Abel Magwitch Character Analysis

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Imagine you are a young boy, mourning the death of your family in the graveyard where they are buried. Suddenly, a man, only to be described as an escaped convict, hoists you into the air by your ankles and threatens to kill you if you do not bring him food. Is this man good or bad. Now imagine, some 15 years later, that you are sitting by the bed of a man dying of sickness. This man has brought you fortune and status the likes of which you have never seen, as well as loving and trusting in you as if you were his own son. Is this man good or bad. Now what if you were aware that these men were the same man, how would you feel now. In the novel Great Expectations by Charles Dickens the lines between good and evil are often blurred, Abel Magwitch,…show more content…
In the first part of Great Expectations, Abel is first introduced as an escaped convict that finds the main character Pip mourning the death of his family in the graveyard. Being the starving escaped criminal that he is, Magwitch hoists Pip into the air and demands that Pip bring him some food and a file,” Or [Abel] will have [Pip’s] heart and liver out”(pg.4). Our first impression of Abel is that he is a violent criminal looking only to keep alive and away from prison by any means necessary. On his way back to the convict with the food and file, Pip runs into another convict who is beaten and bruised, as soon as he realizes that he is not the first convict, he runs away. Pip gives the food to Magwitch, who, to our surprise, is very grateful of Pip. This is the first instance of Magwitch’s good nature, he could have just taken the items…show more content…
In the beginning of the section we learn about Abel Magwitch’s Past, his childhood of thievery just to get by, then younger years in and out of prison working odd jobs here and there, and how he made the fortune that supplies Pip’s Expectations. We also learn about Compeyson, the other convict in the marshes, and the crimes and the trial that were brought on by him. This chapter serves to explain how Magwitch came to be in the position that he is in, and that he was the best man that he could be to get there. A bit later we learn about Magwitch’s wife and daughter, and how his wife was to kill their daughter over the jealousy she harboured. She then disappeared, leaving Magwitch. Despite this, Magwitch distanced himself from the case of the child being ‘destroyed’,”he [seemed] to have felt pity for her, and forbearance towards her.”(pg.410) Abel feels bad for what his wife claimed she would do out of jealousy, so he decided he would not play a part in her possible conviction for said crimes. In end of the book, after a daring attempt at escaping from london and Compeyson is captured again and is to be put to death, however because of the sickness that he contracts during the events he ends up dying before, with Pip by his bedside. He says “Thank’ee dear boy, thank’ee. God bless you! You’ve never

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