Get here the notes, questions, answers, textbook solutions, summary, additional/extras, and PDF of NBSE (Nagaland Board of School Education) Class 12 (HSSLC) Alternative English Novel “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens. However, the provided notes should only be treated as references, and the students are encouraged to make changes to them as they feel appropriate.
Introduction to the novel
Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations” is a classic novel that was published in serial form between 1860 and 1861. The story is set in England during the early 19th century and follows the life of a young orphan named Pip, who experiences a tumultuous journey to find his place in the world.
The novel opens with Pip, a young boy living with his cruel and abusive sister and her husband, who works as a blacksmith. While visiting his family’s gravesite, Pip encounters an escaped convict who forces him to bring him food and a file to remove his leg irons. Pip, feeling intimidated, reluctantly agrees. However, the convict is recaptured and blamed for another crime, leaving Pip with a sense of guilt.
As Pip grows older, he becomes dissatisfied with his life as a blacksmith’s apprentice and yearns for a more sophisticated lifestyle. Unexpectedly, a wealthy benefactor contacts Pip and offers him the means to become a gentleman. Pip accepts the offer, and his fortunes change drastically.
As Pip becomes immersed in a world of luxury and privilege, he begins to lose touch with his humble beginnings and the people who helped him along the way. Along the way, he meets various characters, including the eccentric Miss Havisham and her beautiful but cold-hearted ward, Estella.
Throughout the novel, Dickens explores themes such as social class, identity, ambition, and redemption. Despite the challenges Pip faces, he ultimately learns the true value of compassion and the importance of staying true to oneself.
Summary of ‘Great Expectations’
Pip, whose real name was Philip Pirrip, was an orphan who resided with Mrs. Joe Gargery, the village blacksmith’s wife, and his sister. Their house was situated in a marshy area with tangles of grass, close to the river and the sea. Along with Pip’s five younger brothers, Pip’s parents were laid to rest in the cemetery close to the marshes. Pip frequently went to the cemetery because it was his only link to his family and parents.
Pip is shocked to see “a fearful man, all in coarse grey, with a great iron on his leg,” among the graves on a gloomy Christmas Eve. The man, who was starving and in excruciating pain, orders Pip to bring him some food and a file or his “heart and liver out.” The man goes on to say that he is with a young man who “has a secret way pecooliar to himself, of getting at a boy, and at his heart, and at his liver.” which only serves to frighten Pip more.
Pip sneaks into the pantry early in the morning and steals some bread, cheese, mincemeat, brandy from a jar, and “a beautiful round pork pie.” because it is Christmas Eve and there is plenty of food in the house and everyone is busy with Christmas preparations. He runs to the marshes after taking a file from Joe’s forge. A convict had escaped from a ship nearby, and since an alarm had been raised earlier, everyone in the area was on the lookout for strangers.
When Pip finally reaches the marshes, he discovers another prisoner there, who was also wearing the same type of attire and a leg-iron. Pip arrives at the designated location to find his prisoner while completely out of his mind. Pip asks the prisoner if he should not also bring some food for the “other man” as he downs the food and drink. He asks Pip to show him where the “other man” was hiding, indicating that he had apparently not heard that another prisoner had escaped. As the prisoner is about to put his leg-iron away, Pip points out a possible location for the other man, makes his getaway, and returns to his house.
Pip is noticeably uneasy during the Christmas dinner. Pip, who already has trouble eating, receives the smallest portions when some soldiers show up and one of them holds out a pair of handcuffs. For a while, Pip thought the soldiers were coming to take him, but the sergeant later clarifies that he just needed the handcuffs fixed. After Joe has fixed the handcuffs, Pip and a sort of churchman named Mr. Wopsle accompany the soldiers as they search for the prisoners in the marshes. Loud voices are heard as the group approaches the marshes, and when they arrive, they discover the two prisoners engaged in a heated argument at the bottom of a ditch. The prisoner belonging to Pip explains that he was just attempting to return the other prisoner to the ship. The soldiers round up the two and march them away. —
Pip regrets not telling Joc what happened, but he is concerned that Joc would become distrustful if he did. In other words, I was too cowardly to act on what I knew was right and too cowardly to refrain from acting on what I knew was wrong.
