In Great Expectations, who is the girl at Miss Havisham's house?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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After Pip is summoned by Uncle Pumblechook and driven in his chaise-cart to Satis House. There the pretentious Pumblechook asks a "very pretty and... very proud" girl if Miss Havisham wishes to see him.

"Ah!" said the girl. "But you see she don't."

The haughty girl leads Pip up a dark stairway with a candle, and although she is about his age, Pip says that the girl calls him "boy."

She seemed much older...being a girl, and beautiful and self-possessed, and she was as scornful of me as if she had been one-and-twenty, and a queen.

This girl's name is Estella, which means "star." When she brings Pip into the strange house with an extremely unusual woman dressed in an old wedding gown, Miss Havisham instructs her to play cards with the boy.  

"What do you play, boy?" asked Estella of me, with the greatest disdain.

Estella ridicules Pip for calling "knaves" "jacks." And she calls him coarse and a common laboring boy later, causing Pip to cry.

She laughed contemptuously, pushed me out and locked the gate upon me.

After this visit, perceives himself and his life in a different perspective; that is, one of embarrassment. Pip falls in love with her, and he desires to become a gentleman so that he can be worthy of Estella. 

user9241969's profile pic

user9241969 | eNotes Newbie

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Her name is Estella, a girl whom Miss Havisham adopted.


Pip falls in love with her and eventually finds out that Miss Havisham was heartbroken in the past and now uses estella to break hearts. Pip wants to become a gentleman so he can win her over, which is the main theme of the whole book.