What was Magwitch and Compeyson both sentenced to ?

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pearlepratt eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the Charles Dickens’ novel, “Great Expectations,” Magwitch is a convict who frightens the young boy, Pip, into providing him with food after he escapes the hulks (prison ship). Later, when Magwitch visits Pip in London in order to reveal the fact that he is Pip’s secret benefactor, he begins to relate the story which explains how he came to be imprisoned for crimes. According to Magwitch, he was born under desperate circumstances and his adult life demonstrated no improvement in the circumstances of his birth. Therefore, when Compeyson, a skilled and heartless villain draws him into an elaborate plot to defraud people of their money, Magwitch complies. Once they have been accused and scheduled to stand trial, Compeyson communicates to Magwitch that he wishes to have ‘Separate defences, no communication,’ Without the benefit of a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer and the misleading appearance of Compeyson, Magwitch is sentenced to fourteen years in prison, while Compeyson is only sentenced to seven years.


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Great Expectations

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