Pip attends a night school run by Mr. Wopsle’s great aunt and will soon be Joe’s apprentice. She doesn’t instruct him because she frequently falls asleep during class. However, Pip starts to pick up some knowledge, and about a year after the prisoner was apprehended, he shows Joe a letter that was horribly written. Pip decides to teach Joe, who is illiterate, how to read and write after he is greatly impressed.
The rich spinster Miss Havisham, who lived alone in a large house with only her adopted daughter Estella for company, had asked Pip to go and “play” at her house, Mrs. Joe says when she arrives after doing her shopping. After being cleaned up, Pip is brought to Miss Havisham’s home, Satis House. Miss Havisham is a strange character who Pip meets. She is dressed in a loose-fitting yellow bridal gown.
Miss Havisham reveals some personal information to Pip, including the fact that she hasn’t seen the sun in many years, that her heart is broken, and that she wants him to “play” for her entertainment. Estella, her daughter, is introduced after which the two engage in a game of cards. Estella observes that Pip is wearing shabby clothing and has coarse hands. She leads Pip outside and feeds him meat and food “as insolently as if I were a dog in disgrace.” Pip is instructed by Miss Havisham to return in six days.
Upon returning home, Pip spreads numerous lies about how beautiful Satis House was and how kind everyone was to him. Later, he sneaks outside and tells Joe the truth, who counsels him against lying in the future. Pip then considers what Estella had said, including how “common” both his boots and himself are.
Pip decides to become “uncommon” and asks Biddy, who is also an orphan, for tutoring assistance. When Pip later joins Joe in a pub, he encounters a “secret looking” stranger who speaks with him incessantly and stirs his drink with a spoon rather than a file. He hands Pip a brand-new shilling that has been wrapped in two one-pound bills as they are leaving.
On his second visit to Miss Havisham’s, Pip is shown a sizable, dusty room that, at one time, must have been quite lovely. A strange-looking object, which Miss Havisham claims to be her wedding cake, is there on a sizable table draped in cobwebs. Additionally, she claims that after passing away, she should be spread out on the table before being removed and buried. Pip meets Miss Havisham’s cousins, and he plays cards with Estella. Every other day, Pip still comes to see Miss Havisham to push her around the house in a wheelchair and to play cards with Estella. Miss Havisham probes Pip about his plans but never offers assistance with his studies or ways to advance his chances.
Miss Havisham instructs Pip to bring Joe along when he approaches Satis House one day. She informs Joc that Pip will now be trained by him, and she pays Pip 25 Guineas for his assistance. She further advises him to refrain from returning because “Gargery is your master now.” Joe uses the money Pip received from Miss Havisham to take Pip, Mrs. Joe, Hubbles, and Mr. Wopsle out to dinner. Pip thinks about his past and future at night and laments that although he once liked Joe’s profession as a blacksmith, “once was not now.”
Pip never adjusted to Joe’s profession. He frequently pondered Estella’s opinion because he believed that working as a blacksmith was beneath his dignity. Pip once asks Joe for a half-holiday so that he can go see Miss Havisham. Joe is opposed to it, but in the end concurs as long as it is not repeated. Pip visits Satis House and discovers no changes there. Pip gets along well with Miss Havisham, who invites him to return on his birthday. Estella, according to her, had travelled abroad to “educated as a lady.” There is a lot of commotion in the house when Pip gets home. Someone had assaulted
Mrs. Joe had been hit on the head with a leg-iron, rendering her helpless and paralysed (it was suspected that one of the prisoners who may have escaped from the ship may have been responsible). Biddy, who arrives to assist in the household and recognises the perpetrator as Orlick, Joe’s apprentice who had been denied a half-holiday by Mrs. Joe, solves the mystery.
Pip wasn’t particularly fond of Joe’s forge’s work. Regular visits to Miss Havisham’s, who gave Pip a guinea on each birthday and a window into her “uncommon” world, were the only thing that broke up the monotonous routine. Due to Mrs. Joe’s disabilities, Biddy had become a permanent member of the family and is now Pip’s constant companion. Pip confides in her and expresses his desire to change in order to win Estella over. Pip is told by Biddy that it is not worthwhile to change his ways in order to win Estella and that the girl is not worth winning if it requires him to change who he is. Pip realises almost immediately that Biddy is a good person and that Estella has the power to ruin his life at any time. Pip continues to wait, hoping against hope that something will occur to turn around his situation. or that Miss Havisham would “make his fortune” after finishing his training with Joe.
