Great Expectations By Charles Dickens Character Analysis Estella

Like Pip, Estella is an orphan and a victim. Both had surrogate mothers who thought they were doing the right things. Both are used by their surrogate parents — Estella by Miss Havisham and Pip by Magwitch — to extract revenge from society. Both share a somewhat passive approach to life that she alludes to when she says they are both unable to follow their own free path but must do the bidding of another. She is an honest character, not evil, and is what she was trained to be. She cannot love Pip or Miss Havisham because she was not taught love, and she says so quite honestly. There is no manipulation, only frankness. She also shows a sort of loyalty to Pip when she tells him she will toy with all men, but him. There is an acknowledgement that she knows Pip loves her, she cannot love him, and therefore she will not be with a man who will realize she has nothing to give him. Yet underneath this rigid unemotional surface is the passion and emotional fury of her parents, Molly and Magwitch. The one time she responds to Pip and lets him kiss her is when he displays rare aggression and forcefulness in beating the Pale Young Gentleman. There is, deep within her, something that responds to emotional fury. That is the part that is changed and softened by the abuse Drummle hands her in their marriage.

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Miss Havisham’s is obsessed with which event from the past?




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