September 27

“I am what you have made me.”

Tonight you only need to read one chapter!  After you read chapter 38 please respond here to any developments of theme, motif, symbol, or imagery that you see arising.  Please try to avoid plot summary and instead focus on analysis.  You will probably find a lot of characterization in this chapter which is fairly obvious, but for tonight’s assignment concentrate more on theme or even motif.    Dig deep!  See where your thoughts take you.

As always, follow the rules of standard written English in all your writing for English class!  Be sure also that you respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

GE #12

Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved.

Posted September 27, 2018 by equinson in category Great Expectations

43 thoughts on ““I am what you have made me.”

  1. Emily

    Although tonight’s reading consists of only one chapter, it is a chapter that is crucial to the development of many characters including Estella. In this chapter she and Ms. Havisham get into a fight, which “was the first time that I(Pip) had ever seen them opposed.”(pg. 303). Nevermind what the fighting was about, the fact that Estella even got into an argument with Ms. Havisham shows quite a bit about her personality. One of the most important themes throughout this book is the theme of coming of age. In most cases this is in regard to Pip, however in this chapter we see Estella beginning to mature. She is beginning to stick up for herself and realize that she does not want to be under the control of Ms. Havisham forever. she realizes that if she ever wants to become her own person she needs to finally be in control of her own life.

    Ms. Havisham is an extremely controlling person, who is so used to people following her orders that she does not know what to do when someone challenges her. On page 304 Estella says, “Mother by adoption, I have said that I owe everything to you. All I possess is freely yours. All that you have given me , is at your command to have again. Beyond that, I have nothing. And if you ask me to give you what you never gave me, my gratitude and duty cannot do impossibilities.” Estella has spent her whole life trying to please Ms. Havisham. However, now that she is an adult she realizes that she has nothing to show for her life. After all, Ms. Havisham has spent many years living vicariously though Estella. Now she is trying to control how Estella feels about Pip and even though they could have a chance at happiness, Ms. Havisham would rather destroy what they have so that she can get revenge for something that happened years ago.

    1. Emma Garbowitz

      I agree that is seems that Estella is trying to please Miss Havisham, but how she is beginning to become her own person and have her own perspective of things. Maybe not how Miss Havisham wants them.

    2. Laila Sayegh

      I agree that Estella standing up for herself definitely relates to the theme of coming of age. It shows a sense of maturity that she never used to have.

    3. maxwellw

      I agree that it’s insane and controlling how Miss Havisham would jeopardize Estella’s happiness for her own desires. I also like your use of our previous vocabulary words.

  2. Emma Garbowitz

    Throughout tonight’s reading, Estella does something very shocking that develops a theme throughout the chapter. Estella begins to have a huge argument with Miss Havisham about how the way she is, is Miss Havisham’s fault. It was the way she raised and taught to do things. The theme is that Estella is beginning to grow up and is starting to realize that she has to decide what she wants and not listen to what other people want for her. For her whole life, Estella has been told how to do certain things, but was this what she really wanted from her life? Is this what Estella wants, or what Miss Havisham wants? I think Estella wants to be able to make her own choices and become an independent individual. However, this is definitely not what Miss Havisham wants for her. Miss Havisham wants Estella to be with her forever and follow exactly what she wants. She has already planned out Estella’s whole life for her well being, but not Estella’s.
    Estella is the way that Miss Havisham makes up for the hole in her life after her lover broke her heart. Estella is Miss Havisham’s way of living life. It is almost as if Estella is like a “do over” for her. It is a way for Miss Havisham to do everything she wanted to do, but through someone else. However, I do not think that this was Estella’s intent for life; to be someone who she is most definitely not. Also, as soon as soon as Estella fights back for herself Miss Havisham instantly feels hurt and mortified that Estella did this to her. It is like what what her lover did to her all over again. Miss Havisham became obsessed with the man she loved, but then he broke her heart and she “stopped time” in order for that moment to have never happened. The same thing may occur with Estella. Miss Havisham is so obsessed with Estella and using her to achieve her goal in life, which is all she cares about at the moment. Miss Havisham cannot afford to lose Estella and go through the same pain twice.
    I think Estella is going to begin to stick up for herself and no longer be Miss Havisham’s beauty toy. I think she will make the decision to be who she wants to be and listen to herself. Estella is beginning to go through a drastic change in her thought, which will definitely affect her moving forward. Therefore, throughout chapter 38 many themes were observed and motifs were brought back as well.

