Great Expectations

How does Abel Magwitch resemble Joe? Identify at least four characteristics they share.


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One of the most striking similarities between Abel Magwitch and Joe is the way Pip describes--and is repulsed by--their lack of table manners at mealtime.

In Chapter 40, Pip gives Magwitch food, and observes the way he eats:

He ate in a ravenous way that was very disagreeable, and all his actions were uncouth, noisy, and greedy. Some of his teeth had failed him since I saw him eat on the marshes, and as he turned food in his mouth, and turned his head sideways to bring his strongest fangs to bear upon it, he looked terribly like a hungry old dog.

This observation repulses Pip, who loses his appetite by watching Magwitch devour his food.

In a similar situation, Pip observes Joe eating in Chapter 27 and is embarrassed by Joe's lack of table manners--especially since Herbert is present.

He fell into such unaccountable fits of meditation, with his fork midway between his plate and his mouth; had his eyes attracted in such strange directions; was afflicted with such remarkable coughs; sat so far from the table and dropped so much more than he ate, and pretended that he hadn't dropped it;

Again, Pip's judgmental behavior, his feelings of superiority, and his new-found gentlemanly manners cause him to look down upon both Joe and Magwitch because they don't possess the proper manners which Pip has just recently learned.