• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Is Magwitch a criminal or a victim of society?

Extracts from this document...


Is Magwitch a criminal or a victim of society? In the 19th century the class divisions were very strict. This meant that different people were divided into different social classes. At the top of this ladder were the rich people who enjoyed comfortable lives and didn't have to work to live. These people didn't care too much for anyone than their own class. Of course, there were some people at the top of the ladder who weren't like this, like Jaggers the lawyer, who helped the poor people. When Pip first met Magwitch, Magwitch had just escaped from the hulks. Pip describes him as "Soaked in water and smothered in mud and cut by flints and stung by nettles and torn by briars ... He limped and shivered and glared and growled" Magwitch's first words to Pip were "Keep still, or I'll cut your throat!" This must have mad Pip very scared of him. ...read more.


This shows that Pip has changed a lot from when Magwitch first met him. It is quite ironic when Magwitch says to Pip "I've made a gentleman of you!" because, we know that Pip isn't much of a gentleman, but actually that he is ungrateful, inconsiderate and quite selfish. Pip thinks that he would rather be someone with no money rather than a person with a 'criminal's' money. Magwitch tells Pip that he had "...lived rough, that you should live smooth, I worked hard, that you be above work." This brings out a completely different character of Magwitch that we wouldn't have expected. It shows that he cares for Pip and that he was very grateful for what Pip did for him a few years ago. When Magwitch was younger, he stole turnips for a living. This shows that he is a criminal in that he stole, but also a victim of society, as he had to steal his food because he had no money. ...read more.


The lawyers on Compeyson's side were always reminding the jury that Magwitch was scruffy and untidy. At the end of the court case they were both tried for the same crime, but because that Compeyson had a good upbringing and he looked tidy etc, he was given half the sentence that Magwitch received. When Magwitch sums up his life he says "in jail and out of jail, in jail and out of jail." This clearly shows that he is a criminal, but in all cases he has committed a crime to survive. Magwitch did not have a proper upbringing or an education so he did not have many choices but to steal in order to survive. But, we must remember the good that he did, like live a hard life so that Pip could live an easy, comfortable one. He died in the prison hospital from fever, which was slightly expected, because of his unfortunate upbringing. He was a caring, sensitive man who was very grateful towards Pip for the favours that he did him in his younger years, but even then, Pip was not grateful. ?? ?? ?? ?? Ciara Murphy ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Great Expectations section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Great Expectations essays

  1. 'Is Magwitch a criminal or victim of society?'

    However there were some people who improved the quality of life for Londoners e.g. Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing improved the conditions in hospitals. Joseph Lister who improved surgical treatment and there were some great writers and poets who saw the problems which were going on.

  2. Is Magwitch a criminal or a victim of society? In the ...

    A simile is used to describe Jaggers' chair: "like a coffin". His office presents a theme of death and fear; it has probably been designed like this to scare his clients. This is the society in which Magwitch lives in.

  1. "Is Magwitch a Criminal or a Victim of Society

    He also proceeds in confirming his liking of Pip by apologising to Joe for stealing the pie. He does this in such a polite manner, saying that he is 'sorry to say, I [Magwitch] have eaten your pie', that we cannot help wondering if there is more to this man

  2. Great Expectations; Is Magwitch a criminal or a victim of society?

    Magwitch describes his life as "in jail and out of jail" and in his own words he tells us that he is a criminal, but that he is not ashamed. It is not surprising considering that he was abandoned from an early age and so he was "ill brought up"

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work