What are two passages in Great Expectations that illustrate the lack of warmth and personality of Mr. Jaggers?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Two instances that illustrate the lack of warmth and personableness of Mr. Jagger occur in the First Stage of Great Expectations when Pip first encounters him, and with Pip's meeting with him in Mr. Jaggers's office in the Second Stage.

1. In Chapter XI, as Pip returns to Satis House after six days according to Miss Havisham's instructions, he again follows Estella, who holds a candle, up the dark stairs. This time, he encounters a gentleman, who is groping his way down in the darkness. This is Mr. Jaggers:

He took my chin in his large hand and turned up my face to have a look at me in the light of the candle.
"Boy of the neighborhood? Hey?" said he.
"Yes, sir..."
"How do you come here?"

When Pip explains that he has been sent for, Mr. Jaggers responds in a very negative manner, prejudging Pip as a miscreant.

"Well! Behave yourself. I have a pretty large experience of boys, and you're a bad set of fellows. Now mind!. . . You behave yourself!" 

2. In Chapter XX, after Pip arrives in London, he goes to Jaggers's office in Little Britain. There he meets Mr. Wemmick, who informs Pip that Mr. Jaggers has left word for Pip to wait "in his room." Pip is escorted to an inner chamber, where he is struck by its dismal quality. When Mr. Jaggers arrives, he eats his lunch without offering Pip anything, and he informs Pip coldly of his allowance—"a very liberal one"—while handing Pip the cards of various tradesmen with whom he should deal for clothes and other items that he might need. Mr. Jaggers then adds with no warmth,

You will find your credit good, Mr. Pip. . . but I shall by this means be able to check your bills, and to pull you up if I find you outrunning the constable. Of course, you'll go wrong somehow, but that no fault of mine.

Pip narrates with irony, "I pondered a little over this encouraging sentiment."

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Great Expectations

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