Great Expectations – The Guardian’s Influence

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(627 words)

In this essay, I will show how Miss Havisham’s influence is used in her adopted daughter’s life. Since Miss Havisham was betrayed on her wedding day, she has felt contempt for men. By adopting a young girl called Estella, she has tried to install uneasy confidence in Estella about men and how to take revenge on them. Similarly, Estella grows up to be cold and cruel. However, Estella shows indifference to Miss Havisham’s destroying ways now that she is older.

Miss Havisham influences Pip, the protagonist, and narrator of Great Expectations, with a note inviting him to visit her house. Pip sets off to Miss Havisham’s house. It seems Miss Havisham’s scheming is to encourage Estella to entrap Pip and duly urge Pip to love her. Pip enters Miss Havisham’s house to dark passages where only candles light the way. Estella leads him by candlelight to the room in which Miss Havisham sits. Pip finally sees Miss Havisham in an armchair, with an elbow resting on the table and her head leaning on her hand. He comments that she is the ‘strangest lady I have ever seen’. This is where the reader gets the image of a reclusive lady living in the past. There has been no change to the decaying house thus being referred to as dark. Miss Havisham’s weathered bridal dress is still on show from the day she was jilted at the altar. The deterioration which has been there for Estella to see and live amongst characterises Miss Havisham’s relationship not only with Estella but also with humanity, especially men.

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