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A classmate of David's at Salem House. James Steerforth is a haughty, cocky boy consumed with his upper-class status. He receives much admiration from David because of his class and confidence.
Mr Mell is a kindly, intelligent, poor man. He is mistreated because of his status, and the fatherly man loses his position because of Steerforth's actions.
Mr Creakle is a sadistic tormenter. Dicken's purpose for Creakle in the novel is to portray the abuse in boarding schools by those with power.