What has Estella said to Pip that has upset him so much in Great Expectations?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Pip is upset by Estella's insults to him when he first visits Satis House.

After Uncle Pumblechook comes to the Forge and tells Mrs. Joe that Miss Havisham wants a boy to play with her ward, Estella, Pip is scrubbed, rubbed and shaken, then sent along with Pumblechook. After Pip is left at Satis House, he follows Estella, the ward, up a dark passage to a section of the house where dwells a strange woman who demands that he call Estella. When the girl comes and Miss Havisham says, "Let me see you play cards with this boy," Estella replies, "With this boy? Why, he is a common laboring boy!" Later, she ridicules Pip for calling the "knaves" jacks in the card game, and she says, "And what coarse hands he has! And what thick boots!" Thus, she succeeds in making Pip feel inferior and "common."

After Estella leaves him at the gate, Pip hides behind a gate and cries. On his four-mile walk to the forge, mulling over what he has heard from Estella, Pip ponders her insults and her damage to his psyche:

...that my hands were coarse; that my boots were thick; that I was much more ignorant than I had considered myself last night....

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Great Expectations

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