    1. mirandak

      I definitely agree that Miss Havisham is essentially using Estella as her own pawn, living vicariously through her ward to make up for the melancholy and heartbreak she had faced when she was younger!

  3. mirandak

    Over the course of chapter 38 in the novel, I found that it was interesting to see a major theme that has been shown throughout the entire book be presented yet again, and with such significance, even though this was one mere chapter. However, to my shock, this theme was shown in different terms to how it was usually displayed throughout the novel until now.
    Essentially, “Great Expectations” as a whole is considered to be a bildungsroman, or a “coming of age” novel. This basically means that the novel focuses on the development of a certain character in the book, displaying their lives to the reader as they grow and mature from their years of youth into adulthood. It also represents a theme of education, not to be merely classified as education in terms of schooling, but also learning in terms of growing as a person, beginning to obtain a sense of greater morality, maturity, etc. as their life progresses. Furthermore, this novel is written in Pip’s point of view, looking back on the events that occurred throughout his childhood (first person retrospective), and therefore, the majority of the book is supposed to be about Pip’s coming of age, how he has developed as a person, etc. However, among the pages of this chapter, we see the novel take a different turn, as the theme of coming of age is instead directed onto a different character for once, rather than Pip: Estella. Fundamentally, Pip had ended up visiting Miss Havisham at Satis House with Estella, and soon, we see the chapter begin to unravel and head in the wrong direction as Estella has a massive argument with Miss Havisham herself! This came as quite a shock to me, as until now, although Estella has proven to be a quite difficult and unpredictable character in terms of her treatment of Pip, she had, at least not shown in the novel, ever shown a sense of defiance against Miss Havisham. From what we have seen so far, she has never raised her tone or spoke back to her adoptive mother. However, all of that changed when Estella had decided to unhook her arm from Miss Havisham’s, both literally and figuratively. After Miss Havisham had said such negative things of Estella and of her attitude, Estella finally snapped under the pressure, and began to have a voice. For instance, this is shown when in the text it states, “‘Speak the truth, you ingrate!’ cried Miss Havisham, passionately striking her stick upon the floor; ‘you are tired of me.’… ‘You stock and stone!’ exclaimed Miss Havisham. ‘You cold, cold heart!’
    ‘What?’ said Estella, preserving her attitude of indifference as she leaned against the great chimney-piece and only moving her eyes; ‘do you reproach me for being cold? You?’
    ‘Are you not?’ was the fierce retort.’
    ‘You should know,’ said Estella. ‘I am what you have made me. Take all the praise, take all the blame; take all the success, take all the failure; in short, take me.'” (p.304)
    Essentially, Estella, still composed and calm, began to argue against Miss Havisham, and explained to her that the person she had become was solely the fault of Miss Havisham herself. She had raised her in this way, and her character was shaped since childhood to be the way that she is because of Miss Havisham’s doing. Basically, in this chapter, Estella seemed to be the paragon of the coming of age theme, as she finally began to mature into her adulthood, trying to take back charge of her life which Miss Havisham had held since she was a baby. She had controlled her and neglected to show her any love due to her own past heartbreak, and so now, to blame Estella for her personality, she simply couldn’t take it, as it was a result of Miss Havisham’s own doing. She evolved from the young child who never spoke against her adoptive mother, who always complied and dealt with the terrible childhood she was brought up with. Yes, she definitely had money, and did not suffer in the sense of being poor, but suffered in her treatment as she grew older, which I find to be particularly damaging to the mind of a growing child. Estella herself speaks of the harsh reality she faced as she grew up, when in the text it states, “‘Why should I call you mad,’ returned Estella, ‘I, of all people? Does any one live, who knows what set purposes you have, half as well as I do? Does any one live, who knows what a steady memory you have, half as well as I do? I who have sat on this same hearth on the little stool that is even now beside you there, learning your lessons and looking up into your face, when your face was strange and frightened me!'” (p.305) So, after all of those years of suffering, she could no longer sit still and watch her life being navigated and manipulated by someone else, and so she finally speaks up. This really showed me just how much she had matured as a young woman, and “come of age” into her adulthood, where she was finally ready to take back the life that had been stolen from her.
    In short, I have always loved to read of Estella’s character in the novel, as her spontaneity meant that I could never predict what was to come with her. But, I was so happy when she finally stood up for herself, as it was so clear how much she had grown as a person since the beginning of the novel. Also, it was nice to see a diversion from the regular route in which Dickens took the bildungsroman aspect of the novel, as I would like to learn more about the growth of characters other than Pip as well!

