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Magwitch in Great Expectations: Character Analysis & Overview

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  • 0:05 Who Is Magwitch?
  • 0:47 Character Analysis
  • 2:12 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shamekia Thomas

Shamekia has taught English at the secondary level and has her doctoral degree in clinical psychology.

Magwitch is a criminal who plays a crucial role in the life of Pip, the main character in the novel 'Great Expectations' by Charles Dickens. Learn more about the character Magwitch and test your knowledge with a quiz.

Who Is Magwitch?

Having the respect of others and feeling a sense of accomplishment are two of the most important achievements we can strive for in life. At some point in our lives we all want to be respected and loved by others for our good qualities rather than our bad choices.

In Charles Dickens' novel Great Expectations, set in England, Magwitch, one of the characters in the story, has a difficult upbringing and makes a number of bad choices. After he realizes the error of his ways, Magwitch spends the rest of his life trying to make up for his actions and earn society's approval. Because he could not change much about his own life, he decided to help change the life of a young boy who expressed kindness to him in his time of need.

Character Analysis

Magwitch is an important character in the novel Great Expectations by Charles Dickens because he plays a critical role in the development and life of Pip, the main character in the story. Like Pip, Magwitch is an orphan. Magwitch never felt accepted or loved by society because he committed a number of petty crimes such as stealing food as a means of survival. Not only did Magwitch steal food to eat, he also raised himself and taught himself how to read and write so that he would not always have to lead such a difficult life.

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