Wemmick provides a complicated, yet interesting separation of his home life and work life. His home and work lives are as different in physical appearances as they are in personality differences. Many of his home habits allow him to express his care and decency, which contrasts with his mechanical work which lacks good value. Wemmick dedicates himself to separating the two so that he may keep his virtues intact while he works in the filth of Newgate. Wemmick is alone in his success of separation when compared to others such as Jaggers and Pip. Such dedication to keeping good values alive gives Wemmick so much integrity that he immediately becomes a favorite character.
The castle in Walworth has a drawbridge, a cannon, and a fountain. We see the effects of these defenses first when he raises the drawbridge "it was very pleasant to see the pride with which he hoisted it up and made it fast; smiling as he did so, with a relish and not merely mechanically"(229). He "relishes" or gains pleasure in the working of the drawbridge; as opposed to his mechanical office mode, he really smiles. With this first insight into Wemmick's other side, a simple integrity is revealed. The cannon, named Stinger, is mounted upon "a separate fortress, constructed of lattice-work. It was protected from the weather by an ingenious little tarpaulin contrivance in the nature of an umbrella"(229). The latticework and umbrella cover express Wemmick's imagination in planning the castle. Another of Wemmick's contraptions is his fountain. A mill and a cork run it. The water splashes out enough that it lands on any viewer of the fountain, which the Aged greatly enjoys. He lists his skills and says "and ...
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...s the victor in the battle of lifestyles, because his is definitely much more agreeable. In regards to Pip, he cannot separate his home life from his expectations. He is uncaring towards his family and doesn't associate with them. He lives only in expectations as Jaggers does work. Only Wemmick succeeds in separating the two.
Those of us who are suffering from a work-centered life should look to Wemmick for inspiration. We can learn from him how to allow ourselves to be able to enjoy life at home, without sacrificing out integrity at the workplace. Wemmick attains a freedom to live life to the fullest and he does it with incredible integrity. He is alone in his success, all the other characters have failed miserably, and have been left unfulfilled.
Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations. Ed. Janice Carlisle.Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 1996.
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