Miss Havisham Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 8 January 2017

Miss Havisham

Miss Havisham is first introduced to the reader when Mr Pumblechook (Pips Uncle) announces that Miss Havisham Requests Pips presence to play at her house.

Miss Havisham fits into the main plot because she trains Estella to “ break their hearts.” When Pip sees Estella for the fist time, he instantly falls in love with her. Miss Havisham sees this and she encourages Pip to do so. Miss Havisham was also, in Pips eyes, the cause of his ‘Great expectations’ Miss Havisham may also have been placed in the novel by Dickens, To explore how the effects of bad experiences on people. In this case it would be Miss Havisham being jilted on her wedding day

In the first description of Satis house you get the image of a dilapidated house that has been abandoned even though there is someone there still living there. When pip goes to miss Havishams house she asks him to touch her heart. This according to her is ‘Broken.’ When Miss Havisham says ‘I sometimes have sick fancies’ this shows that Miss Havisham is mentally disturbed in the head. Satis house is an old decaying house, which was turned this way by Miss Havishams neglect.

When Pip returns to miss Havishams she takes him into her wedding breakfast room. There is a rotting cake in the middle of the table. This sums up Miss Havishams life perfectly. Forgotten and Mouldy. Another thing that is made out to be strange is that all the clocks have been stopped at twenty to nine. This makes it sound like her life has been frozen in time, as she also wore one shoe, half her veil was arranged and she still wore a decaying wedding dress. This makes the readers believe that she has frozen time at that exact point.

Miss Havisham plays an important part in the Novel as she leads pip into believing that she was his benefactor because he believed that she was rearing him for Estella when in fact it was the convict (Magwitch). Miss Havishams character at the beginning of the novel is made out to be cruel and heartless, however later on in the novel she turns over a new leaf and begs for Pip’s forgiveness just before she is burnt to death.

Charles Dickens explores the theme of sin and forgiveness in the novel. Throughout the novel some of the people who have sinned tried to redeem themselves the other people who have sinned haven’t. In addition, Dickens explores the theme of what is a gentle man. Compyson Who jilted Miss Havisham and manipulated Magwitch into doing his dirty work was considered a gentle man whereas Joe Gargery took in pip even though he was not related to him in any way took Pip in and gave him an apprenticeship at the forge was not considered a gentle man because he had to work for a living.

Dickens explores many themes in the Novel. The main one being the effects on people after a bad experience. In this case this is through Miss Havisham. Miss Havisham dearly loved Compeyson and she cast away most of her family who forewarned her that he was trouble, But she ignored them all and when she got jilted by him on her wedding day she realised that her family were right. After this Miss Havisham adopted Estella so she could raise her up to be invulnerable to the effects of society were in actual fact she was more vulnerable when she grew up. Miss Havisham also raised her up to ‘break the hearts’ of men. This in a way is revenge for what Compeyson put Miss Havisham Through.

Another theme in the novel is sin and forgiveness. In Victorian society many people went to church so many people believed in Heaven and Hell. Throughout the novel many people sin. Magwitch, Compeyson, Miss Havisham Orlick and many more. Some of these people try to redeem themselves like Magwitch who became a secret benefactor to Pip.

‘I sleep rough so you can sleep smooth’ also Miss Havisham realises that that she has destroyed two people’s lives. She tries to redeem herself by grovelling to Pip. ‘Oh what have I done’ she also explains what she did to Estella ‘I stole her heart and put ice in its place.’ This shows that Miss Havisham realised how she has raised her to be cruel, emotionless, and how she destroyed Estella’s life. Other people, who sinned, like Compeyson, were killed in a most horrific way. Drowning in a river while having a fight with Magwitch killed Compeyson.

Over all Miss Havisham started in the novel to be a cruel, perverted character however towards the end of the novel she redeems herself by begging for Pips forgiveness.

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  • University/College: University of Chicago

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 8 January 2017

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