In Pip’s fourth year of apprenticeship, a stranger shows up one evening. Mr. Jaggers, whom Pip recognised from a previous encounter at Miss Havisham’s home, tells Joc that Pip is “a young gentleman of great expectations.” and Pip recognises him as such. However, there were some restrictions: First, he would have to leave his current location, and second, he would have to go by the name Pip always. However, Pip was unable to learn the identity of his donor because it would remain a secret. Jaggers had been given a sizeable sum of money that would be given to him once he reached legal adulthood. Joe consents to not obstruct Pip’s luck, and Pip reflects, “My dream was out. Miss Havisham was going to significantly increase my wealth.
Pip should hire Mathew Pocket as his tutor, according to Jaggers. Additionally, he receives twenty guineas to spend on new clothing before travelling to London. Intoxicated by his good fortune, Pip promises Biddy that he will work to make Joe’s manners better and elevate him in society. Joe is content where he is, Biddy responds, “in a place he fills well and with respect.” Before departing for London, Pip pays a visit to Miss Havisham. Jaggers had told her about his success. The following morning, Pip travels to London. The world was laid out before me as the mists had all solemnly lifted.
Pip disapproves of London. It is “It is rather ugly, crooked, narrow and dirty,” and anyone could get lost in it due to its size. Despite working in unhealthful conditions with the abattoir and the “sickening” Newgate prison on either side of him, Mr. Jaggers is a great man. Jaggers, however, found his work interesting because he was constantly surrounded by grateful clients who looked to him to keep them out of jail or even from being hanged. If they had settled their prior debts, he would deal with them all very creatively.
Pip’s study schedule is created by Jaggers; he must travel to Barnard’s Inn, where he will stay in the same rooms as the young Mr. Pocket until Monday, and then go to the elder Pocket’s house to study there. Additionally, Pip learns about his generous allowances and receives business cards for tradespeople who would honour his credit. Jaggers can use this to monitor Pip’s spending and keep an eye on him in general. Pip is driven to Barnard’s Inn by Jaggers’s clerk.
Pip is clearly dissatisfied with the living situation. But he meets Herbert Pocket, a pleasant company he had previously made at Miss Havisham’s house. Pip learns about Miss Havisham’s history from Herbert.
Despite being the daughter of a wealthy brewer, Miss Havisham was treated poorly after her mother passed away when she was still a young child. Later, her father had an affair with his cook, who gave birth to a “egg” of a son. He gave him nothing at first, but on his deathbed he changed his mind and left him some money and property. Miss Havisham declined to assist the boy as he wasted his money. One day, a man who Miss Havisham instantly fell in love with showed up. He wasn’t a gentleman; he coerced Miss Havisham into giving him a lot of money, which he used to buy the half-share brother’s of the family’s property for a pittance.
The man was supposed to attend the wedding on the scheduled day, but instead of doing so, he wrote Miss Havisham a letter, which she received at twenty minutes past two, the time at which all the clocks in Satis House were stopped. After that, Miss Havisham went into her shell and refused to leave the house or interact with anyone. Herbert Pocket didn’t know anything about Estella’s parents other than the fact that Miss Havisham had adopted her.
While Pip is being tutored by Herbert’s father, he barely learns anything. He is “a gentleman with a rather perplexed expression of face.” in his opinion. This is probably due to Mrs. Pocket’s influence over her husband. She had grown up “highly ornamental, but perfectly helpless and useless” and was obsessed with her social standing. She also dragged her husband out of business and brought him to London. Here, he supported himself by teaching and writing, two pursuits that came naturally to him because of his success in Harrow and Cambridge. Pip was given accommodations at the boarding house that Mr. Pocket also ran.
Even though he’s forgetful, Mr. Pocket is very aware of Pip’s future plans, and while he doesn’t give him any formal instructions, he does provide him with good, general life advice.
Pipe starts to travel through London. He attends a dinner hosted by Wemmick, Jaggers’ office assistant, where he learns a lot about Jaggers and his way of life. Along with Herbert, his son, Startop, and Drummle (who later weds Estella and turns out to be Pip’s rival), Jaggers also invites Pip. Drummle, “one of the true sort,” intrigues Jaggers despite his violent temper and rude behaviour.
Biddy writes Pip to let him know that Joe would be visiting London and would meet him at Barnard’s Inn. With “with considerable disturbance, some mortification, and a keen sense of incongruity.” Pip reads the letter. Pip was embarrassed that a “common” blacksmith might be seen visiting him.
