Criminality, closely linked to society and class, holds a constant presence in this story. Rules are broken in order to overcome a society that is inherently unjust and flawed, bringing into question the value system and moral codes that govern this society. While the protagonist of Great Expectations longs to be accepted by society, he is ultimately linked to a criminal, and thus comes to understand the dysfunction of his dream.
Pip’s first encounter with Magwitch prevents his ultimate happiness.
The law depends upon appearances in Great Expectations.