Great Expectations- Character Analysis

10321 words 42 pages
Estella Havisham:
Most readers are appalled at the cold-hearted and cruel ways of Estella, but any criticism directed at her is largely undeserved. She was simply raised in a controlled environment where she was, in essence, brainwashed by Miss Havisham. Nonetheless, her demeanor might lead one to suspect that she was a girl with a heart of ice. Estella is scornful from the moment she is introduced, when she remarks on Pip's coarse hands and thick boots. However, her beauty soon captivates Pip and she is instilled as the focal point of his thoughts for much of the remainder of the novel. The fact that Pip becomes infatuated with her is also not Estella's fault. By no means is there any evidence that she loved him. She does not flirt with
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Thus, the positive values which Joe had shown Pip as a child are reinforced. After the ruination of Pip's expectations, the only good he experiences comes directly from the only good he did for others while his expectations where intact. From the beginning to the end of the novel, Pip loses and then rediscovers the importance of human relationships and virtue over wealth and position.

Miss Havisham:
Miss Havisham was once a beautiful and desirable woman; however, by the time she is first encountered in the novel, she is far from being such. She was the victim of a clever scheme to cheat her out of wealth in which Compeyson, Magwitch's mortal enemy, was involved. After being cheated, she is hurt deeply by being betrayed by a loved one, and pushed into insanity. She devotes her life to wreaking vengeance upon men for the way she was wronged. Estella becomes the vehicle of Miss Havisham's revenge, and Miss Havisham attempts to mold her into a being of pure malevolence. Only in the end of the novel, after the death of Miss Havisham, does Estella's heart change from the block of ice it had become. Pip becomes the victim of Miss Havisham's machination. She fosters his notion that she is his benefactor, and attempts to expand the relationship between Pip and Estella so that Pip will be more deeply hurt when Estella rejects him. Never at one moment does she stop to consider Pip or his feelings. Her warping of Estella was quite


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