Great Expectations By Charles Dickens Character Analysis Miss Havisham

She is one of the most strange and grotesque characters in the story, the "wicked witch" of the fairy tale. In adopting Estella, she seeks to protect the girl from the hurts she herself has suffered. That intention, however, degrades into her training Estella to love no one and exact revenge from all men. Miss Havisham was proud, beautiful, passionate, and headstrong, things Compeyson used against her. Deeply hurt, reeling from the loss of control she felt by the betrayal, and determined to regain both control and self-image, Miss Havisham chooses her lifestyle. She wields her money as her weapon of power and trains her daughter to succeed where she has failed. But it backfires. Estella ends up not only unable to love men, but unable to love Miss Havisham. Miss Havisham's creation is her downfall, and Pip is her mirror. When she sees the depth of Pip's feelings for Estella, Miss Havisham sees herself with Compeyson and remembers what she once was. Her redemption is in seeing her sins and showing her remorse. She does the only thing she can do — takes responsibility for her actions. She asks Pip's forgiveness, helps Herbert Pocket, and leaves a fortune to Herbert's father.

Back to Top

Take the Quiz

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




Quiz