In Great Expectations, are Pip and Magwitch alike at all?

Expert Answers
mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Pip and Magwitch are similar in several ways, which is rather surprising, because on the surface, they appear to be completely different individuals.  Magwitch is a hardened criminal who has lived a life of crime, and who came from a rough background.  Pip is a law-abiding boy who came from a loving family and searched after a life of kindness and gentility.  However, both of them have experienced drastic changes in their situations--Magwitch made quite a bit of money, and Pip benefitted from that wealth.  In the end, both of them were living comfortably.  Both of these characters also had great expectations--Pip for himself, and Magwitch for Pip.  Either way, they expected great things, and strove after those things in their life.  Both of these men also experienced villians--Magwitch through is infamous partner, and Pip through the ever-evil Orlick that keeps striving to harm Pip and his family.  So, they know what it is like to have someone out there who hates you, and does things to harm you.  Both of them come from humble, poor backgrounds, and try to make it in the world of money and gentlemen.  Both have disappointed expectations--Magwitch in escaping and living life, and Pip in not being able to be with Estella.  For both of these characters, money did not solve their problems or bring happiness--Magwitch was still wanted by the law, and Pip was alienated from his family and didn't win Estella.  So, their money did not bring them peace and happiness.

I hope that those thoughts helped a bit; good luck!

Read the study guide:
Great Expectations

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question