Role as a lawyer and the crime

Go on to explore the importance of Jaggers in the novel as a whole to the development of themes, character and plot, focussing on mannerisms, speech rhythms, his role as a lawyer and the crime theme. Dickens opens this paragraph by using proper nouns to give a sense of place. Jaggers 'conducts' Pip, again suggesting his control. Like Jaggers' office, the house is grand, but uncared for, this is a very similar image to that of Satis House. The gothic elements of Satis House appear here too, with adjectives such as 'gloomy' and 'dark'.

The 'little used' hallway suggests a link to Miss Havisham only using a few of the rooms in Satis house. Jaggers tells his guests that 'he held a whole house, but rarely used more of it than we saw' and this is mirrored by Miss Havisham only being seen in a couple of rooms, only leaving them to eat, in the middle of the night, when no-one can see her. The little used hall also suggests that Jaggers doesn't have company often – Miss Havisham does not either, but she is a recluse, Jaggers just does not particularly like company, he does not have friends, just associates, again, showing his lack of emotion.

The description is very methodical, suggesting the order of this house, and again, a lack of emotion, Pip makes no comment in this passage whether he actually likes the place, and certainly, no pleasant or positive lexis are used. Dickens draws in the theme of crime here, when Pip imagines the garlands Jaggers stands in front of, as nooses. Similar to Miss Havisham, Jaggers has this large house, a sign of wealth, but uses very little of it. He can afford silver, but he does not use any, and serves the food himself, even though he could have servants do it, like Miss Havisham can afford to live in luxury, she chooses to live in squalor.

Additionally, by serving the food himself, he is keeping control of his guests, and the food. This extract contrasts greatly with that of Wemmick's home. There is no direct speech, only reported here, whereas Wemmick chatted gleefully all the way to Walworth and throughout Pip's visit, here, it is suggested that Jaggers says practically nothing – he is a man who talks out of necessity, not for the sake of conversation. Also, whereas Wemmick had nothing to do with work in his home, not even talk about it, Jaggers house is just an extension of his office, with criminal law books, as if reading these were his only pleasure and entertainment.

Whilst Wemmick's home has been carefully painted and designed to look like a castle, Jaggers' house has 'nothing merely ornamental to be seen'. The similarities between Jaggers' office and his house are obvious. This highlights the contrast between Wemmick and him, where Wemmick has a marked division between work and home, Jaggers' house is just an extension of his office, complete with the crime and grime lexical sets and the gothic elements seen in both. The topography here, The visit to Walworth, and the in the next chapter, the visit to Jaggers' house, is deliberate to highlight such contrasts.

Everything about Jaggers house is practical. His furniture is there to be used, like his watch-chain, not to be displayed. Jaggers has no ornamental possessions, all have a purpose, nothing unnecessary, and this gives a very unhomely image, everybody has useless but pretty knick-knacks except for Jaggers. When Jaggers does speak, again even his words exclude anything unnecessary. His lexis is precise, planned, without hesitation, and straight to the point. Without the utterances of uncertainty that other characters, such as Joe use, Jaggers shows an absolute control and self-discipline over his speech.

Dickens creates this very professional character as a lawyer through and through. Jaggers' power over speech, and the strength with which he conveys his speech can be easily imagined to be used in a courtroom. For instance, in The Three Jolly Bargemen he talks to Mr. Wopsle but interrogates him like a criminal in the doc, and because Mr. Wopsle hesitates, Jaggers is able to humiliate and bully Wopsle. The extract is very typical of Jaggers, and involves everything we expect from him. Without seeing Jaggers directly, his idiosyncrasies are excluded.

However, as with all of Dickens characters, his surroundings, in the home, office, and to a certain extent, London, reflect the man himself. For example, he has a huge house, but uses very little of it, this mirrors his physical size – 'great hand', 'large head' etcetera and therefore his non-physical power over people. In the same way, the darkness of his 'property' mirrors his own physical attributes such as his dark bushy eyebrows, dark complexion and deep eyes. Jaggers is more of a symbolic character than a functional character.

He himself represents law, lawyers, justice and crime. He is Dickens showing his opinions of this part of society – bullying, dark, cold, but powerful. Therefore, Jaggers has a very consistent character, and all his attributes are shown throughout the novel, unchanging – such as his professionalism – and repetitive – such as his physical features, his constant control and dominance and his obsessive hand washing, a psychological mechanism to keep the criminal taint from corrupting him.

He is also a static character. Whereas many of the characters move, or change – for example, Mrs Joe and Miss Havisham die, the children of the novel grow up, marry and so on – Jaggers stays exactly the same. The events of the novel pass him as any other case does. This suggests again, he has no emotional attachment to anything or anybody.