The Role Of Miss Havisham In Great Expectations

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The novel Great Expectations by Charles Dickens revolves around the life of a young boy in Victorian era of England named Pip. When Pip is a young boy, he meets the rich and secluded Miss Havisham. Miss Havisham introduces Pip to her young adoptive daughter, named Estella. She raises Estella to not love, for she is intent on saving Estella from heartbreak. While she does this, she also trains her to break the hearts of others, much as her heart was broken by a man in her youth. She eventually learns to regret her teachings, showing Miss Havisham as being a dynamic character. When the reader first meets Miss Havisham, she has the agenda of wreaking her revenge on men through Estella. In the beginning of the novel, Pip is invited to Miss Havisham’s …show more content…
When Estella and Pip visit Miss Havisham, Estella and Miss Havisham have a fight. “‘You stock and stone!’ exclaimed Miss Havisham.’You cold, cold heart!’”(238). This shows how Miss Havisham is beginning to regret her teachings, for the coldness that she once praised is now something that she resents. She clearly is upset by how Estella expresses no love towards her, despite it being part of the teachings that she raised Estella on. This contradicts her former actions, for she is no longer praising the coldness that Estella exhibits. Later on in the argument, Miss Havisham becomes increasingly more upset. Miss Havisham shouts at Estella, “But to be proud and hard to me!”(239). In this passage, Miss Havisham shows how even though she wanted Estella to be heartless, she also wanted to receive love from Estella. Miss Havisham’s intent focus on heartlessness and revenge is dying down and now she just wishes to be loved. She is beginning to see how well her teaching worked, for they do not have any exception even for her. Miss Havisham is devastated by this revelation, and regrets how she brought up Estella. Later on into the fight, the novel reads “‘Would it be weakness to return my love?’ exclaimed Miss Havisham. ‘Yes, yes she would call it so!’”(240). Miss Havisham is showing her desperation for love, a much different desire from when the reader first met Miss Havisham. She is resentful for Estella’s inability to love her, and is incredibly upset by the fact that Estella would see it as weakness to return her love. This is ironic, considering that this is the very teaching that she has installed into Estella since she was young. This shows how very much Miss Havisham has changed, for instead of shunning love, she now desires it

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