Other than reader conjectures, there are some indications in the narrative of Great Expectations that point to possible reasons for Magwitch's insisting that Pip retain his childhood name:
- If Pip changes his name, it will be difficult for Magwitch to find him if he gets out of prison or escapes and wishes to see Pip. When Magwitch does appear on the stairs of Pip's apartment at Barnyard's Inn, obviously he has somehow obtained knowledge of Pip's whereabouts from someone. If Pip goes by another name, Magwitch can have no way of knowing what this name is.
- By Pip's retaining his name, news of him would be discussed at the Boar's Inn where prisoners are placed on the coach. For instance, in one chapter, as Pip rides to Miss Havisham's, he overhears two prisoners talking about Magwitch's having given one some money to give the boy. This convict is the one who held the file and stirred it one night when little Pip was with Joe at the Boar's Inn. So, Magwitch can learn from the...
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