What is Mr. Jaggers's opinion of Mr. Drummle in Great Expectations?

In Great Expectations, Mr. Jaggers's opinion of Mr. Drummle is very positive. When he sees him for the first time, he remarks to Pip that he likes the look of him, despite observing that he's a “blotchy, sprawly, sulky” fellow.

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It's chapter 26 of Great Expectations, and Pip has been invited to dine with Mr. Jaggers along with Bentley Drummle, Startop, and Herbert Pocket. To most people, the brooding, disagreeable Drummle would not be the ideal dinner guest. But strangely enough, Jaggers is quite well-disposed to this thoroughly unpleasant individual upon seeing him for the first time.

When Jaggers first lays eyes on Drummle, he pronounces him to be “a blotchy, sprawly, sulky fellow.” Even so, he then goes on to say that he likes the look of Drummle. This is most probably due to the fact that, as a criminal lawyer with years of experience behind him, Jaggers has a certain fascination with unsavory-looking characters.

As the dinner progresses, Jaggers's fascination with Drummle only seems to grow. Playing around with Drummle and his other guests the way that a cat plays with a mouse, Jaggers brings Drummle more and more out of his shell, which allows him to engage in an increasingly heated argument with the other men about lending money. Before anyone comes to blows, however, Jaggers announces that it's nine thirty. Dinner is over.

One gets the impression that the ever manipulative Jaggers shows an interest in Drummle because he could easily be provoked into getting into an argument that the sly old lawyer would find most entertaining.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on February 23, 2021
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