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"Miss Havisham is a memorable and frightening character. Do you think this is what Dickens intended, and how does he make us feel this?"

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Introduction

"Miss Havisham is a memorable and frightening character. Do you think this is what Dickens intended, and how does he make us feel this?" Charles Dickens was born on Friday, February 7, 1812 at No. 1 Mile End Terrace, Landport, Portsmouth. His father, John Dickens, was a clerk in the Navy Pay Office. In 1814 John was transferred to Somerset House in London. In 1817 John moved his family to Chatham and worked in the naval dockyard. It was here, at Chatham in the Medway Valley, that Charles experienced his happiest childhood memories. Mary Weller was an early influence on Charles. She was employed to take care of the Dickens children and terrified Charles with her bedtime stories. John was transferred back to the London office and moved his family to Camden Town in 1822. From 1824-27 Dickens studied at Wellington House Academy, London, and at Mr Dawson's school in 1827. John Dickens, continually living beyond his means, was imprisoned for debt at the Marshalsea debtor's prison in Southwark in 1824. However they did have some money put aside to send one child to university or an academy. They wanted the money to be put to best use and considered the talents and qualifications of all their children. Charles was not chosen but instead his sister Fanny for her special musical talents. Soon after 12 year old Charles was removed from school and sent to work at a boot-blacking factory earning six shillings a week to help support the family. ...read more.

Middle

He practiced on her affection in that systematic way, that he got great sums of money from her, and induced her to buy her brother out of the brewery at an immense price, on the plea that when he was her husband he must hold and manage it all. Miss Havisham besoted by love was too haughty to be advised. Added to the fact her relations were poor and scheming with the exception of my father he was not time serving nor jealous. He warned that she was doing too much for this man, and was placing herself too unreservedly in his power. Although she disputed this and took the first opportunity ordering him out of the house. The marriage day was fixed, the wedding dresses were bought. The day came, but not the bridegroom. He wrote her a letter which she received at twenty minutes to nine while she was dressing for her marriage. After recovering from a bad illness she laid the whole place to waste and she has never since looked upon the light of day. It had been supposed that the man whom she gave her misplaced confidence, acted throughout in concert with her half brother; that it was a conspiracy between them; and they shared the profits. So you might ask yourself why didn't he marry her? Well maybe he was already married or the cruel mortification may have been part of her half brothers scheme. ...read more.

Conclusion

This was all said while Pip was standing there and illustrates their low regard for his feelings. They use the word 'boy' to make him feel inferior and degrade him. Estella describes as common and labouring making him out to be a lower class. 'You can break his heart' said Miss Havisham as if Pip was an object there to be practiced on. We know Miss Havisham's heart was broken but she is know training Estella to become a ball breaker. Then Estella asked with great disdain what game Pip played. Pip answered 'Nothing but beggar my neighbour, Miss'. 'Beggar him' said Miss Havisham to Estella. Pips response to Estella shows that he is felling ashamed after being put down. Using negative phrase 'Nothing but' but remembering to use his manners at the end of the reply. It was not until won a game and Pip misdealt that Miss Havisham said anything. It was after Estella denounced him that she said 'She says many hard things of you, but you say nothing of her. What do you think of her'. This was the first time I can remember Miss Havisham initiating conversation or showing concern for Pip's feelings. But maybe this was a false impression, alls she wanted to know was to find out what Pip thought of Estella and how she was doing her job. At first, Pip stammered and declined to answer, but then he whispered 'I think she is very proud'. 'I think she is very pretty'. 'Anything else' asked Miss Havisham. 'I think she is very insulting'. 'Anything else?' 'I think I should like to go home. ...read more.

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