Great Expectations

10. What is the role of the recurring appearances of convicts, criminals or prisoners in the novel? Do the references to this criminal “underground” relate somehow to Pip’s story?


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The recurring role of the convicts and other criminal elements bring up the point that from the beginning such people are relevant to Pip's future. Further, they show that the criminal element is always there, and certainly, they are tied to Pip's future when he tries to save Magwich. However, the learning that comes from associating with the criminals is part of Pip's development as a human being who is gathering the wisdom of life.