    1. trinityt

      I agree that Estella is moving into her adulthood, therefore, her “coming of age”. The part when Estella talked back to Miss Havisham really stood out to me, showing that her character has definitely changed.

  4. Myles Ng

    In this chapter and in the whole book I see see the repeating theme of coming of age. In this book Pip begins as a little boy and he meets Estella. Within the first two volumes of this book Pip and Estella have now “become of age.” Meaning they have reached certain level of maturity and are considered adults. In this chapter Estella show maturity by questioning Ms. Havisham. Throughout the book she would always just do whatever Ms. Havisham said to do without a question or doubt in her mind. Now she realizes she is just a pawn in Ms. Havisham’s cruel redemption game. Ms. Havisham uses Estella to break peoples hearts as her’s once was. Pip notices this change in Estella too. “It was the first time I had ever seen them opposed.” Estella realizes that she is not a good person. She realizes her personality is no one’s fault, but ms. Havisham’s. She says to Ms. Haivsham that she molder her character, she imposed her teachings on her, she made her the way she is today. Ms. Havisham replies with an out burst about her being Estella’s provider. “O, look at her, look at her!” cried Miss Havisham, bitterly; “Look at her, so hard and thankless, on the hearth where she was reared! Where I took her into this wretched breast when it was first bleeding from its stabs, and where I have lavished years of tenderness upon her!” Mean while Pip is sitting there watching this argument unfold. This chapter showed a clear change from the obedient Estella we knew from he earlier chapters.

    1. Zoe

      I agree that Estella has become mature enough to stand up to Mrs.Havisham. Maybe she’ll even be able to be on her own and not have to listen to her adopted mother. It’s like there’s something holding her back, like fear of the unknown future or maybe she still cares for Mrs.Havisham but is to proud to admit.

  5. Sunna

    In this very important chapter, the theme of coming of age comes into play-but not with Pip.

    We finally see Estella standing up for herself, something that I was really hoping for. She gets in a fight with Miss Havisham and finally speaks her mind. She talks about how she was raised to be cold-hearted and cruel.

    For example, on page 304, it says, “‘You stock and stone!’ exclaimed Miss Havisham. ‘You cold, cold heart!’
    ‘What?’ said Estella, preserving her attitude of indifference as she leaned against the chimney-piece and only moving her eyes; ‘do you reproach me for being cold? You?’
    ‘Are you not?’ was the fierce retort.
    ‘You should know,’ said Estella. ‘I am what you have made me. Take all the praise, take all the blame; take all the success, take all the failure; in short, take me.’”

    I find this to be very important because it shows that Estella is finally starting to think for herself. Personally, I love characters with so much development and redemption arcs. They’re some of my favorite because they’re usually the most interesting. I used to despise Estella, but now I feel as though I judged her much too quickly. Perhaps she was just a child who didn’t know better. It would be one thing if she grew up and stayed the same, but she really is learning to be a better human being. This restores my faith in her. I hope that she continues to grow as a character and separate herself from the likes of Miss Havisham.

  6. janem

    In chapter 38, I feel we see a new side of Estella. First, we see her getting into a fight with Miss Havisham, and sticking up for herself. “‘You should know,’ said Estella. ‘I am what you have made me.’” … “‘So hard, so hard!’ moaned Miss Havisham, pushing away her grey hair with both hands. ‘Who taught me to be hard?’ returned Estella. ‘Who praises me when I learnt my lesson?’” (304-305). On pages 304 and 305, Estella’s behavior has been explained. She was only doing what Miss Havisham told her to, and that not all of her cruel attitude was meant. This is a major element in the plot, and I think this turns the role of antagonist from Estella to Miss Havisham. Miss Havisham was the one controlling Estella, like she was her puppet. Estella is about Pip’s age and came of age too. The argument with Miss Havisham helps the reader to get a glimps into Estella’s point of view and into her mindset. Another thing that stood out to me was in page 312, which reads, “‘Do you deceive and entrap him, Estella?’ ‘Yes, and many others – all of them but you.’” Estella admits to encouraging men to gain over her, and reveals she does that to everyone but Pip. Although it is not quite clear what this means, it is assured that there is a difference in Estella’s behavior towards Pip versus everyone else. I think this means that Pip means more to Estella than the other men, and she could possibly have feelings for him.

