Ms Havisham

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  • Ms Havisham
    • She raises Estella as a weapon to achieve her revenge on men. She is an example of single minded vengeance pursued destructively
      • Ironically, at the same time she gloats over pip's futile passion for Estella, she becomes fond of the boy and pays for his apprenticeship
    • She's an image, illusion, a manifestation for the ravages of time upon the body
    • At the end of the novel, she realises her actions and begs Pip for forgiveness, reinforcing the novel's bildungsroman genre and the theme of redemption
    • Her self imposed isolation and consequent alienation from human kind, humanity and human feeling is responsible for her mental distress as it is her original trauma
    • Seen as an eccentric, unbelievable character. She is the driving force behind Dickens's novel as she is someone who reader will never forget (chap 8)
    • Pip thinks that she is his benefactor, like a fairy godmother and is his catalyst for great expectations
    • In Dickens's artistic maturity to get rid of a false sentimental note, he causes flames to consume her. This connotes to suicide and divine justice
    • Food is significant: For instance- the decaying wedding cake is a symbol of Ms Havisham's own emotional, moral and physical decay
      • Motif of "devouring" is representative of the pain she is devouring
        • She claims to be devoured from the outside- metaphorically speaking- her relatives- like parasites just want to take from her


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