How does Miss Havisham express her remorse toward Pip and Estella in chapter 49 of "Great Expectations"?

lit24 | Student

Pip meets Miss Havisham to receive 900 pounds from her with which he hopes to help his friend Herbert.  He refuses all offers of financial help for himself from Miss Havisham. She is moved by Pip's generosity and altruism and asks him to write "I forgive her" under her signature on the cheque for 900 pounds after her death. Pip replies that he willingly forgives her straightaway. On hearing this Miss Havisham falls on her knees and looks pleadingly at Pip. Pip tries to lift her up but she begins to weep and falls prostrate at his feet crying "what have I done! What have I done!"

Only now she realises the catastrophic consequences of her raging desire to seek revenge for the humiliation that she suffered on her wedding day at the hands of Compeyson: she realises that she has destroyed the loves and desires of two tender hearted innocent young people without any hope of remedy because Estella is now married to Drummle and is at Paris. Pip looks on helplessly remarking: "I knew not how to answer or how to comfort her."

She then tells Pip that to begin with she adopted Estella only "to rear and love" and "save her from misery like my own," but soon she got carried away and by repeatedly using herself as an example "she stole her [Estella's] heart away and put ice in its place." Miss Havisham is completely distraught because she knows that she can never ever seek Estella's forgiveness

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Great Expectations

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