  7. Kate Ma.

    A motif that I saw in chapter 38 was the real Estella. What I mean by “the real Estella” is the Estella that has a mind of her own instead of following Miss. Havishams influence. Estella does the unimaginable in chapter 38, when she speaks for herself and finally tells Miss. Havisham how she really feels. Estella got a letter from the Satis house inviting her to visit with Pip as her escort. Once Estella, Pip and Miss. Havisham were settled in, Estella started to give Miss. Havisham attitude and it progressed into a fight between the two. For instance, Estella says, “I cannot think, said Estella, raising her eyes after a silence, why you should be so unreasonable when I come to see you after a separation. I have never forgotten your wrongs and their causes. I have never been unfaithful to you or your schooling. I have never shown any weakness that I can charge myself with.” What Estella means by this is how she’s been following Miss. Havishams sick ways and demands, and now, Estella’s finally had enough. All Estella wants is to love someone without having to end it so soon and under Miss. Havisham, she would never be able to do that. What surprised me is that Estella allowed Pip to witness this fight. I think that this shows how Estella wants Pip to know that she does love him and wants to be with him, so this is what she’ll do in order to be happy with him. The real Estella also appears when she was talking to Pip who got nervous about her fake love towards Drummle. Pip saw that Estella kept on smiling and allowing Drummle to follow her all night. Part of the conversation was, “Do you want me then, said Estella, turning suddenly with a fixed and serious, if not angry look, to deceive and entrap you?Do you deceive and entrap him Estella? Yes, and many others- all of them but you.” This shows how Estella confesses that she does care for Pip and wouldn’t be fake to him. I think that Estella is going to change after her blow out with Miss. Havisham and start to show her own personality.

    1. jaclynl

      I agree that we saw the “Real Estella” in this chapter and I really hope that we see more her real self as the book goes on

  8. Hannah Pitkofsky

    Even though we only read one chapter tonight, it was a very critical chapter in terms of the storyline and character progression. This chapter was mainly focused on Estella, because she had just been sent to Mrs. Brandley’s care. “The lady with whom Estella was placed, Mrs. Brandley by name, was a widow, with one daughter several years older than Estella.” (pg. 309) But once she sees Pip and Miss Havisham again, something changes in her, like a spark lit up inside her and will grow larger if not tamed. “I saw in this, that Estella was set to wreak Miss Havisham’s revenge on men…and Miss Havisham still had Estella’s arm drawn through her own, and still clutched Estella’s hand in hers, when Estella gradually began to detach herself…’You stock and stone!’ exclaimed Miss Havisham. ‘You cold, cold heart!’ ‘What?’ said Estella. … ‘Do you reproach me for being cold? You?’…’Mother by adoption,’ retorted Estella. ‘Mother by adoption, I have said that I owe everything to you. All I possess is freely yours. All that you have given me is at your command to have again. Beyond that, I have nothing.'” (pgs. 311-313)This giant block of Estella’s arguments shows us one HUGE thing that happens in this chapter: Estella fights back to Miss Havisham. Pip has changed her in a way that we have never seen before in her character or her personality, ever. Since Miss Havisham is her motherly figure, she has spent her whole life trying to impress her and make her proud. Sometimes it worked, but most of the time it didn’t but she kept trying until finally, she realized that she didn’t have to impress Miss Havisham at all and that she could finally be her own person. The theme that this shows is coming of age because Estella matured in a strong enough way that she was able to fight back against her past and push forward and stand up to Miss Havisham.

    1. mikaylaf

      I like the way you analyzed Estella’s argument with Miss Havisham. I agree, Estella has come to a big discovery: that she can be who she wants to be. I wonder how Miss Havisham will react in the future when she sees how Estella won’t obey her every order.

