Summarize Provis' (Magwitch's) autobiography and the significant connection Pip and Herbert make based on what Provis tells them.

Expert Answers
bmadnick eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Provis tells Pip and Herbert about how his relationship with Compeyson came about and why Provis has spent so much of his life in and out of prisons. The relevant part of the story tells about Provis meeting Arthur, another accomplice Compeyson had used in his illegal activities. Provis learned that Compeyson and Arthur had done a "bad thing with a rich lady some years afore, and they'd made a pot of money by it;. . ." Provis later learned that Arthur, staying with Compeyson, was on his deathbed, having hallucinations about a lady in white. After Provis reveals all of the details, Herbert and Pip come to the conclusion that Arthur had to be Miss Havisham's half brother, and Compeyson must be the man who had left Miss Havisham at the altar. They also realize that they must help get Provis out of the country as soon as possible because Compeyson will do whatever he has to in order to get rid of Provis.

partyrock | Student

Provis tells Pip and Herbert about how his relationship ith Compeyson came about, abd why he has been in his prison most of his life.  After hearing the story, Herbert realizes that these are the two men that cheated Mrs Havisham years ago.

lit24 | Student

Provis' (Magwitch's) life can be summed up in a nutshell as he himself remarks: "In jail and out of jail, in jail and out of jail, in jail and out of jail."

Magwitch's life is that of an anonymous, orpahaned juvenile offender who from the time he became aware of himself till now has been a life of crime. In the course of his life of crime he was introduced to Compeyson a suave conman. Compeyson's accomplice was Arthur Havisham, the disinherited stepbrother of Miss Havisham. Arthur alongwith Compeyson had cheated Miss Havisham of her money and most importantly Compeyson had cheated Miss Havisham of her money by pretending to be in love with her and promising to marry her.  Arthur who was staying at the top of Compeyson's house was now dying and soon Magwitch becomes Compeyson's partner in crime. Shortly Arthur dies screaming that the ghost of Miss Havisham is killing him.

On one occasion both Compeyson and Magwitch are arrested but Compeyson manages to escape with a lighter sentence than Magwitch because of his fine clothes and superior manner and by turning approver against Magwitch.  Magwitch in turn vows to kill Compeyson for betraying him, and that is what he attempts to do in Ch.5.

In Ch.22 Herbert tells Pip the life story of Miss Havisham: but he does not know the names of the two men who cheated Miss Havisham. Only after listening to Magwitch's account of his life in Ch.42 he is able to identify Arthur Havisham and Compeyson.

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Great Expectations

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