In chapter 24 of Great Expectations what is Wemmick's view of Jaggers?Charles Dickens, author

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Since Mr. Jaggers is modeled upon a notoriously unscrupulous lawyer who was also rude and abrupt for whom Dickens once worked, it seems likely that Wemmick, who is an excellent judge of character, perceives the dark side of Jaggers. However, Wemmick woodenly maintains his business-like personality which he reserves for the office.  Nonetheless, that Mr. Jaggers feels no affection or kindliness towards his clients is evinced in the contrast between the mourning rings and gifts that Wemmick has been given by those condemned and the two death masks that Jaggers keeps on a shelf in his greasy-walled office. Instead, as in apparent in Chapter 20 in which Jaggers pushes past supplicants and abruptly dismisses them, he is cold, perceiving them only as simply clients.  When Wemmick says that Jaggers is as deep as Austrialia, pointing to the map, he implies that his employer is aloof and inscrutable.

At the end of the chapter, after having shown Pip the other clerks, who appear as seedy and dishelved as the criminals themselves, Wemmick asks Pip if he has been to the house of Jaggers.  When Pip replies in the negative, Wemmick urges him to observe the housekeeper, "a wild beast tamed"; this is an observation, he adds,"...that won't lower your opinion of Mr. Jaggers powers."

Later, as Pip observes Mr. Jaggers in the courtroom, he understands the implications of Wemmick use of the word "professional" and "powerful" for Jaggers as well as his innuendos about Jaggers:  The lawyer is unceremonious, to say the least.  His curt remarks to the witnesses intimidate them as well as disturbing the officials of the court.  Pip states that "thieves and thief-takers hung in dread rapture on his every word."  Even the judge is unnerved by Jagger's insinuations that he is not representative of English justice as his legs shake under the table. 



mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Wemmick makes quite a few comments in chapter 24 that indicate that Wemmick has a healthy respect for Jaggers' power, authority, intimidation and success.  He also seems to know Jaggers very well, and understand his character.  When Pip is first introduced to Wemmick, Wemmick gives a very clever analogy for Jaggers.  He says,

"Always seems to me as if he had set a man-trap and was watching it.  Suddenly--click--you're caught!"

This indicates that Wemmick is aware that Jaggers seems to be a bit conniving and sneaky, and likes to trap people and "get" them.  This is an apt observation, and one that serves Jaggers well as a laywer.  In commenting on Jaggers, Wemmick says that he is " Australia," and that "there's only one Jaggers."  Later, he refers to Jaggers as having "powers."  So, Wemmick seems to understand and admit that Jaggers is a powerful man who has become so through being clever and conniving.  His comments aren't necessarliy flattering, but he does show Jaggers respect for the success he's found.  I hope that helps; good luck!

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Great Expectations

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