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Love Through The Ages | Great Expectations

Ruth Owen | Wednesday October 12, 2011

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Guide Navigation

  1. Studying For The Exam
  2. Examples From Literature
  3. About The Exam
  4. Further Reading
  5. The Examination
  6. Symptoms of Love, Graves
  7. On Chesil Beach
  8. The First Tooth, Lamb
  9. The Deserter
  10. The Soldier, Brooke
  11. A Lady of Letters
  12. Sonnet 130, Shakespeare
  13. Measure for Measure
  14. Hamlet
  15. Othello
  16. King Lear
  17. Equus
  18. Enduring Love
  19. Mid-Term Break, Heaney
  20. Your Last Drive
  21. The Going
  22. The Waste Land, Elliot

Great Expectations

Charles Dickens 1812-1870

Miss Havisham has adopted a girl, Estella, to avenge the heartache she suffers at having been jilted by her fiancé. However, though Miss Havisham has contrived to bring Estella up in a way that has rendered her heartless, she expects her to love her adoptive mother. Pip is the narrator of this novel and he falls hopelessly in love with Estella, who, in this extract, is now a grown woman. Pip’s childhood was as a poor village orphan but a mysterious benefactor rescued him and provided cash for a London education, allowing Pip to become a rather arrogant ‘gentleman’. He wrongly believes this benefactor to be Miss Havisham, who he had worked for while still living in his home village and equally wrongly believes that Estella has been intended for him.

‘It happened on the occasion of this visit that some sharp words arose between Estella and Miss Havisham. It was the first time I had ever seen them opposed.

We were seated by the fire, as just now described, and Miss Havisham still had Estella’s arm drawn through her own, and still clutched Estella’s hand in hers, when Estella gradually began to detach herself. She had shown a proud impatience more than once before, and had rather endured that fierce affection rather than accepted or returned it.

‘What!’ said Miss Havisham, flashing her eyes upon her, ‘are you tired of me?’

‘Only a little tired of myself,’ replied Estella, disengaging her arm, and moving to the great chimney-piece, where she stood looking down at the fire.

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