Characterization of Mr. Jaggers in Great Expectations

Topics: Charles Dickens, Great Expectations, Fiction Pages: 3 (906 words) Published: March 14, 2013
Colleen Ward
Mr. Klingelhoffer
Advanced Freshman English-6
14 November 12
Dickens’ Great Characterizations
Mr. Jaggers is displayed in the book as an awe-inspiring, almost fatherly, figure to the people in London. On the other hand, in his day to day life, he is quite harsh and haughty. In Great Expectations, Charles Dickens uses juxtaposition and cut, strict and sharp diction to characterize Jaggers as a powerful, haughty man respected by all.

Charles Dickens uses juxtaposition to evolve and develop Jaggers as an extremely detailed main character. This literary device strongly characterizes Mr. Jaggers through others’ views of him. Pip overhears two clients of Mr. Jaggers sitting outside waiting for Jaggers, “’Jaggers would do it if it was to be done.’…’These testimonies to the popularity of my guardian made a deep impression on me, and I admired and wondered more than ever,’” (Dickens 156). Pip is given the impression that Jaggers can do anything and is willing to fight for whomever by the way the two gentlemen and other clients are speaking of him. He is awe-inspired by his guardian and this helps characterize Jaggers with others’ views of him that he is widely respected. When Jaggers arrives, Pip expects a warm entrance where Jaggers embraces his welcome party; but instead, Pip is exposed to Jaggers’ true nature with his clients. Jaggers addresses these two men after he has a conversation about their situation at his office, “’Very well; then you may go. Now, I won’t have it!’ said Mr. Jaggers, waving his hand at them to put them behind him. ‘If you say a word to me, I’ll throw up the case!’” (Dickens 156). Jaggers is very harsh with these men and uses cut, short diction to protect himself from their dirty case. Jaggers’ response to these men is seemingly the opposite of what would be expected of someone who is so highly respected and venerated by the town’s people. The peoples’ view, respect, and awe for Mr. Jaggers are in harsh contrast to the way...
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