Miss Havisham lives alone in a huge house and is lingering in the past. She is broken hearted which creates sympathy because of the way she lives her life. She has not moved on, or changed, she has kept everything the same, even though her lover will never return to her. Dickens does not make her history really obvious he uses the scene to describe how everything has remained the same. The fact he describes her wedding dress which she always wears, leads us to the conclusion that something happened on her wedding day.
“She sat, corpse-like…” Another way we feel sympathy for Miss Havisham is that she is so depressed and set in her ways that we pity her. Also, she is described in a morbid way, a though she isn’t real, like she has no emotions. However we lose sympathy for Miss Havisham because of the way she responds towards Pip. “Miss Havisham’s face could not smile.” She wouldn’t smile at Pip or show any gratitude towards him. She just kept a straight face always and never showed him emotions or any reason for Pip to like her. As well as this we can tell she has had a hard life and had a lot to cope with by her description.
“looked as if nothing could ever lift up again” By the description we can suggest that she has looked this way for a very long time, We also get a picture of a droopy looking woman, without a hint of happiness and like she doesn’t know how to have fun. Having looked closely at how Dickens creates sympathy for his three key characters it has become clear that he creates sympathy for his characters by placing them in unfriendly or unpleasant places. Another technique Dickens has used to create sympathy is through the interaction between characters.
When Pip is put in threatening or intimidating situations it had an adverse effect for some characters. An example of this is when Magwitch is threatening Pop in extract one. For this reason I feel that most sympathy for Pip because nothing happens to eliminate the sympathy created for him. Throughout both extracts Pop is a victim or feels nervous, upset, intimidated or scared. Whereas Miss Havisham is described with words connecting sympathy to death. This is the only other method Dickens uses which works effectively and really helps create a picture of poor heart broken Miss Havisham.
“…no brightness left but the brightness of her sunken eyes” is one example of this method. It creates pity for her from the reader. Dickens is very successful at building sympathy for each character, especially for Pip who seems to be in unpleasant places a lot of the time. However, it is easy to create sympathy for a child yet for Magwitch it’s harder. The reader has to think about the state Magwitch is in before feeling sympathy for him because he threatens a young boy.
Miss Havisham is weird now, emotionless and lifeless which helps create sympathy for her. But our knowledge of her intended manipulation of Estella and Pip brings out her bad qualities. Her bitterness and want for revenge against all men, these are not attractive characteristics which are unlikely to make anyone feel any sympathy for her. So Dickens used his methods of creating sympathy effectively and they worked effectively.