Character Of Miss Havisham

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Miss Havisham is one of the most widely-discussed and debated characters in Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations. She is a very strange woman. She never leaves her house, she always wears her wedding dress, and she has all of her clocks stopped at 8:40. Throughout the novel, we learn a little bit about Miss Havisham’s life, notably from Herbert Pocket, and we see her relationships with Pip and Estella grow. Many critics might dismiss Miss Havisham as a vastly unrealistic character, but upon further analysis, one finds that Miss Havisham is simply the result of Dickens’s vast knowledge of the human mind.
Miss Havisham embodies very important themes throughout the novel, and the most obvious theme that she introduces to the novel is the notion of social class. Near the beginning of the novel, before even meeting Miss Havisham, Pip says that the local townsmen described her as “an immensely rich and grim lady” (Dickens 39). This is very important, for her love of wealth and her haughty attitude are mimicked by Estella,
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As previously mentioned, one experience that shaped Miss Havisham’s personality was being rejected on her wedding day, leading her to seek revenge on all men. However, there are other character traits that Miss Havisham embodies that were influenced by other events in her life, such as Miss Havisham’s boastful attitude. Once again, most of what the reader learns about Miss Havisham comes from Herbert Pocket, and the stuck-up nature that she impresses upon Estella is no exception. He tells us that she was “a spoilt child” and that her well-to-do father “denied her nothing;” we learn that she is an heiress, essentially born into wealth (Dickens 139). Therefore, we can conclude that Miss Havisham probably feels entitled to wealth, since it is all that she ever knew, and she probably feels that anyone who does not possess great wealth is unequal to
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