View Full Version : The character of Drummle - how is he significant?

07-19-2006, 05:50 PM
Hello, I'm studying GCSE English and have been assigned an essay on how Charles Dickens explores the theme of gentlemen through the characters Pip and Joe.

I thought it would be interesting to include a paragraph Drummle - the “fake” gentleman.

Has anyone got any suggestions on how he is significant in the book and pip’s views of him/his of pip?

Quotes would also be welcomed if you would!

Thanks so much :)

x x x x x x x

07-20-2006, 02:52 PM
Though Drummle can seem a bit of a minor character, I certainly agree how he makes a considerable effect on Pip, having married Estella.
In the whole book itself, in my opinion, Drummle has little significance, only seeming a rude, immodest, and cruel person (what one may call the typical 'alpha male' type, incessantly desiring superiority and domination over others :D).
Pip, I think, never liked him, to say the least; and Drummle's marriage to Estella only drives his frustration, jealousy, and dislike toward him more with strength. Pip, however, maintains his passive manner, saying little, but more avoiding the situation.
Drummle, in my opinion, likes no one, simply enough. His anger and seemingly, in his eyes, justified cruelty, due to his self-held superior role in life, cause many people to detest him and dislike his presence. Estella, too, finds the truth in why so many people avoid Drummle, and she, also, after his death, results in telling of an unhappy marriage.

08-27-2006, 10:09 AM
I kind of feel that drummle is an imporatnt character in estella's life... You know how her charcater is one which has always talked down to men especially Pip, it's important to see that Drummle's charcter actually puts down estella and abuses her... a sort of role reversal, which can be seen in other characters also.

The Nights Wing
01-25-2007, 08:18 PM
I think that Drummle is meant to show how Charles Dickens finds social status and wealth to cause corruption in some people and his distaste for wealth. The only true gentlemen in the novel are Mathew and Herbert Pocket and Mr. Wemmick, but they aren't presented in a way that shows off enormous wealth. Bentley Drummle also continues the theme that there are very few real gentleman by showing the corruption in the social status.

Hope that helps (and makes sense)

Good luck!

Anthony Furze
01-28-2007, 09:01 AM
Drummle, like Orlick and Compeyson, is one of the "shadow" characters in the novel Great Expectations.

Hes necessary in that Pips gradual journey towards "goodness" is highlighted through contrast. Note when Pip and Drummle meet eachother in the inn and there is that comic and petty scene in front of the fireplace.

If Great Expectations can be seen as a moral journey, rather like Pilgrims Progress, then Drummle is one of the cast offs of the vice Pip undergoes.

01-30-2007, 12:24 PM
In writing about the nineteenth-century novel in his book The Realistic Imagination, George Levine says that:

Nineteenth-century realism, far from apologizing for what it is, deliberately subverts judgments based on dogma, convention, or limited perception or imagination.
(Levine, G. (1981), The Realistic Imagination: English Fiction from Frankenstein to Lady Chatterley, University of Chicago Press, pp. 5,6,8 15-22)

We can see this at work in Great Expectations, where Pip not only refuses to fit the usual role of the hero of the Bildungsroman (coming-of-age novel), but challenges the nineteenth-century belief that a gentleman is born and not created.

Pip is born poor, and through the patronage of Magwitch, a convicted criminal, becomes a gentleman.

Where the character of Drummle comes in is as a further challenge to contemporary prejudices. He is at the opposite end of the spectrum from Pip – a person from a privileged background that never-the-less becomes a brute.

Kate Morgan
02-04-2007, 11:16 AM
Basically, he is simply a prop, someone who sets off the characters of Pip and Estella, aswell as showing new sides to them.