Chapter 21 (Volume 2, Chapter 2) (Instalment 13):

Barnard's Inn

Synopsis of Chapter 21 (Volume 2, Chapter 2) (Instalment 13)

As they walk to Barnard's Inn, Mr.Wemmick informs Pip that in London people cheat, rob and murder, not out of personal malice but simply for gain. Barnard's Inn is shabby and dilapidated and Pip concludes that London is decidedly overrated. When Herbert Pocket arrives, Pip recognizes him as the ‘pale young gentleman' he fought at Miss Havisham's.

Commentary on Chapter 21 (Volume 2, Chapter 2) (Instalment 13)

Mourning rings In the nineteenth century, people often left money to relatives and friends to buy a ring to remember them by. Mr.Wemmick has a large collection of such rings, mostly from executed criminals.

Barnard's Inn A collection of houses used by the lawyers of the Chancery Court (now abolished), rather as Lincoln's Inn is still used. People who were not lawyers could also rent rooms there.

I put out my hand and Mr.Wemmick at first looked at it as if I wanted something. Mr. Wemmick is not used to polite manners in the city, but rather to people holding out their hands to be given something. Compare Mr.Pumblechook's excessive handshaking when he knows Pip has become rich (Chapter 19).

Investigating Chapter 21 (Volume 2, Chapter 2) (Instalment 13)
  • Look for evidence of Dickens' methods of describing characters and places
  • Look also for evidence of Herbert's character as he welcomes Pip to his rooms
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