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Magwitch is a criminal who plays a crucial role in the life of Pip, the main character in the novel ‘Great Expectations’ by Charles Dickens. Learn more about the character Magwitch and test your knowledge with a quiz.

Who Is Magwitch?

Having the respect of others and feeling a sense of accomplishment are two of the most important achievements we can strive for in life. At some point in our lives we all want to be respected and loved by others for our good qualities rather than our bad choices.In Charles Dickens’ novel Great Expectations, set in England, Magwitch, one of the characters in the story, has a difficult upbringing and makes a number of bad choices. After he realizes the error of his ways, Magwitch spends the rest of his life trying to make up for his actions and earn society’s approval. Because he could not change much about his own life, he decided to help change the life of a young boy who expressed kindness to him in his time of need.

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Character Analysis

Magwitch is an important character in the novel Great Expectations by Charles Dickens because he plays a critical role in the development and life of Pip, the main character in the story. Like Pip, Magwitch is an orphan. Magwitch never felt accepted or loved by society because he committed a number of petty crimes such as stealing food as a means of survival. Not only did Magwitch steal food to eat, he also raised himself and taught himself how to read and write so that he would not always have to lead such a difficult life.

After leading a life of crime, Magwitch escaped from prison and met a young boy named Pip in a cemetery. Magwitch was hungry and Pip was the only person kind enough to assist Magwitch in obtaining food. Magwitch appreciated Pip’s generosity and much later decided to help Pip become an educated gentleman to help Pip survive in British society.

Despite all of the negative things Magwitch did in his life, he was devoted to helping Pip have a better life than he did. Magwitch secretly became Pip’s benefactor and helped Pip go from a life of poverty to a life of prosperity. Because Magwitch never felt accepted by society, he used Pip as a means of showing everyone that he was a good person who could work hard and create a good thing. Although he lived a difficult life, Magwitch died peacefully and appeared to have the respect he’d longed for throughout his life.

Lesson Summary

Great Expectations is a novel written by Charles Dickens. It tells the story of a young boy named Pip who becomes an educated gentleman because of the generosity of a criminal named Magwitch. Like Pip, Magwitch had led a difficult life and understood the struggles Pip would endure as a poor boy. Magwitch became Pip’s benefactor and helped Pip change his life as a way to improve his own reputation and help others in British society think more highly of him. Magwitch eventually died peacefully, finally feeling good about his life.

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