Great Expectations

Considering Pip's initial reactions to Magwitch in Chapter 39, why do you think Pip becomes increasingly concerned and fearful for Magwitch's safety? Explain how this increasing concern signals a change in Pip's personality.



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The chapter closing the second part of the novel closes as well Pip's great expectations. The irony is that the convict lived his life for Pip, worked his fingers to the bone to make Pip a gentleman. He did this based on the true act of kindness that Pip demonstrated when he gave the convict wittles to eat in the marshes. ("You acted noble, my boy. Noble Pip!") With all of his money and education, however, Pip has become much less of a noble "gentleman" than when he was a child. Even his guilt about how he treated Joe is based on the fact that the money which brought him great expectations is somehow less pure than money from Miss Havisham . Yet the convict has shown Pip more generosity and care than Miss Havisham ever did: "Look'ee here, Pip. I'm your second father." Dicken's finishes this part with the line, "This is the end of the second stage of Pip's expectations. It is here that Pip becomes a truly dynamic character.