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Essay- Explore the characterisation, role and function of Estella and Miss Havisham in 'Great Expectations' by Charles Dickens

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Essay- Explore the characterisation, role and function of Estella and Miss Havisham in 'Great Expectations' by Charles Dickens In this essay I have chosen to write about the characters of Miss Havisham and Estella from Charles Dickens' novel 'Great Expectations'. Charles Dickens created many jobs and purposes in the novel to help the plot progress; I am going to discuss the roles and functions of Estella and Miss Havisham and how they affect the plot and themes that run throughout. Miss Havisham was a wealthy, old, eccentric woman who was jilted at the alter and consequently mentally abnormal. She lived in an elaborate manor called Satis House. She can be portrayed as maniacal and insane because of her abnormality for stopping all her clocks at twenty-to nine and never leaving her disgusting wedding dress; she died wearing it. Estella was the adopted daughter of Miss Havisham, seeming just as bitter and just as revengeful. I intend to explore Dickens' characterisation of these two women and how he portrayed them in an interesting way. Miss Havisham's mother died when she was a baby, and her father therefore spoiled her. When he died, he left her a lot of his money. When she got older, she fell in love with a man who was only with her to steal her money. ...read more.


Miss Havisham is a very conflicting character and especially at the time of when she was created by Dickens. Varying from a lot of unmarried women in that era, she was a very powerful woman due to the large fortune she had inherited, and she used this power to make other people do things for her, but she still allowed the jilting situation to ruin her life, so the man who conned her still had power over her. Her character and setting created the gothic part to the story and 'added atmosphere' to the plot. Estella is a very significant character in the story. Estella is introduced as an orphan like Pip, but unlike Pip, Estella was raised to become a lady, and not a blacksmith. Class plays a very important part in the novel, and we are aware that Estella was in the upper class and Pip was in the working class and Dickens' puts a lot of emphasis on their class difference. Pip first meets Estella when he visits Satis House for the first time. Estella was very beautiful and captivating and Pip instantly became fascinated by her. Pip's meeting with Estella marks a crucial moment in his life, as Estella's beauty and great expectations are very much unlike Pip's mild life prospects. ...read more.


Estella concludes this metaphor by reminding Miss Havisham, that it was her who made her how she is, and that Miss Havisham is wholly responsible for her creation. Estella says that both Miss Havisham's "success" (Estella's cold heart and cruelty) and her "failure" (Estella's lack of ability to express her emotions and inability to love) make her how she is. This quotation is important to the character of Estella's development, because it shows her gradual self-knowledge, which eventually will allow her to accept the past. I think one of Estella's roles in the novel is to spark off the change in Pip; when he starts to wonder what he wants in life. She begins to say to him how his ways are wrong; this triggers something in Pip which makes the plot progress. Pip rejects Joe and his former life and eventually reverts back at the end. In conclusion I think Miss Havisham and Estella have very important roles and functions in this novel. They both are essential to common themes throughout the story: suffering (mostly from Miss Havisham), obsession (Pip with Estella), prejudice (Estella resents Pip for not being refined), envy (Pip envies Estella's wealth). So for many reasons Estella and Miss Havisham prove crucial to the plot. ?? ?? ?? ?? Jake Crockford 10fg ...read more.

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