Great Expectations..Jaggars Essay, Research Paper
Great Expectations Commentary
The well-known novel ?Great Expectations? was the last great work by Charles Dickens. It is about an orphan, Pip, who is brought up in the early nineteenth century.
Pip meets a girl named Estella who is of the upper class, this encounter leads him into the dream of becoming a ?gentleman?. He is introduced to a lawyer, Mr. Jaggers, who becomes his guardian while staying in London. When he reaches London and enters Mr. Jaggers? office, his thoughts are revealed and the room is put into detailed description. The use of diction, narrative voice, and setting help the readers learn more about Jaggers, contributes in creating an interesting atmosphere, as well as foreshadowing future incidents.
The passage (in chapter 20) where Pip reveals to us the inner qualities and setting of Mr. Jaggers? room, the diction used is extremely significant. Throughout the majority of the passage, Pip uses negative wording in order to express Mr. Jaggers? character. The features described in the room link directly to Mr. Jaggers? personality. ?The room was lighted by a skylight only and was a most dismal place?. The darkness expressed through these words relate to Mr. Jaggers? occupation as a criminal defense lawyer. The dullness and guilt involved in doing his job is also shown here. The mention of ?casts? and ?coffins? sets a mood of death within the setting and scene. These words create a creepy atmosphere in which foreshadows that Mr. Jaggers? newfound involvement in Pip?s life will not necessarily be all good. This is contradictory to how Pip feels pursuing his dream into becoming a gentleman. ?The distorted adjoining houses looking as if they had twisted themselves to peep down at me.? Being that Mr. Jaggers? is a criminal defense lawyer and deals with many underworld clients, it?s as if he is also playing the bad guy. These ?adjoining buildings? act as if they are watching his every move. The place seems so dirty, with the ?blacks and flies? everywhere and everything layered with ?dust and grit that lay thick?. Pip, the narrator, repeatedly uses words such as ?twisted?, ?distorted?, ?dreadful?, and ?twitchy? while describing the office. All these words create an eerie atmosphere as well as a spooky image of Mr. Jaggers. Mr. Jaggers is a powerful character that is harsh, and everything about him seems frightening and fierce. The diction used in this passage just gives him an overall bad image.
Pip, the orphan, acts as the narrator throughout the whole novel. His tone of voice is very important in contributing to the effect of the present scene. In this passage, Pip stares in awe around the room, he talks of the accessories in Mr. Jaggers? room as if they are real. ?I really could not bear the two casts on the shelf above Mr. Jaggers? chair, and got up and went out.? Pip?s own action of having to leave the room at such an expense proves to the reader how awful the room is. As the room links to Mr. Jaggers? character, this makes the reader in turn, become fearful of Mr. Jaggers. Pip?s narrative voice is also very confused. ?I wondered whether the two swollen faces where of Mr. Jaggers? family.? His confusion is able to strike the reader as very observant with all the questions that he has to ask. Pip?s very detailed description of Mr. Jaggers? room indicates to us the exact first impression that Pip must have of the lawyer: Mr. Jaggers? is shown to be a frightening fellow. The narrative voice of Pip is useful in helping the reader understand Mr. Jaggers? character more clearly in this passage.
The setting of Mr. Jaggers? room is essential in explaining to the reader, indirectly, what the man?s personality is like. ?Mr. Jaggers? own high- backed chair was of deadly black horsehair, with rows of brass nails round it, like a coffin.? The ?high- backed chair? acts as an instrument in expressing Mr. Jaggers? powerful character. It is ironic how someone with so much power would use ?horsehair?, killing an animal, to use as part of his furniture. And yet, this hair is ?nailed? down onto the chair, as if the power would run away. ?An old rusty pistol, a sword in a scabbard, several strange- looking boxes and packages.? The objects that are lying around his room don?t seem like things that a real lawyer would have laying around in his office. There is ?not so many papers about? which is also quite odd. ?Two dreadful casts on a shelf, of faces peculiarly swollen, and twitchy about the nose.? These casts being ?twitching about the nose? might act as the upper class why are once again watching Mr. Jaggers. Or maybe it is just a symbol of his connection to the upper class society. The setting of Mr. Jaggers? office is greatly significant in illustrating to us his character.
The passage where Mr. Jaggers? room is keenly described by Pip is valuable in giving the reader a clearer perspective of the lawyer. Mr. Jaggers? business- like mannerism and harsh qualities are shown through this passage. Pip?s narrative voice was important as well as the setting itself. The words that Pip used and his action of leaving the ?close room? shows the frightening side of Mr. Jaggers? personality. The literary devices such as diction, narrative voice, and setting are significant in developing Mr. Jaggers? character.