Pip and Magwitch are the most mysterious and strange ‘quasi’ family in the novel. They are connected but without either knowing for the most part. It’s coincidental that the father of the woman loved by Pip is his benefactor, however a benefactor without knowing his own daughter. The two first meet in the Marshes. Magwitch, a convict demands a file and some ‘wittles’ (food) at the cost of the boy’s life. Here, Dicken’s brings the scene to life with his use of aggressive and threatening language. Pip brings Magwitch what he has asked and hope’s never to be associated with such a man again.
In Chapter 39 his fears are answered. A guest visits Pip, a snobbish almost gentleman Pip. Pip is shocked and horrified as Magwitch gradually discloses he is his benefactor, that Jagger’s is his agent. Magwitch has risked being hanged just to return to England (After serving time in Australia) to see his creation his gentleman. Pip finds him repulsive but shelters him and gives him Herbert’s bed. In discovering Magwitch is his benefactor, Pip is faced with his own vanity and gullibility. His life has been guided by fantasy. Dicken’s uses some cold language during this chapter to show Pip’s annoyance and grief that Magwitch unintentionally has caused.
“When I awoke without having parted in my sleep with the perception of my wretchedness, the clocks of the Eastward churches were striking five, the candles were wasted out, the fire was dead, and the wind and rain intensified the thick black darkness.” – Pip. Magwitch, on the contrary is happy about his (mirroring Mrs. Havisham and Estella) creation. “… , look’ee here, dear boy”, he said dropping his voice and laying a long finger on my breast in an impressive manner.” By Chapter 42 the relationship of the two has increased somewhat. Pip manages to get Magwitch to tell him and Herbert his life story, and about Compeyson. Although Magwitch reluctantly tells the two friends the story, telling Pip so much, indicates he may have begun to truly trust Pip.
By this chapter, Pip is maturing; he is only now becoming a real gentleman. Magwitch may have spotted this, and this could be the only reason why Magwitch told Pip so much. However, it is only by Chapter 46 that they become more open towards each other. In this chapter, Herbert and Pip decide to use a boat to get Magwitch out of the country. The use of language is friendlier between Pip and Magwitch. “Dear Boy” he answered, clasped my hands, “I don’t know when we may meet again, and I don’t like “Good-Bye”, say Good-Night!
“Good Night!” The use of exclamation marks is more frequent and the actual dialogue is friendlier. Chapter 54 is the ‘almost escaped’ chapter. Magwitch gets captured and the reader now sees there is genuine care for Magwitch from Pip, as he promises never to leave his side. During the journey, Magwitch is strangely passive. This may imply that he is going to miss Pip, and he trusts Pip. Pip’s failure to export Magwitch out of country makes him pity Magwitch. During Chapter 56, we notice their relationship at it’s strongest.
Magwitch is sentenced to death for his crimes, but dies naturally before. Pip is at his bedside. Pip’s and Magwitch’s language is solemn, as if with a lump in their throat. They have become good friends. Pip’s final words “You’re daughter is beautiful and I love her” is a sweet end to an otherwise bitter life, and more fulfilling than having created a gentleman. The language and emotions shared between them is one as if they’re father and son, which links with Magwitch said back in Chapter 39…
“Look’ee here, Pip. I’m your second father. You’re my son – more to me nor any son.” – Magwitch, pg.313 – Bottom. The devotion between Pip and Magwitch shows there is a genuine love between them. “O Lord, be merciful to him, a sinner!” Magwitch’s created gentleman has now really become a gentleman. The grouping of Pip and Magwitch is the only one that actually works as a whole. The grouping/quasi family features qualities that keep the grouping together and functional. The members of group rely and can trust each other, they pity each other and they love each other. As a whole none of the other quasi families feature these qualities and so, can be called dysfunctional.