Yes, and many others – all of them but you.”
So this shows Estella’s two sides she embarrasses Pip and says that she would not hurt. Miss Havisham is two sided as well because she pretends to be an insane and deranges lady who does not eat or drink but secretly at night she eats and drinks. In my opinion it is a metaphor for things are not what they always seem. I think the main reason is to show two sides of the law for example when Compeyson and Magwitch are given sentences Compeyson only gets half the time, seven years, of Magwitch’s time which is 14 years. Compeyson gets half the time than Magwitch because he is a gentleman, has prosperity and speaks using proper language whereas Magwitch has no wealth, is not a gentleman or could speak with correct grammar.
Whenever Wemmick gives his opinion at Walworth or at the office I get the impression that he is speaking for the whole of London. This is because London is mainly divided up into two groups of the rich and poor and when Wemmick gives his opinion at Walworth it is like he is speaking for the poor and at the office he is speaking for the rich who are gentlemen. This two-sided character of his shows something about the London way of life, that things must be kept separate. Also it shows that London has a certain way of life. For example when Pip offers his handshake Wemmick does not understand because it is not the way of life in London. When Pip decides to use his money for Herbert, Wemmick says “Mr Pip, I must tell you one thing. This is devilish good of you.” Wemmick tells Pip his true feelings because they are friends and it also conveys the impression that giving money to a friend is unheard of in London, again this shows what London can do. It can distract you from the important things in life.
I think Dickens has put Wemmick in this novel because the theme of the novel is to find put what a true gentleman is and I think it is shown in Wemmick.