Joe shows up but is very embarrassed and claims that Mrs. Joe’s condition has not changed. Biddy, on the other hand, had been a huge help in managing the household and “was ever right and ready.” Additionally, he lets him know that Estella has come back from abroad and would be happy to see him. The following day, Pip rides the stagecoach from London to visit Estella. He discovers that Miss Havisham had not changed in the slightest, but Estella had become much more attractive and beautiful. Estella explains to him during their stroll that what was enjoyable company for him in the past is no longer enjoyable company for him. Pip interprets this to mean that he shouldn’t see Joe any longer.
For tea, Jaggers joins them. Jaggers tells Pip during their conversation that Estella’s last name is Havisham. Pip plays cards before going to bed, where he dreams of marrying Estella.
Pip returns to London and tells Herbert how he feels about Estella. He tries to talk Pip out of continuing the relationship even though he is already aware of this. According to Herbert, Estella’s education with Miss Havisham can only end in failure. Although Pip says it reluctantly, he can’t help but feel that way.
Mr. Wopsle portrays the titular Prince Hamlet in a production of Hamlet that Pip and Herbert Pocket attend. Despite themselves, Pip and Herbert must laugh at the poor production. The production manager, who is thrilled with the performance, invites both of them backstage to meet the actors.
Estella writes Pip a letter requesting that they meet at the coach office for the midday coach. Wemmick, Jaggers’ assistant, and Pip visit Newgate prison five hours prior to their scheduled arrival. The prison is a “frouzy, ugly, disorderly and depressing scene.” according to Pips.
Estella shows up more attractive than ever. She tells Pip that she will be staying at Richmond, a town outside of London, with a woman who will introduce her to everyone she needs to know, and she asks him to pay off the coach. She adds, almost in passing, that Pip was welcome to drop by whenever he wanted.
Pip is still pining for Estella. One evening, as he struggles to organise his thoughts and overcome his feelings of remorse towards Joe and Biddy for having been so kind to him, he receives a letter from the solicitor Trabb & Company informing him that his sister, Mrs. Joe, had passed away and asking him to attend the funeral the following Monday. Pip, who wasn’t too fond of his sister, is very depressed as he thinks back on his past. Mrs. Joe remembered him all the way to the end, according to Biddy.
When Pip turns 21, Mr. Jaggers summons him to an appointment. The solicitor informs Pip that he would now receive an annual allowance of £500, of which he is given the first installment. He is also informed that should his benefactor decide to reveal himself, the annual allowance would increase.
Pip continues to like Estella more and more. He frequently travels to Richmond, where Estella resides, despite the fact that he claims to have only experienced “one hour’s happiness in her society; and yet my mind all round the four-and-twenty hours was harping on the happiness of having her with me unto death.” and that his mind was preoccupied with the joy of having her by his side for four and a half hours. When Pip learns that Estella will soon be visiting Satis House, he goes with her. Pip observes the frank conversations between Miss Havisham and Estella while they are there. Estella is accused by the elderly woman of being unkind to her and begs for her love and compassion. Estella responds angrily, saying that she is what she has been moulded into by her.
When Pip returns to London, Drummle invites Estella to a toast during dinner. It infuriates Pip. Estella, however, reveals to him that Pip is the only one she doesn’t trick and trap. Pip doesn’t know what she meant when she said that.
When Pip turns 23, a complete stranger visits him. After being surprised for a while, Pip realises that the man is the convict he met in the marshes.
The man claims to have never forgotten how kind he was to Pip when he was hungry and cold in the marshes. He continues by saying that he had made a very good life for himself as a sheep farmer in New South Wales, Australia. The prisoner gradually reveals to him that it was he who had transformed him into a gentleman. “Yes, Pip dear boy, I’ve turned you into a gentleman, he replies. I’m the one who did it.”
Pip, who is overcome with disgust and disappointment, inquires as to whether anyone else was involved; the prisoner replies that there wasn’t. He was his benefactor, and he sent him his best wishes for the future.
Additionally, the prisoner informs him that his name is Abel Magwitch and that he is evading capture by the police. He fears that no one in London will recognise him because if he is caught, he will almost certainly be hanged. Pip suggests that he use the name Provis and pose as his uncle. From this point forward, Abel Magwitch goes by the alias “Provis.” He asserts that Pip is a better gentleman than all the prominent members of society.
