The Role Of Miss Havisham In Great Expectations

Decent Essays
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

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    She continues on by saying that she loves, “yet [is] forced to seem to hate” and “dare not say [she] ever meant” (2, 3). These emotions revert back to the broken negotiations of marriage between her and the duke, and it expresses her love for the duke, whom which she is forced to hate and act as if she never had feelings for him. Queen Elizabeth I continues on by saying that she is often “stark mute but inwardly [does] prate” (4). The word “prate” is described as “chatter or irrelevant talk,” and that contradicts the queen being “stark” (“Prate”). “Stark” is described as “difficult and hard to touch,” which implies that externally, the queen seems to be very quiet and stern, however, on the inside, she reveals that she is constantly…

    • 1352 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Pearl forcing Hester to put the symbol back on brought unhappiness to Hester. It shows that no matter what Hester is feeling, the reminder of her sin, Pearl, is going to show up and force Hester to remember her shame, loneliness, and sadness. Even though Pearl is a child, she should have understood that past experiences asking her mother about the scarlet letter, and making likenesses of the scarlet letter, were only hurting her mother. Instead, she continuously makes an effort to remind her mother of what she has done. Since Pearl is Hester’s daughter, Pearl will…

    • 1017 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Women were meant to be proper and ladylike but also very protective of their reputation and class otherwise were disliked thus showing the insult Lydia is subjected to, in the eyes of Mr Collins, is justified. In addition, later in the letter sent from Mr Collins he says, “…to throw off your unworthy child from your affection for ever…”. The use of the adjective “unworthy” demonstrates the seriousness of the Lydia’s behaviour, Lydia isn’t deserving of her family’s love and resources. Also, the noun, “for ever” makes this disapproval final and long lasting. Initially, the extreme views presented by Mr Collins are seen as offensive by modern day readers but alternatively, Austen is perhaps identifying the flaws in society, with the extreme language she use to suggest that the mockery Lydia is subjected to isn’t necessary.…

    • 357 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    As the story continued, her resentment towards the gods became more and more obvious. After Psyche’s supposed “sacrifice”, it felt as if the story was making it seem that Orual detested the gods because they took away what she loved most. Towards the end of the story, Orual begins to understand what her actions of “love” did to her sister, fox, and others. She didn’t give love, which in her mind she thought she knew how to give love. It could be possible that she might have mistaken what love really was.…

    • 1567 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    They looked at her coldly, as if they were finding fault with her. And hurriedly she felt she must cover up some fault in herself. Yet what it was that she must cover up she never knew. Nevertheless, when her children were present, she always felt the centre of her heart go hard. This troubled her, and in her manner she was all the more gentle and anxious for her children, as if she loved them very much.…

    • 900 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    This display of solidarity between women is rare. However it does not last long; Phaedra’s nurse decides to tell Hippolytus about her love, claiming it will solve the problem. When Phaedra expresses uncertainty at this plan, the nurse dismisses her, saying, “You are afraid of everything” (519). She continues on to tell Hippolytus about the problem, and Phaedra laments that she is “destroyed forever” (565) and that the nurse has “ruined” her (597). She dismisses the nurse in…

    • 951 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    These people who warned her thought that he would take the money and run, which is ironic because they would most likely do the same thing. When he didn’t show up, she was broken. Her outlook and her understanding of love was skewered. Miss Havisham thought she could buy Estella’s happiness and love, in turn expecting her appreciation and love. Even if Miss Havisham thought she was truly loving her, this love was ungenuine and hurt Estella.…

    • 1795 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    With the regret piling up in her mind, Adelina learns that hiding from her mistakes only makes it worse, and that she needs to be honest, admitting to the faults that she made. The Young Elites was captivating in it’s own way, with the twists that surprise the readers once revealed. Still yet, there were some areas that I disliked. As the story progressed, Adelina continued to have dark thoughts that clouded over her positive moments. When Adelina actually manages to make one of her dark fantasies come to life, she regrets her actions, flipping her entire deep, dark rooted emotions around.…

    • 938 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The word “perfunctorily” in this context really shows how unacceptable the chaser’s action in Dillard’s eye. Dillard felt so disappointed by what had happened on that day, as it was not the same as what she expected to happen. She wanted more from the redheaded man by expecting him to continue the “game” by punishing them. On the other hand, in “Longing to Belong” by Saira Shah, she showed her feelings of disappointment by using the words “inhuman bark” when describing her aunt, as she wrote, “In a gruff, slack-jawed way that I found unappealing, she made a sharp, inhuman sound that sounded almost like a bark”. In this case, Shah associated her aunt with an animal.…

    • 1157 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Despite writing that her husband “loves [her] very dearly and hates to have [her] sick,” she states how she “get[s] positively angry with the impertinence of [the wallpaper] and the everlasting of it” (Gilman). She inadvertently reveals that while she wants to love her husband, she feels upset instead that he does not consider her opinion in the matter of her own health. As time passes, Gilman uses the wallpaper to illustrate her character’s gradual realization of her own entrapment. Her character describes how the outside pattern of the wallpaper “becomes bars” (Gilman). She later includes a woman who “is all the time trying to climb through” and how it “strangles” them (Gilman).…

    • 1247 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Decent Essays