How does Miss.Havisham contribute towards Pip's achieving great expectations?Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Indubitably, Pip's life is altered by his first experiences at Satis House where he meets Miss Havisham, the pale young gentleman, and the beautiful and haughty Estella.  For, it is there that his burgeoning self-perception as "coarse and common" commences.  Perceiving the aristocratic class as superior to him, Pip initiates his aspirations of becoming a gentleman so that he will not be common and he can, then, be eligible to win the heart of Estella, whom Miss Havisham certainly encourages him to love.

When Mr. Jaggers, the dark gentleman whom Pip has encountered on the stairs at Satis House brings the news that he is to have "great expectations," Pip assumes that Miss Havisham is his benefactor.  Later, having received Pip when he calls upon her and asked him several pertinent questions while at the same time gloating on Pip's responses which upset Miss Sarah Pocket who is present, Miss Havisham tells Pip,

"You have a promising career before you.  Be good--deserve it--and abide by Mr. Jaggers's instructions."

When she stretches out her hand, Pip goes to one knee and kisses this hand, taking leave of his "fairy godmother" who gloats upon this act. Further, Miss Havisham contributes more to Pip's expectations because she continues to encourage Pip to love Estella as she has Pip call upon her at Satis House after Estella returns from her schooling. Pip is also asked by her to meet Estella at the stage whenever she comes to London; in addition, Pip is given instructions to call upon Estella at Richmond where she lives with a wealthy woman who introduces Estella to London society.  Thus, it remains Pip's hope that he will marry Estella.  And, it is not until Magwitch arrives and reveals that he is Pip's true benefactor that Pip realizes that Miss Havisham has never intended to make him a gentleman or give him "great expectations."

Read the study guide:
Great Expectations

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question