What is the relationship between Estella and Miss Havisham in Great Expectations?

The relationship between Estella and Miss Havisham in Great Expectations is one of teacher and pupil. In bringing up Estella, Miss Havisham is teaching her how to take revenge on the entire male sex. This is because Miss Havisham was stood up by her intended on the morning of their marriage. Just as her heart was broken on that fateful day, so the hearts of men must now be broken by Estella.

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On the face of it, it might seem rather noble of Miss Havisham to take in the offspring of a couple of common criminals. But in actual fact, there are less selfless motives at work. Ever since she was jilted on her wedding day all those years before, Miss Havisham has sought revenge on the entire male sex. And Estella has been chosen as the instrument of that revenge. Growing up in the ways of Miss Havisham, she will use her extraordinary beauty to lure unsuspecting men into her web of deceit, only to break their hearts with the utmost cruelty.

The relationship between Miss Havisham and Estella is really just a grotesque parody of that between a mother and her daughter. There's no love, no warmth, no mutual support; just manipulation and control.

Aside from its inherent immorality, the main problem with this teacher–pupil relationship is that it's almost too successful. Estella grows up to be so cold and unfeeling that she even shocks Miss Havisham. It would appear that Estella is a kind...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 875 words.)

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