What does Estella tell Pip about her interactions with other men in chapter 38 of Great Expectations?  

Expert Answers

Want to remove ads?

Get ad-free questions with an eNotes 48-hour free trial.

Try It Free No Thanks
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Now that Estella lives with Mrs. Brandley in Richmond, she has so many admirers that Pip becomes extremely jealous.  When Pip returns her to Miss Havisham, her foster mother hangs upon every word as Estella relates all her conquests.  Pip who "never had one hour of happiness in her presence" yet continues to be around her whenever he can despite her asking him, "Pip,...“will you never take warning?”  But, Pip believes that Miss Havisham intends for him to marry Estella.

Having returned to Richmond, much to Pip's dismay, Estella allows Bentley Drummle to call upon her.  At an Assembly Ball, Drummle is around her so much that Pip resolves to speak with Estella about this brute of a man.  When he asks her to look at him "[F]or he has been hovering about you all night,” Estella replies to Pip in allusion to her name which suggests light,

"Moths, and all sorts of ugly creatures...hover about a lighted candle. Can the candle help it?”

When Pip insists that Drummle is not worth her attracting, Estella replies,

Pip,...don't be foolish about its effect on you. It may have its effect on others, and may be meant to have. It's not worth discussing.”

As he continues to press her about her flirtations with the other men, Estella then asks him if he wants her "to deceive and entrap" him.  She insists that she deceives all the others but him.  Nevertheless, Pip has a feeling of impending doom.

Read the study guide:
Great Expectations

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question