  9. mikaylaf

    In chapter 38, there is a motif of parenting. Estella and Miss Havisham get into a heated argument, and according to Pip, they have never done that before. The text states, “It happened on the occasion of this visit that some sharp words arose between Estella and Miss Havisham. It was the first time I had ever seen them opposed.” (page 303) Miss Havisham brings up the fact that she has taken care of Estella since she was a little girl. Estella then makes a point that Miss Havisham is only her mother by adoption. However, she has shaped who Estella is today. I believe Miss Havisham is being very hypocritical in this chapter. For example, she reprimands Estella for talking back to her, yet Estella learned this skill from Miss Havisham!
    “‘So proud, so proud!’ moaned Miss Havisham, pushing away her grey hair with both hands.
    ‘Who taught me to be proud?’ returned Estella. ‘Who praised me when I Iearnt my lesson?’” (page 305)
    I am proud of Estella for standing up to Miss Havisham. It shows that she won’t be a puppet for Miss Havisham anymore.
    This motif of parenthood also appears between Mrs. Joe and Pip earlier in the novel. Mrs. Joe, just like Miss Havisham, is constantly telling Pip how she “brought him up by hand.” I think in this sense, Mrs. Joe and Miss Havisham are similar. Especially since Mrs. Joe is not Pip’s real mother nor is Miss Havisham to Estella. I think this is another reason why Estella and Pip defy their motherly figures. Both of the ‘kids’ don’t feel obliged to listen to their ‘mothers’. In this sense, Estella and Pip act similarly. However, they way Mrs. Joe acts as a ‘mother’ is very different than they way Miss Havisham does. Mrs. Joe is very strict and harsh to Pip, to the point where Pip is almost afraid of her. On the other hand, Miss Havisham spoils Estella. Although Estella has gotten all the material items she could possibly want from Miss Havisham, she still feels there is something missing in their relationship, and to be honest, I don’t blame her! Just because someone is nice to you and gives you a lot of presents, doesn’t mean you’re going to like them more! I think this applies to the relationship between Estella and Miss Havisham. I think the motif of parent – child relationships, like those between Mrs. Joe and Pip and Miss Havisham and Estella, are important in this novel and I wonder if they will continue to appear throughout the rest of the book.

    1. Sophie

      I like your thoughts and description about about the way Miss Havisham spoils Estella. I agree with the way you said that just because Miss Havisham gave Estella all the possessions she wanted, it doesn’t make her necessarily like Miss Havisham more.

  10. Zoe

    In chapter 38, you finally start to see the way that Estella feels about Mrs.Havisham and Pip. When her and Pip go to see Ms.Havisham, she starts acting hard and proud to Mrs.Havisham. She opens up to her adopted mother about the horrible lesson of being afraid of the deathly sun that Mrs.Havisham had taught and even all the other love lessons on how to deceive men have affected her. Even after Mrs.Havisham pleads to Estella to love her for that’s all she wanted, Estella never cared for her.
    “‘Would it be weakness to return my love?’ exclaimed Mrs.Havisham. ‘But yes, yes, she would call it so!’
    ‘I begin to think,’ said Estella, in a musing way, after another moment of calm wonder,’that I almost understand how this comes about. If you had brought up your adopted daughter wholly in the dark confinement of these rooms, and had never let her know that there was such a thing as the daylight by which she had never once seen your face..'”
    Estella directly attacks Mrs.Havisham for the horrible childhood she provided. She also never refers to Mrs.Havisham as her mother and seems to attack Mrs.Havisham every time she says “adopted mother” to illustrate her hate for her childhood. Later, when Estella starts to pay a lot of attention to Drummle, Pip gets jealous and talks to her. She also opens up to Pip and asks if he loves her and if he wants her to be cruel and rude to him the way he is to the Spider. It’s as if she’s contemplating why these are the only ways to “win over” a man or the only way to live your life. It’s like she wants to escape this, but she has no where to go. This chapter really defines who Estella is and could maybe foreshadow and event of her finally becoming more then Mrs.Havisham’s toy to wreak havoc on all men.

