Mr. Jaggers is a powerful London lawyer who serves as Pip’s appointed guardian once he learns of his “great expectations.” Along with this guardianship comes the management of Pip’s money and the protection of his benefactor’s identity, both of which Mr. Jaggers takes very seriously. His treatment of Pip’s case represents his overall attitude and outlook toward his job and clients, one which is very stoic, no-nonsense, and to-the-point. This approach makes it possible for Mr. Jaggers to win almost every case he argues before the court and sets him up to be a source of intimidation for other characters throughout the novel. Even Pip’s coachman speaks fearfully of Mr. Jaggers as he delivers him to his London office for the first time. While Mr. Jaggers has both a physical appearance and personality of unrivaled strength, he covertly shows signs of softness and even personal insecurity He helps Estella find a home with Miss Havisham with the hope that she will avoid a life of crime like her mother’s, and he develops a fondness for Pip as the novel progresses. Perhaps most revealing is Mr. Jaggers’s habit of washing his hands after working with clients, a habit which suggests a discomfort with his closeness to the criminals whom he defends.
The combination of Mr. Jaggers’s straightforward attitude and breadth of influence allows him to serve as a point of stability around which the novel’s tangled events revolve. He has a hand in many characters’ lives, holding key pieces of information about each of them that become important components in the reader’s journey of unraveling the plot. While Mr. Jaggers himself has little control over the choices that other characters make, his almost omniscient knowledge of Magwitch, Miss Havisham, Estella, and ultimately Pip helps to gradually connect the dots between their individual narratives.