In Great Expectations by Charles Dickens about Estella!Miss Havisham raised to love no love no one, and to reject any man who loves her. So then why does she marry Bentley Drummle?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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It is ironically interesting that Bentley Drummle becomes the parallel of Miss Havisham's suitor, Arthur. Named the "Spider" by Mr. Jaggers, who probably has sensed this resemblance, he is described by Pip as "idle, proud, niggardly, reserved, and suspicious," The boorish Drummle cares for no one but himself, and, in this respect, he is somewhat like Estella who "has no heart."  For, when Pip visits Miss Havisham in Chapter XLIV in order to supplicate a favor for Herbert, he finds Estella there and declares his love for her. Estella looks at him strangely,

It seems,” said Estella, very calmly, “that there are sentiments, fancies—I don't know how to call them—which I am not able to comprehend. When you say you love me, I know what you mean, as a form of words; but nothing more. You address nothing in my breast, you touch nothing there. I don't care for what you say at all. I have tried to warn you of this; now, have I not?”

Then, when Pip asks if it is true that she is to be married to Bentley Drummle,

It is quite true,” she replied, referring to him with the indifference of utter contempt.

“That you encourage him, and ride out with him, and that he dines with you this very day?”

She seemed a little surprised that I should know it, but again replied, “Quite true.”

Pip protests that she should not waste herself on such a lout, but Estella counters,

"On whom should I fling myself away?” she retorted, with a smile. “Should I fling myself away upon the man who would the soonest feel (if people do feel such things) that I took nothing to him? There! It is done. I shall do well enough, and so will my husband. As to leading me into what you call this fatal step, Miss Havisham would have had me wait, and not marry yet; but I am tired of the life I have led, which has very few charms for me, and I am willing enough to change it. Say no more. We shall never understand each other.”

Deprived of developing the natural feelings of love and kindness, Estella has wearied of being cold to Miss Havisham and the others near her.  So, she turns to a brute such as Drummle, who perhaps may provide a new type of challenge for her cold heart.  In fact, she does defeat him, as well, although he is the Spider who catches part of her fortune:  he dies.


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