Homework Help

In "Great Expectations," what is the purpose of Estella’s London visit and...

user profile pic

surfergirl01 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 7, 2008 at 4:28 AM via web

dislike 1 like

In "Great Expectations," what is the purpose of Estella’s London visit and how does she feel about it? 

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

lit24 | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted July 7, 2008 at 10:30 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 0 like

Miss Havisham had been cheated by Compeyson on her marriage day. In order to avenge her humiliation she has adopted Estella and has carefully groomed her to become a diabolical  instrument of retribution to break the hearts of all young men. To fulfil this purpose Estella is sent to France  where she is groomed into a very cultured and elegant lady and when she returns from France  she is so much changed that Pip is not able to recognize her  (Ch.29).

As a futher step to advance her plans of vengeance Miss Havisham has decided to let loose Estella amongst the rich and aristocratic young men of London. So in Ch.33 Estella arrives in London where Pip is instructed to meet her and accompany her to her place of residence in Richmond in the outskirts of London.  Estella is to stay with Mrs.Brandley a former friend of Miss Havisham.

Pip is all excited to chaperone  such an attractive lady like Estella,but Estella herself is cold and aloof and remarks matter of  factly "we have no choice, you and I but to obey our instructions. We are not free to follow our own devices, you and I." (Ch.33) when she refuses Pip's offer to pay for the carriage which is to take her to Richmond.

Estella is fully aware of the evil designs of Miss Havisham and knows that she has no choice but to obey Miss Havisham  and accepts her unhappy situation very stoically: "her calm face was like a statue's." Ch.33.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes