How is the Law Office depicted and what does it reveal about Mr.Jaggers ?Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The rather unscrupulous Mr. Jaggers, based upon a real lawyer with whomDickens was familiar, keeps an office in Little Britain by Newgate Prison.  It is on a markedly gloomy street that this prison is located.  Mr. Jaggers's office is lighted only by a patched skylight and is in shadow; Pip describes it as "a most dismal place." There are not the pile of papers that Pip has expected, but instead odd objects such as an old rusty pistol, a sword in its scabbard, several odd-looking boxes, and two frightful death masks on a shelf.

Mr. Jaggers's black chair is covered in horsehair with the tacks around it like the nails on a coffin; It is also not cleanly. The small room has a line from the greasy heads that seemto fill the room until Pip tells Wemmick that he will stroll around while waiting.  As he does so, Pip hears rather sordid-looking people speak of Jaggers.  From their appearance and the appearance of Mr. Jaggers's office, Pip deduces that Mr. Jaggers himself is but a few steps on the other side of crime himself.  He deals with the lowest form of criminals and shows no sympathy for them in doing so.  As a reminder of the cruelty of the environment in which he practices, Jaggers keeps the death masks of two men for whom he could not win their cases.