In Great Expectations, what does Miss Havisham's apperance remind Pip of?  

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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As Pip contemplates the very strange and bizarre figure of Miss Havisham, still wearing her wedding clothes, even though they had first been put on so long ago, he compares her figure to two objects he has seen that strike him as curiously resembling the figure of Miss Havisham. Both of these comparisons serve to bring out the strange horror and rather disturbing nature of Miss Havisham:

Once, I had been taken to see some ghastly wax-work at the Fair, representing I know not what impossible personage lying in state. Once, I had been taken to one of our old marsh churches to see a skeleton in the ashes of a rich dress, that had been dug out of a vault under the church pavement. Now, wax-work and skeleton seemed to have dark eyes that moved and looked at me.

This is a very apt analogy that Pip draws between Miss Havisham and these two objects. Both the wax-work and the skeleton represent somebody frozen in time; somebody that has died. In exactly the same way, Pip, as he comes to realise instinctively, sees that Miss Havisham has been frozen in time, as indicated by the stopped clock and her wedding clothes that would have fitted a woman much younger. Just as the wax-work and skeleton represent a dead individual, so Miss Havisham really enjoys a life that is characterised by death, as her reclusive nature shows.


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