• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

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

Extracts from this document...


"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.


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.


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Great Expectations section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Great Expectations essays


    his new life with Herbert and a new job, his values now are genuine and honest. When Pip comes back to the forge eleven years on he finds that Joe and Biddy have had a son who is called Pip after him, underlining that Pip has turned onto a well respected gentleman in the moral sense.

  2. "Show how Dickens uses symbolism to create the perverse character of Miss Havisham"

    also she is still wearing the wedding Dress, from the day she got left by the man she loved at the altar, which is the reminds her the most of the what happened on the day she was going to get married, that also creates more pain for her, an

  1. Who Or What Do You Think Has The Most Influence on Pip's Development And ...

    elucidated, she tells him that she thinks he is making a mistake. Pip, surprised and upset by this, suggests it is because she is jealous of him. "Now Biddy, I am very sorry to see this in you. You are envious, Biddy, and grudging.

  2. Pip wants to grow up to be a gentleman. Do you think he succeeds?

    Secondly he looks out the window and it falls and almost guillotines him, again this is a sign that Pip will 'lose his head' in London and become even worse. The area of London we see and Pip lives in is called 'Little Britain'.

  1. Examine How Charles Dickens Portrays the Differences in Social Class of Mrs. Joe Gargery ...

    These taunts really affected Mrs. Gargery, and Dickens exposed a weaker and more vulnerable side of her character. At this point, Mrs. Gargery shrieks whilst saying "What did he call me, with my husband standing by? Oh! Oh! Oh!" In a frenzied attempt to let out her frustration, due to her husband not sticking up for her, Mrs.

  2. How does Dickens make us feel for Pip?

    Dickens chooses to make Havisham's lavish in order to gain sympathy for Pip. Dickens does this effectively by continuing to describe Havisham's house. Being poor, pip would never be able to afford lavish things such as gold; let alone silver.

  1. How does Charles Dickens shape the readers first impression of Miss Havisham?

    a gilded looking glass, and that I made out at first sight to be a fine lady's dressing table." And "no glimpse of daylight was to be seen in it". The social classes are also a contrast, with Pip being a young working class boy and Miss Havisham an old middle class woman.

  2. Vanity and Virginity: Mrs. Wickham versus Miss Havisham

    In a way, Victorian women were expected to act like female birds: look pretty, attract a mate, reproduce, stay at home and look after the offspring. They were not expected to be great thinkers or to have a career. A woman's way of making money was to marry a man with it.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work