The Vengeful Miss Havisham - Great Expectations

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The Vengeful Miss Havisham - Great Expectations.

In Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, Miss Havisham is a complex

character whose past remains a mystery. We know about her broken

engagement, an event that changes her life forever. Miss Havisham

desperately wants revenge, and Estella, her adopted daughter, is the

perfect tool to carry out her motives. With her plan of revenge in

mind, Miss Havisham deliberately raises Estella to avoid emotional

attachment and treat those who love her with cruelty. A specific quote

in the book, where Miss Havisham tells Pip that he must love Estella

at all costs, sheds light on Miss Havisham's vengeful character. One

can draw parallels from the life of Miss Havisham to the life that she

wants to force on someone else for revenge. Miss Havisham was used,

she was wounded, and she will never be whole again.

Miss Havisham asks Pip how Estella uses him. Estella uses Pip as her

"mental punching bag," insulting him, laughing at him, and treating

him with disdain. In asking this question, Miss Havisham implies that

she was used herself, and indeed she was. Her fiancé, the genteel

criminal Compeyson, manipulated Miss Havisham and snatched away her

money and her heart. The devastation of this failed engagement forever

changes Miss Havisham's character: she becomes a suspicious and

vengeful individual. She trusted once, and was burned; she will

probably never trust again. Although Miss Havisham was used, the

failed engagement is also a result of her spoiled character and ways.

While courting Compeyson, Miss Havisham refuses to listen to her

cousin, Mr. Pocket. He warns her about Compeyson and his ways, but the

spoiled Miss Havisham, who is never forced to do anything, is not


... middle of paper ... day and year, he feels

increasingly dejected because Estella does not love him. Miss Havisham

is still the heartbroken woman that she was some sixty years ago- she

simply covers her sorrow with a mask of indifference and callousness.

After all of her years in Satis House, her wounds only worsen- she

still feels the pain of that one morning at twenty past nine.

One can get a glimpse into the life and character of Miss Havisham

through this text. Miss Havisham was used, wounded, and will never be

whole again; she instills her desire for revenge in Estella, and

Estella seems to be succeeding in playing with Pip's mind. To avenge

her failed marriage, she uses Estella to break Pip's heart. One can

draw parallels between Miss Havisham, Estella, Compeyson, Arthur, and

Pip in this text. Miss Havisham is responsible for her stoic, detached

creation: Estella.
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