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How did Magwitch (the first convict) react to Pip's generosity at the beginning of...

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ball1177 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 24, 2012 at 1:34 PM via web

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How did Magwitch (the first convict) react to Pip's generosity at the beginning of Great Expectations?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 24, 2012 at 1:53 PM (Answer #1)

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It is in Chapter Three that Pip is finally able to get away and bring the food that he has stolen for Magwitch to him. Magwitch is described as being so hungry, however, that he does not at first respond in any way except to eat the food as fast as he possibly can as he is so starving. Pip comments for example that he ate the mincemeat that he brought to him in a "curious way" as he was so intent on shovelling it into his throat as quickly as he could. When at last Magwitch finished, however, they have the following exchange of conversation:

“I said, I was glad you enjoyed it.”

“Thankee, my boy. I do.”

Pip's generosity in bringing food for Magwitch is something that is recognised by the convict in this dialogue, but it is also returned in favour when Magwitch confesses to stealing the food that Pip brought for him himself, and therefore ensured that Pip would not be punished for taking the food. Pip's generosity is of course the reason for the link that exists between these two characters that becomes so important later on in the story.

 

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