When Pip speaks with Mr. Jaggers, the solicitor affirms that Magwitch is indeed Pip’s benefactor and that Miss Havisham had no involvement in his fortune. Pip’s romantic expectations of Miss Havisham’s kindness are completely dashed. With a set of clothes for Magwitch, Pip goes back to his rooms, but “prisoner, felon and bondsman” are all over him. In other words, it was very hard to keep his identity a secret. When Herbert Pocket arrives, he is sworn to secrecy regarding the location of Magwitch. Magwitch is relocated to more secure areas where no one would be suspicious of him.
The prisoner, Abel Magwitch, now starts to tell his own tale. He claimed he had been in and out of jail and had no memory of his birth date, place, or parents. He had been taught how to write by a soldier and how to read by a “travelling giant.” He continues by mentioning a man by the name of Compeyson who pretended to be a gentleman but was actually a con artist who faked handwriting and engaged in a variety of shady activities. According to Magwitch, Compeyson gradually entangled him in all of his shady business dealings, which ultimately caught up with him. Compeyson was recommended for mercy, which would have meant seven years of simple imprisonment, but instead received fourteen years because he appeared to be the epitome of a gentleman. Both, however, managed to flee, and once more, Compeyson received a light sentence while he received a life sentence. Magwitch was relating this section of the tale to Pip when Herbert Pocket gave him a note that read, “Arthur was the young Havisham’s name. The man who claimed to be Miss Havisham’s lover is named Compeyson.”
Pip makes the decision to go down to Satis House one last time because Estella is always on his mind. He encounters Miss Havisham and informs her of his discovery of his benefactor. Miss Havisham acknowledges that she contributed to his delusion and continued: “For the love of God, who am I that I should be kind? You constructed your own snares. They were never mine.” Pip turns to Estella to tell her that he has always loved her when he runs out of things to say. To Estella’s announcement that she will soon wed Drummle, Pip adds his parting advice: “…not to let Miss Havisham lead you into this fatal step.” Estella asserts that it is solely her decision, as proud as ever.
Pip, who is dejected, makes his way home, where he discovers a note written in Wemmick’s hand that reads, “Don’t Go Home.” After a miserable night out, Wemmick informs him that ‘Provis,’ or his prisoner friend, was under police surveillance and that he should relocate to a more secure location. He is moved by Pip and Wemmick to a location close to the Thames so that they can transport him by boat onto a ship when the time is right.
Pip gets a message from Miss Havisham one evening asking him to visit her. He encounters Molly, the housekeeper, and notes that “Molly’s hands were Estella’s hands and her eyes were Estella’s eyes.” as he does so. Estella’s mother was Molly. When Pip inquires about Molly’s past, Wemmick replies that it was her case that catapulted Jaggers to fame. Evidently, Molly had been charged with murdering a much older woman by strangling her to death over “a tramping man.” Additionally, Molly had a daughter, and rumour had it that Molly had also murdered her.
Miss Havisham is repentant when Pip finds her. Although she admits that “she stole her heart (Estella’s) and put ice in its place.” She claims that she tried for years to save Estella from her own fate. She continues by saying she was unaware of Estella’s parentage. Jaggers brought the child she named Estella one night after she had long ago asked him to bring her a young girl to raise and love. Estella didn’t know anything, according to Miss Havisham, and she didn’t learn any more about the girl either.
The novel is now quickly coming to an end. Following his most recent encounter with Miss Havisham, Pip returns to Satis House for additional discussions. He discovers Miss Havisham’s slack clothing on fire and the building already on fire. Pip turns her over, extinguishes the fire, and dials an ambulance. She is severely burned, according to the doctor, but shock is the real threat. She is treated while being spread out on the dining room table, where she had promised to be spread out when she passed away. She keeps saying, “What have I done?” and “Take a pencil and write under my name, “I forgive her,” throughout the night.
When Pip comes back, Herbert informs him that ‘Provis’ had revealed to him the identity of his mistress: she was a woman who had been tried for the murder of a larger and much older woman, and her acquittal had been secured by the solicitor, Jaggers. She promised Magwitch after the murder that she would kill the child, and Provis thought she had. The father of Estella was the man they had been concealing, Pip realises. This tale was known to Compeyson, who had used it against Magwitch. In fact, Magwitch admitted to Herbert that when he had seen Pip on the marshes, Pip had made him think of his own young daughter, who would have been Pip’s age.
