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Great Expectations is an enthralling, complex tale - with a surprising twist. It is a rags to riches story for a young orphan boy, whose name is Pip.

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Introduction

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens Great Expectations is an enthralling, complex tale - with a surprising twist. It is a rags to riches story for a young orphan boy, whose name is Pip. In the beginning of the novel, Pip the protagonist, has a chance meeting with Magwitch an escaped convict, still in leg irons. Pip is threatened, and shortly returns with food and a file, which pleases Magwitch. Pip has no idea of the significance that this chance meeting will have on the rest of his life. Some time later, Pip meets the wealthy, eccentric Miss Havisham and her adopted daughter, Estella. Miss Havisham is a deeply troubled individual. On her wedding day her groom fails to turn up and the wedding is cancelled. This has lead to Miss Havisham's vendetta against all men, and she uses the beautiful Estella as the main tool in this quest. Despite Estella's spitefulness, Pip immediately falls in love with her. Pip learns that he has a mystery benefactor, which he assumes is Miss Havisham. With his new found wealth, Pip decides to go to London to pursue to life of a gentleman. Pip disowns and is embarrassed by his past. Many years later Magwitch appears on the scene and announces that he is the secret benefactor, which leaves Pip in a state of shock. ...read more.

Middle

There, there!'' This implies that she has nothing good to do with her life and is extremely bored. Miss Havisham also fells sorry for herself. When she touches her heart she says ''Broken!'' Dickens writes that she says it in a boasting tone of voice which again implies that she wants the listener to feel sorry for her. After reading chapter 8 nobody will feel any sympathy towards Miss Havisham. She treats Pip with disdain when he has done nothing wrong. Miss Havisham presents herself as a disturbing character because of her clothes, speech and general rude behaviour. Miss Havisham comes across as an arrogant person. This shows through her hatred of men, and the way in which she has moulded Estella into her way of thinking. As the story progresses we come to understand just why she is so obsessed with destroying men's lives. Dickens reveals that Miss Havishsam's mother died at an early age, which immediately set her on the wrong path in life. The first experience of a man betraying her came when her father secretly marries his cook. Miss Havisham is completely oblivious to this, it is only when his new wife dies that Miss Havisham is informed. Worse still that she also has a secret half brother. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is an example of her losing control over Estella. Furthermore Miss Havisham now interacts with others differently. For example, when she is talking with Estella, Dickens adds exclamation marks to emphasise the more desparate nature of her speech. This is in contrast to Chapter 8 where she is in complete control. Now it seems she is stressed, as she knows that she is losing Estella which is worrying her deeply. In Chapter 38, the reader may start to sympathise with Miss Havisham's plight, as she is losing the only thing that she lives for, Estella. Miss Havisham is now seen as being pathetic as Dickens says ''She hung upon Estella's beauty, hung upon her words, hung up on her gestures...'' This shows that she is obsessed by her and is afraid of her walking out of her already dismal life. Therefore the reader has sympathy for Miss Havisham very much in contrast to Chapter 8 Is Miss Havisham a victim of her own bitterness and anger? I do believe that Miss Havisham's response to her life problems is ridiculous and out of all proportion. One should remember that she had a wealthy and privileged up bringing. However the dreadful experiences she has had have been truly harrowing. Towards the end of the novel Dickens does wish the reader to sympathise with Miss Havisham. My belief is that Miss Havisham has led a misguided and wasted life. ...read more.

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