This is a terrifying thing to happen to anyone never mind a young boy who is already orphaned. Although not found out until nearer the end of the novel, Magwitch appreciates the help given to him by Pip by rewarding him with a high flying life in London. When you get up to that point the obvious person that was the mysterious benefactor was Miss Havisham, who I will talk more about in the next section.
“Great Expectations” Chapter Eight In chapter eight the young Pip is still the narrator but his language is more pretentious and detailed to reflect the fact that it is no longer a frightened boy that is speaking to the reader. In chapter eight we are introduced to Miss Havisham. Miss Havisham is a woman who is quite old and not in the best of mental states. This is due to the fact her groom left her on the day of their wedding therefore Havisham has lived in her wedding dress ever since that day, the house is in the same way it was on the wedding day apart from any ageing that has occurred like the mould on her wedding cake. The name Havisham is a reference to the life she has lived. Her life is a sham. In away Miss Havisham and Magwitch’s lives are similar, Magwitch was locked up in jail behind bars and Havisham imprisoned herself in her home by putting bars on all the windows and also she has become prisoner of her own mind.
“Some of the windows had been walled up; of those that remained, all the lower were rustily barred. There was a courtyard in front, and that was barred;” Before meeting Miss Havisham, Pip came across Estella. Although at the time the two were not formerly introduced to each other. She only called Pip, “Boy”, she obviously doesn’t care for other peoples feelings and also is quite snobbish and thinks she is superior to everyone.
Before entering Miss Havisham’s room Pip found himself fearful. ‘This was very uncomfortable, and I was half afraid.’ He is fearful despite the fact that he has never met Miss Havisham prior to this. His fear of her is based on the surroundings. These are the bricked up windows, the windows with bars over them and things like this. If you walked down the street and saw a house like this the impression you get is not a good one and you wouldn’t think the people that lived there are the nicest in the world. Miss Havisham lives in darkness. ‘No
glimpse of daylight was to be seen…’ Miss Havisham is a strange woman. ‘…the strangest lady I have ever seen, or shall ever see.’ Charles Dickens uses Pip to give the reader a good description of the scene, ‘She was dressed in rich materials – satins, and lace, and silks – all of white. Her shoes were white. And she had a long white veil dependent from her hair, and she had bridal flowers in her hair, but her hair was white. Some bright jewels sparkled on her neck and on her hands, and some other jewels lay sparkling on the table.
Dresses, less splendid than the dress she wore, and half-packed trunks, were scattered about. She had not quite finished dressing, for she had but one shoe on – the other was on the table near her hand – her veil was but half arranged, her watch and chain were not put on, and some lace for her bosom lay with those trinkets, and with her handkerchief, and gloves, and some flowers, and a prayer-book, all confusedly heaped about the looking-glass. It was not in the first few moments that I saw all these things, though I saw more of them in the first moments than might be supposed.’ And this is what helps the reader create a good mental picture.
Pip describes to us the clothes she is wearing and the state they are in and this tells us that she has left things the same for a very long time. ‘But, I saw that everything within my view which ought to be white, had been white long ago, and had lost its lustre, and was faded and yellow.’ Miss Havisham has spent her life dwelling on one incident that happened when she was young. It was a bad thing to happen to someone, being left by the person they loved on their wedding day but it is not a reason to take out a vendetta against all men and manipulate Estella into hating all men as well as herself. Estella wasn’t the nicest to Pip but this is because Havisham has conditioned her to be like this. Havisham has told her that all men are evil. In this case it punishes Pip for the actions of one man.
Miss Havisham makes demands of Pip one of these being to call Estella in. ‘”Call Estella,” she repeated, flashing a look at me. “You can do that. Call Estella. At the door.” To stand in the dark in a mysterious passage of an unknown house, bawling Estella to a scornful young lady neither visible nor responsive, and feeling it a dreadful liberty so to roar out her name, was almost as bad as playing to order. But, she answered at last, and her light came along the dark passage like a star.’ The name Estella means star and she seems to be the light in Pip’s life. Even though she finds him common. ‘Let me see you play cards with this boy.”
“With this boy? Why, he is a common labouring-boy!’ Miss Havisham’s response to this is, ‘- “Well? You can break his heart.”‘ This seems to be Havisham’s overall plan, to have Estella brake men’s hearts. When Pip sat down to play cards with Estella, he notices how peculiar everything is. The fact that she places anything she moves back in the place from which it came and that the shoe that has been left out has never been worn. Most of chapter eight is just Pip noticing things like these. Chapter eight is also about starting the connection between Pip and Estella. It’s a love hate relationship for Pip. He thinks she is very pretty but also arrogant. At one point her snootiness made him upset and he started to cry. The cruel person that she is actually was satisfied that she was the one that made him cry. Despite her cruel treatment to Pip he is infatuated with her. The meeting with Miss Havisham and Estella ends with Estella locking the gate behind Pip and laughing at him for crying.
‘Great Expectations’ Language Charles Dickens uses descriptive writing throughout his novel. This is to give the reader an idea of the scenes so they can create a mental picture. This imagery makes things easier to understand, especially as ‘Great Expectations’ was originally written in serial form in the newspaper. So using imagery would make it easier for people to remember what had happened previously.
Using a young Pip as the narrator makes the reader sad for pip as there is a childish point of view on things but the language used would of have to been very common as Pip is a commoner and relatively uneducated. This is where I think there is a conflict; at times the descriptive language used surpasses Pip’s education and understanding of the words that are used. Personally I found the novel at times hard to take in because the sentences used were very descriptive but too long. This is what made it hard to read. However this is what makes his characters memorable. For example Scrooge was memorable and this is down to the writing style of Dickens. Despite at times finding it hard to understand ‘Great Expectations’ is a very good read which makes you think.