The following morning, Pip tells Jaggers about Miss Havisham’s accident and says she told him everything she knew about Estella. But Pip now knew much more about her: He knew who her parents were, and Jaggers is shocked when Pip reveals that the father is “Provis- from New South Wales,”
Pip receives a letter from Wemmick on Monday morning informing him that the time was right because so many ships were leaving if he wanted “Provis” on an outward-bound ship, which was Wednesday. Pip leaves with Magwitch while carrying a bag of “basic necessities.” But when a steamer arrives to meet them, the captain orders Magwitch to give up. Magwitch is seriously hurt during the altercation and is apprehended by the police. As soon as Magwitch is restrained, Pip realises he saw a man “who had intended to be my benefactor and who had maintained a strong sense of affection, gratitude, and generosity for me over a period of years. Only a much better man than I had been to Joe did I see in him.” Magwitch is found guilty. But Pip pays him frequent visits in the jail hospital. Despite his severe injuries, he bravely endures his suffering. Pip informed Magwitch that his daughter was still alive during his last visit. “She survived and made strong allies. She is a lady and stunning. I adore her, too!” Magwitch puts Pip’s hands to his lips before passing away.
Due to his mounting debt, Pip intends to sublet his offices until the lease expires. When he becomes ill, Biddy and Joe travel to London. He receives treatment to get well. Pip discovers Miss Havisham’s demise as he gets stronger. Pip’s debt is settled by Joe, who also includes a receipt. Pip visits the forge to express his gratitude to Joc and Biddy after realising the value of true friendship.
Pip travels to the east for almost a decade. When he returns, he discovers that Joe and Biddy have a daughter and a young son they have named Pip. When Biddy inquires about Pip’s memory of Estella, he responds that everything that happened then is part of history. Biddy tells Pip that her abusive husband, who had died, had been a bad person to her. Pip makes the decision to go to Satis House, where he meets Estella. She explains to Pip how much suffering had taught her. To sum up, Pip says, “I took her hand in mine, and we went out of the ruin; and, as the morning mists had risen long ago when I first left the forge, so the evening mists were rising now, and in the broad expanse of tranquil light they showed to me, I saw no shadow of another parting from her.”
Questions and answers
1. Do you think the novel would change if Pip had refused to help Magwitch when he was in the marshes?
Answer: Yes, the story would have changed significantly if Pip had refused to help Magwitch when he was in the marshes. The act of helping Magwitch sets in motion a chain of events that shapes Pip’s life and the course of the novel. If Pip had refused to help Magwitch, he would not have met Miss Havisham or Estella, and he would not have become obsessed with the idea of becoming a gentleman. Furthermore, Magwitch’s money, which Pip ultimately inherits, would not have entered his life. This inheritance allows Pip to pursue his dream of becoming a gentleman, but it also leads him to make poor decisions and squander his money. Without the inheritance, Pip’s life would have taken a very different turn.
Pip’s decision to help Magwitch is a pivotal moment in the novel, and without it, the story would have been significantly altered.
2. Describe Miss Havisham and her house. How do you think this would have determined Estella’s personality?
Answer: Miss Havisham is a wealthy, eccentric, and reclusive woman who lives in a decaying mansion called Satis House. She is described as a “ghastly waxwork” and a “skeleton in the ashes” due to her appearance, which is frozen in time, as she wears her wedding dress and veil from decades ago. Her house is also frozen in time, with the clocks stopped at the exact moment when she was jilted at the altar. The house is dark, dusty, and full of cobwebs, and the rooms are filled with decaying furniture and objects. The only room that is well-maintained is the room where Miss Havisham sits, which is lit by a single candle and filled with mirrors.
Estella’s personality is shaped by her upbringing in this environment. Miss Havisham raises Estella to be cold, calculating, and manipulative, as she wants her to seek revenge on men for the pain she suffered when she was jilted. Estella is taught to break men’s hearts and to never show any emotion or vulnerability. Miss Havisham also isolates Estella from the outside world, so she has no friends or companions except for Miss Havisham and the servants. This lack of socialisation and emotional connection makes Estella even more cold and distant.
Miss Havisham’s personality and her house have a significant impact on Estella’s personality. She is raised in a toxic and dysfunctional environment that shapes her into a person who is incapable of love and empathy.
