In Chapter 55 of "Great Expectations", what is Jaggers’ opinion of the case?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Jaggers essentially believes that there is no hope for Magwitch to be acquitted.  He tells Pip that "the case must be over in five minutes when the witness was there, and that no power on earth could prevent its going against us".

Jaggers also believes that when Magwitch dies, his fortune will go to the Crown and not to Pip.  Jaggers is angry at Pip for "letting (the wealth) slip through his fingers", but he knows that in the eyes of the law, Pip has no claim on anything that belongs to Magwitch - Pip "was not related to the outlaw, or connected with him by any recognizable tie; (Magwitch) had put his hand to no writing or settlement in (Pip's) favour before his apprehension, and to do so now would be idle".  Although Pip, knowing that Magwitch dearly wants him to inherit the wealth he has amassed, exhorts Jaggers to keep the inevitable fate of the money a secret from the convict, he understands and accepts the circumstances, and is, in truth, relieved (Chapter 55). 

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Great Expectations

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