What are some good quotes from chapters 25 and 26 that relate to character development?Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The precision of Charles Dickens creates descriptions that become a part of the psychological experience of Pip. In Chapter XXV, for instance, Pip first encounters Bentley Drummle: 

Heavy in figure, movement, and comprehension—in the sluggish complexion of his face, and in the large awkward tongue—he was idle, proud, niggardly, reserved, and suspicious. He came of rich people down in Somersetshire,...until they made the discovery that it was just of age and a blockhead.

Somehow, Mr. Jaggers is intrigued with Drummle, giving him the sobriquet of "Spider," perhaps because he ensnares whomever he wishes. With his penchant for characters who are doubles, Dickens creates in Drummle a parallel to Arthur, Miss Havisham's fiance.

Another character, nicknamed "Startop" possesses a delicacy and is "devotedly attached to [his mother], and admired her beyond measure."  This young man Pip likes very much, just as he does Herbert, his "intimate" friend.

After Pip has been at the Pocket's house for a month, Camellia, Mr. Pocket's sister, and his cousin Georgiana appear.  Pip describes them,

These people hated me with the hatred of cupidity and disappointment....they fawned upon me in my prosperity with the basest meanness. Towards Mr. Pocket....they showed the complacent forbearance I had heard them express. Mrs. Pocket they held in contempt; but they allowed the poor soul to have been heavily disappointed in life, because that shed a feeble reflected light upon themselves.

These are the toadies whom Pip mentioned upon his second visit to Satis House. Then, as Pip accompanird Wemmick home one night, Pip asks about Mr. Jaggers.  Wemmick replies that Mr. Jaggers will invite the entire "gang" to dinner at his house.

And there's another rum thing in his house,” proceeded Wemmick after a moment's pause, as if the remark followed on the housekeeper understood; “he never lets a door or window be fastened at night.”

Wemmick says that Jaggers dares people to rob him since

"He'd have their lives, and the lives of scores of 'em. He'd have all he could get. And it's impossible to say what he couldn't get, if he gave his mind to it.”

Ironically, the unscrupulous Jaggers who washes his hands incessantly cannot rid himself of being part of the criminal element of London.  But, whereas Jaggers surrounds himself with this element, inviting the surly Drummle and having a mysterious housekeeper, Wemmick desires to free himself of the grime of Newgate and the Old Bailey by creating his Castle for himself and his old father.  But, the next day as he returns to London, Wemmick's demeanor changes and he becomes more stoic:

[B]y degrees, Wemmick got dryer and harder as we went along, and his mouth tightened into a post-office again.

Pip returns to Mr. Jaggers's office and Jaguars tells him,

".... he washed his clients off, as if it were a surgeon or a dntist. He had a closet in his room, fitted up for the purpose, which smelt of the scented soap like a perfumer's shop.....

"...he never otherwise recognised anybody, or took notice that anybody recognised him.

At dinner, Pip meets Mr. Jaggers's housekeeper and is intrigued as Jaggers holds out her hand, pointing to the strength of her wrists. As he departs, Pip remarks of Mr. Jaggers,

he wrenched the weakest part of our dispositions out of us.....I made a dreadful likeness of that woman in Estella.

Pip is affected by all these characters as he ponders their words to him.

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Great Expectations

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