3. Why does Pip believe that Miss Havisham is probably his benefactor? Does this, in some ways, reflect the values of Victorian society?
Answer: Pip believes that Miss Havisham is probably his benefactor because she is the only person he knows who is wealthy enough to provide him with a large sum of money. He also believes that she may be trying to make amends for the way she treated him and for the way she raised Estella. Pip’s assumption that Miss Havisham is his benefactor reflects the values of Victorian society in several ways. Firstly, it reflects the importance of social class and wealth in determining one’s status and opportunities. Pip, as a poor orphan, is acutely aware of his low social status and is eager to improve his position in society. Secondly, it reflects the Victorian belief in the importance of charity and philanthropy. Pip assumes that Miss Havisham is giving him money out of a sense of obligation or guilt, rather than for any personal gain. Finally, it reflects the Victorian belief in the power of redemption and forgiveness. Pip believes that Miss Havisham may be trying to make amends for her past mistakes and to atone for the harm she has caused. Overall, Pip’s assumption that Miss Havisham is his benefactor reflects the values of Victorian society in terms of social class, charity, and redemption.
4. Why does Pip treat Joe so snobbishly?
Answer: Pip treats Joe snobbishly because he is ashamed of his humble background and wants to distance himself from it. Pip’s experiences in London have exposed him to a world of wealth, status, and refinement, and he has become obsessed with the idea of becoming a gentleman. In his mind, this means rejecting his past and everything associated with it, including Joe and his trade as a blacksmith. Pip believes that being a gentleman means being refined, educated, and well-spoken, and he sees Joe as a reminder of his own lack of refinement and education. He is embarrassed by Joe’s rough manners and speech, and he feels that associating with him will lower his own status in the eyes of others. Pip’s snobbish treatment of Joe is also fueled by his infatuation with Estella, who has taught him to despise everything associated with his past. Pip’s snobbish treatment of Joe reflects his own insecurities and his desire to distance himself from his humble origins in order to become a gentleman.
5. What is Pip’s reaction when he discovers the true identity of his benefactor?
Answer: When Pip discovers the true identity of his benefactor, who is revealed to be Abel Magwitch, a convict he had helped many years ago, he is initially shocked and horrified. Pip had always assumed that his benefactor was Miss Havisham, the wealthy and eccentric woman who had taken an interest in him and had arranged for him to receive an education and become a gentleman. However, when Magwitch reveals himself to Pip, he realizes that his entire life has been shaped by the actions of a criminal, and he feels betrayed and disillusioned. Pip is also afraid of the consequences of Magwitch’s presence in England, as he is a wanted man and could be arrested at any moment. However, as he spends more time with Magwitch and learns about his past and his motivations, Pip begins to feel a sense of gratitude and loyalty towards him. He realises that Magwitch has risked everything to help him, and that he has shown him more kindness and generosity than anyone else in his life. In the end, Pip comes to see Magwitch as a father figure and is devastated when he dies in prison.
16. Give a character sketch of Estella Havisham.
Answer: Estella is the adopted daughter of Miss Havisham, a wealthy and eccentric spinster who raises her to be cold and unfeeling towards men. Estella is a complex character with a tragic backstory and a conflicted personality.
Estella’s character is shaped by her upbringing and her desire for revenge against men. She is beautiful and intelligent, but she is also cold and unfeeling towards others. She is raised by Miss Havisham to be a weapon against men, and she uses her beauty and charm to manipulate and hurt them. However, she is also a victim of Miss Havisham’s cruelty, and she struggles with her own emotions and desires.
Estella’s tragic backstory is revealed later in the novel, when it is revealed that she is the daughter of a convict and a murderess. Her biological parents are both criminals, and she is raised by Miss Havisham as a way to seek revenge against men. However, despite her upbringing, Estella retains a basic honesty and integrity that is admirable. She is honest about her inability to feel emotions, and she is willing to confront her own flaws and weaknesses.
Estella’s conflicted personality is a central theme in the novel, and it serves as a commentary on the role of women in Victorian society. She is a victim of the pseudo-values of Victorian society, which believed in hypocrisy and double-think. Her struggle to reconcile her own desires with the expectations of society is a powerful commentary on the limitations placed on women during this time period.
Estella is a complex and compelling character who adds depth and richness to the novel. Her story serves as a powerful commentary on the role of women in Victorian society and the redemptive power of honesty and integrity.
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