How does Dickens characterize Mr Wopsle and Uncle Pumblechook in Great Expectations?

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Ever the social critic, Charles Dickens so often models characters after real people with whom he has been acquainted. Minor characters can represent certain types that Dickens wishes to satirize or use for comic effect. Two such characters who provide comic relief are Mr. Wopsle and Mr. Pumblechook.

  • Mr. Wopsle

Mr. Wopsle is the clerk at church, an official who assists the minister at church services and who teaches in the local school. He is proudest of his deep, resonant voice which he employs in his great aunt's school when he "examined the students."

What he did... was to turn up his cuffs, stick up his hair and give us Mark Antony's oration over the body of Caesar.

After Pip moves to London, he and Herbert attend the play Hamlet and see Mr. Waldengarver, formerly Mr. Wopsle, in the starring role. He is so ridiculous in his elocution that Herbert and Pip cannot help laughing along with the rest of the audience,

I laughed in spite of myself all the time, the whole thing was so droll; and yet...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 590 words.)

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