The settings in chapter thirty- nine are more or less the same. The first meeting between Pip and Magwitch was in a way, very scary. Their second meeting, where everything is disclosed about Pip’s real benefactor is again, scary. By that I mean the sense of mystery before the arrival of Magwitch. Firstly, the “wretched weather,” (chapter 39,pg 298, line 19) gives the impression of something unpleasant going to happen. I think Pip is the best person having this kind of thought because he is the one embarrassed with Magwitch’s presence, being careful to “close the shutters, so that no light might be seen from without, and then to close and make fast the doors,” (chapter 39, pg 307, line 18-19) whereas Magwitch is the one pleased to see Pip once again.
Secondly, footsteps on the stairs increase the suspense before Magwitch appears. Then, the passageway is dark and Pip can’t really see the old man downstairs and “he came slowly within its light,” (chapter 39, pg 299, line 32). Pip is still wondering who this person is. Finally, when at last the truth is disclosed about Pip’s real benefactor, the stormy, dark and wet weather reflect Pip’s feeling as mentioned “the abhorrence in which I held the man, the dread I had of him, the repugnance with which I shrank from him, could not have exceeded if he had been some terrible beast” (chapter 39, pg 304, line 24-26).
This gives us an idea how Pip really wants to get rid of Magwitch as soon as possible. He is astonished and does not really know how to take what is happening to him at ease and accept Magwitch not only as the one who struggled to make him attain the place he is now, but also as the one risking his life to come and see him again as Matwitch says “I was sent for life. It’s death to come back,” (chapter 39, pg 307, line 6).
I think that both the characters are presented in a different kind of way one form the other. For instance, if we have a look at how the convict is presented, we will find that he is very rude in the first chapter and he is brutal. He does not even have a proper way to talk to Pip as he goes “you young dog” (chapter 1, pg 2, line 26). Alternatively, in chapter thirty-nine, we notice that the same man, grown old, has a much more softer way to speak. He takes his time and he behaves like a socialised man. He does not shake Pip like an animal in their second visit. Continuously, in their second meeting, the convict shows clearly how much he is fond of Pip as “again he took both my hands and put them to his lips,” (chapter 39,pg 305, line 16). He thinks that he is the perfect gentleman and that he did the right thing to send him money.
Whereas in the first chapter, he was rather uncaring and unfriendly towards Pip. I think that he’s grown fond of Pip because the latter has helped him at the time that he most needed it and at a young age as well. Pip was still very full of innocence and he didn’t really know what was happening. At that time he was only obeying to the person he was most afraid of. I think that is why Magwitch takes the blame of stealing food from Pip’s house on him. Maybe he notices how dreadful Pip is on seeing him and maybe he was impressed that a little boy of Pip’s age visits his parents’ graveyards alone.
As stated before, the fact that Pip gave him something to eat in the first chapter, the convict is very grateful towards him and furthermore, he acts as if he is indebted to Pip. I can deduce from the way he was kissing Pip’s hand that what Pip has once done for him in his innocence and fear, means the world to Magwitch. He thinks that the person he’s made out of Pip is nothing compared to what Pip has done to him. As far as Pip is concerned, he feels embarrassed by the presence of the convict. He keeps thinking that it is good that his roommate is not in to see such a scene. He looks through the window to see if someone is walking around. He doesn’t even want to sleep in the same room as Magwitch and he wants him to go far away very soon as he tells Magwitch “my friend and companion,’ said I, rising from the sofa, ‘is absent; you must have his room,” (chapter 39, pg 306, line 37-38).
It seems to me that Magwitch is like a burden to Pip. I think that Pip is imagining that how can such a good and refined person like him be talking to a prisoner whom he has once helped and has been so scared of. Likewise, Pip has grown older and much more wiser than in the first chapter. On top of that, he’s developed an arrogant attitude towards others less successful than him and to persons who love him as well, like Joe and Magwitch. What is more surprising is at the moment that he knows that the culprit was providing him with money; he does not want to accept that fact at all. He always thinks that Miss Havisham was his benefactor because like that, he could have a chance to marry Estella in the future. He does not imagine his benefactor to be a prison evader.
It is amazing how people forget who they are once they get money. They don’t even realise that all these material things are provided only for a while and that their loved ones are more important than all things else. I think that the message Charles Dickens wants to pass is how people react when they come to know the truth. The writer wants us to have views on how dirty peoples’ minds are and how bad they could be although they may seem good. The writer wants to inform people that no matter how bad a person can be on the outside, you never know how good he can really be on the inside.
Dickens uses Magwitch and his daughter, Estella, to display how artificial social class is. Also, the writer shows, in the character of Magwitch, how many good people are falsely accused as being criminals, whereas swindlers like Compeyson, who has trapped Magwitch and made him a so-called criminal, can get away with it. In addition to this, the writer wants to point out how the legal system enables the rich to oppress the poor. As far as Pip and Magwitch are concerned, I think the writer is showing us as readers, how people do a lot of good things in the world without expecting something in return. There are some people yet, that want good for us to express their gratefulness, like Magwitch. The lesson that the latter also teaches us is how with time, people grow wiser and realise their past mistakes.
Finally, all through the story, we have seen how an orphan for whom we have so much chagrin, turns out to be a self- centered and materialistic young adult. He even goes that far as to reject Joe, who loves him more than his life. Needless to mention the man, Magwitch, who struggled to make him the person he now is and so proud of being. In addition to this, he realises not too late at the end fortunately, that no matter how much fortune one may have, it does not serve much in life, like it cannot buy love and trust. I think that the message in this story is that money does not make a person. We are much more happy poorer, than richer, taking Joe and Pip for good example. Even if Joe is poor, he is finally married to Biddy, the person he loves. Whereas Pip has got all the comfort life has to offer, but he is alone to enjoy it. He has neither a family, nor a lover by his side.