Adopted by Miss Havisham as a baby, Estella rises to a high social standing. Raised to be protected from Miss Havisham’s mistakes in love, she is trained to repress notions of romantic love. By “[stealing] her heart away and [putting] ice in its place,” Miss Havisham thus prevents Estella from gaining the ability to achieve true happiness in life. The true meaning and feeling of love is unknown to Estella. Condescension and insensibility to others is sowed into her being early on, and she only can become more incapable of loving as she matures. When Pip is hired to become her playmate, she revels in the opportunity to exercise her prowess. Encouraged by Miss Havisham, Estella hones her ability to break hearts with Pip, but he is only the first of the many destined to befall that fate.
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...rough experience and suffering that social standing is not indicative of a person’s character and goodness. The common-born Pip’s love is far deeper and more meaningful than the highborn Drummle’s desire, no more than skin-deep, for a possession to boast about. Life is full of people that express genuine feelings and ignoble actors that utilize sweet, but fake, talk. Choosing the one that seeks to live as much for their partner’s bliss as well as their own can mean the difference between a shattered or complete existence. Judgment should be based on quality of character and purity of intentions. The ugly duckling just might turn out to be a swan. Estella’s dealings with the higher classes have left her with all but scars and painful remembrances. The higher rungs of the social ladder do not work well with lower ones, and Estella was born in the lowest caste of all.
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