What are some examples in Great Exceptations that shows Magwitch represents the theme that you can live happily with simple values?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Unlike other characters that focus on money and moving up in society, Magwitch is more considered about the simple things like honesty, trust, and love.

I have always found Magwitch to be one of Dickens’s most interesting characters.  He suffers from being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but he’s not a bad person.  Although he is a criminal, he is one of the most honest characters in the book.  He values honesty and compassion.  When Pip helps him, he is so impressed with the boy’s simple kindness that he chooses to use his time in Australia to prepare Pip to be a gentleman.

“Yes, Pip, dear boy, I've made a gentleman on you! It's me wot has done it! I swore that time, sure as ever I earned a guinea, that guinea should go to you. I swore arterwards, sure as ever I spec'lated and got rich, you should get rich. I lived rough, that you should live smooth; I worked hard that you should be above work.” (enotes etext p. 216)

Magwitch feels victimized by a society that threw him away and then judged him.

They always went on agen me about the Devil. But what the devil was I to do? I must put something into my stomach, mustn't I?—Howsomever, I'm a getting low, and I know what's due. Dear boy and Pip's comrade, don't you be afeerd of me being low. (p. 233)

Magwitch made Pip into a gentleman both to repay him and to prove to the world that money isn’t everything.

[But] wot, if I gets liberty and money, I'll make that boy a gentleman!' And I done it. Why, look at you, dear boy!  Look at these here lodgings of yourn, fit for a lord! A lord? Ah! You shall show money with lords for wagers, and beat 'em! (p. 216)

Magwitch explains to Pip that Compeyson’s lawyer made an issue of comparing Magwitch to Compeyson .

My lord and gentlemen, here you has afore you, side by side, two persons as your eyes can separate wide; one, the younger, well brought up, who will be spoke to as such; one, the elder, ill brought up, who will be spoke to as such; one, the younger, seldom if ever seen in these here transactions, and only suspected; t'other, the elder, always seen in 'em and always wi' his guilt brought home. Can you doubt, if there is but one in it, which is the one, and if there is two in it, which is much the worst one?' (p. 236)

The lawyer manipulates the legal system, focusing on Compeyon’s status as a more obvious “gentleman” compared to Magwtich’s coarseness.  Magwitch is offended by this.

Magwitch is able to live a simple life, with simple values, in order to make Pip into a gentleman.


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Great Expectations

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