How does Miss Havisham treat Pip in chapter eight of "Great Expectations"?

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reidalot eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In this Chapter, Pip is invited to play a card game on his visit to Miss Havisham who is an aging, faded version of her youth. She treats him as an equal to Estella. However, he is insulted by Estella's reaction to him when he is called "common." It is the first time that Pip has viewed himself as either common or coarse, and he learns to come to grips with that later in the novel and on further visits to Miss Havisham's.

lit24 | Student

In Ch.8 Pip visits Miss Havisham for the first time in his life. He is completely bewildered and remarks that she is "the strangest lady I have ever seen or shall see." He is terrified when he goes closer to her and observes her in greater detail. When Miss Havisham asks him to "play" he is too shocked to react and so she asks him to call for Estella. Estella and he play a game of cards. Throughout this game Estella and Miss Havisham constantly humiliate Pip. After he is "beggared" the game is over and he is sent home.

Miss Havisham treats Pip like a circus animal which is meant to entertain her.  She has cut herself off from all human contact and lives in total darkness and is bored with herself, so she has arranged through Pumblechook  for  Pip to "play" for her: "I have a sick fancy that I want to see some play."

She takes sadistic pleasure at bullying and terrifying and humiliating Pip alongwith Estella  to revenge her humiliation at the hands of Compeyson. She tells Estella to break his heart and "beggar" him.

 Sources: <>.

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Great Expectations

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