Why has Magwitch returned in Chapter 40 of "Great Expectations", and how long does he intend to stay?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Magwitch has returned to England "to see (his) gentleman spend his money like a gentleman...that'll be (his) pleasure".  Magwitch has amassed a good deal of money working as a shepherd during his exile in the New World, and has saved his money to enable Pip, who long ago did him a kindness, to live in luxury.  Having kept his identity a secret until now, Magwitch has come to England to declare himself to Pip, and to enjoy watching Pip live the affluent life he has enabled him to attain.  Even though he faces grave consequences if he is caught, Magwitch considers the satisfaction of being with the gentleman he has created worth the risk.  When Pip, with great surprise and dismay, asks his benefactor how long he will be staying, Magwitch replies, "I'm not a-going back.  I've come for good" (Chapter 40).

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Great Expectations

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