Illustration of Pip visiting a graveyard

Great Expectations

by Charles Dickens

Start Free Trial

How does Dickens portray the character of Magwitch in two or more chapters of Great Expectations?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

When Dickens first introduces Magwitch in Chapter 1, he is an escaped convict who uses fear and intimidation to frighten young Pip into doing what he want. Magwitch threatens to cut out Pip's heart and liver if Pip doesn't return with "wittles" (food) and something to cut off his leg irons. In Chapter 5, we see a little of the humanity of this convict when he takes the entire blame for taking the food from Joe and Mrs. Joe. However, all of this seems a forgotten incident until Chapter 39 when the Magwitch returns and we learn he is Pip's benefactor. After Magwitch explains his story, he becomes somewhat of a father figure to Pip, who by this time is willing to risk his own life to help Magwitch escape from the country.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial