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'Is Magwitch a criminal or victim of society?'

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'Is Magwitch a criminal or victim of society?' Great Expectations by Charles Dickens is set in Kent and London in the Victorian Era during the Industrial Revolution. The main characters in Great Expectations are Pip and Magwitch. Pip is an orphan who lives with his sister and her husband. During the course of the novel, Pip gets a benefactor, who gives him money to become a gentleman. Pip meets Magwitch as a little boy on the marshes of Kent. Magwitch is an escaped convict who threatens Pip and asks Pip to steal for him. Later in the novel Pip finds out that Magwitch was the benefactor who made him a gentleman. In this coursework I will examine and analyse Magwitch's character to determine if Magwitch is a criminal or a victim of society Great Expectations is set in the 1800's, better known as the, 'Victorian Times,' which is named after Queen Victoria (1918-1901). This era was all about great change. It was the time of the; Industrial Revolution, French Revolution and American Revolution. In particular the Industrial Revolution had a great impact on the London society, as new machinery no longer required man power, which left in particular people such as farmers in the countryside unemployed. ...read more.


Although Magwitch is very hasty to Pip, the reader still can feel bad for him that he is hungry and wrapped up in dirty and old clothes. Magwitch is not completely a man of injustice, as he says to the blacksmith 'I'm sorry to say, I've eat your pie,' so that the blacksmith will not blame Pip for the disappearing of the pie. It shows the reader that Magwitch is not as bad as we first thought. Magwitch came from a poor family; his parents left him at a young age. There was no one else who could take care of him. Therefore Magwitch was entirely depended on himself. He had to steal things, such as turnips in order to survive as a child. Because of stealing he soon became familiar with 'the system,' by which we mean the law. He got several times arrested for vagrancy. However he could not help the fact that he was an orphan. Magwitch describes his past as; 'In jail out of jail, in jail and out of jail, in jail and out of jail,' by which he means he got familiar with the court and the court with him. ...read more.


My reasons for this are; at a young age he was left by his parents and his family didn't take care for him, so he was entirely depended on himself. Therefore Magwitch did not have any adult influence in his childhood or in his further live. Magwitch says ''I must put something into my stomach, musn't I?'' this tells the reader that that Magwitch had no choice but to steal, because without food he would starve to death. Later in his life he had jobs in order to take care of himself. However he met Compeyson, who had a criminal minded personality, and became criminal partners with him without knowing, because Compeyson used Magwitch to do the dirty jobs for him. When Magwitch meets Pip on the graveyard he is very rude and aggressive at first, but later when Pip turns into a gentleman, Magwitch turns out to be Pips provider. This tells that Magwitch has a good heart and overall was a good man who had an unfortunate upbringing and fell into the wrong company. He never had a positive influence in his life. Magwitch has not had the right people around him and because of his circumstances he turned into a convict, which leads to my conclusion that Magwitch is a victim of society. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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