  11. Sophie

    As I read chapter 38, a key motif I noticed was Estella’s and Miss Havisham’s personalities. The reason I say this is because throughout the novel, we have already seen a lot Estella’s spunky and independent character when it comes to her interactions with Pip. But this time instead of her characteristics affecting Pip, they interfered with another character – Miss Havisham! The two of them got into a big argument about all that Estella and Miss Havisham had gone through together, such as the way Miss Havisham raised her. I was extremely proud of Estella for standing up to Miss Havisham, because her whole life, that’s never something she used to do. As a result, she had no clue how Miss Havisham was going to react, which takes a lot of guts to do. However, I was a little nervous as Estella was retorting and retorting because I was wondering if this would have any negative effect on the story or the way Estella is treated. Estella’s unique personality definitely keeps occurring. The way Miss Havisham stood out to me, was the way she seemed to be coming across as very greedy. It was in the way that she was taking credit for everything Estella knows. Every time Estella would mention something about her inner feelings, Miss Havisham would almost immediately contradict that Estella only had those feelings because Miss Havisham had taught it to her, (such as pride). It has been clear for a while that Miss Havisham is using Estella to break Pip’s heart, only because she cares about herself an wants to see someone else go through what she went through. So the fact that we just saw her use her greediness in another situation, shows a lot about her personality and character.

    1. Casey

      I agree that it shows a lot about Estella’s Character to be able to stand up to the person who raised her. Miss Havisham should’ve been less selfish and cared about the child who she adopted more than herself.

  12. Hannah M.

    Dickens fit a lot of important character development into chapter 38. The character Dickens focused on in this chapter is Estella. In this chapter Estella is sent to Mrs.Bradley’s care. What Estella did that stood out the most on this chapter was how Estella told Miss Havisham how she really feels. For example, “‘you should know’ said Estella. ‘I am what you have made me. Take all the praise, take all the blame;take all the success, take all the failure;in short take me.'”(pg 304) Estella stood up to Miss Havisham once and or all!
    Pip took part of this motive for Estella to stand up for herself. Estella has learned so much from Pip and Pip has changed her in many ways. Estella has become more confident in herself and found her she really is without being Miss Havisham’s puppet.
    Miss Havisham is like a mother figure to Estella because she adopted her. That sounds a lot like Mrs.Joe and Pip, although their related by blood and Miss Havisham and Estella aren’t.
    This makes me question what actions Estella will take in the future to keep this confidence.

    1. Brishti Sarkar

      I agree with you. I think Dickens highlighted the similarities between the two families to place an emphasis on the differences of Pip and Estella.

  13. Brishti Sarkar

    In chapter 38, a major theme revolving around Estella is explored. This theme is that you cannot judge someone without knowing their past. Throughout the novel, the reader thinks that Estella is a snobbish, spoilt, ungrateful bully to Pip, and while that may be true, people are so quick to jump on the negative traits of a person, without knowing their past. As we learn in this chapter, Miss Havisham never truly cared for Estella; she only wanted to use her to take revenge on all men by breaking their hearts. Earlier, we learned from Herbert that Miss Havisham’s lover abandoned her on their wedding date. Dickens told us that so he can connect it to now, when we figure out that Miss Havisham was “training” Estella to break men’s hearts. In this chapter, Estella takes a stand against Miss Havisham and tells her that “I am what you have made me. Take all the praise, take all the blame; take all the success, take all the failure; in short, take me.”(p.304). This act of defiance is very brave on Estella’s part, and it is clear that she has been through a lot in her life. Later, we find out that Drummle and Estella are “dating”, and this makes Pip very jealous. However, we find out at a party that Estella only makes them think that they are in love so that she can break mens’ heart, because that is what Miss Havisham trained her to do. When she explains to Pip that she “deceives and entraps” men like Drummle, she says that she has done this to “many others – all of them but you.”(p.312). This makes us wonder if she has feelings for Pip. Tracing this back to the theme, we know that it is not entirely Estella’s fault that she is like this, but that it is also not entirely Miss Havisham’s either. Estella does rude things to Pip because of Miss Havisham, and Miss Havisham does this because of a man. But, we must also keep in mind that the blame cannot be put on one singular person, and that everyone shares responsibility. What Dickens wants us to pick up from this is that you should not judge someone’s character without knowing their full story.

    1. MadiR

      I like how you made your theme revolve around Estella and her past. I agree that you should not judge someone until you know their background. You cannot just make assumptions about people.

  14. jaclynl

    In this chapter, we see a whole different side to Estella. For the first time, we see her arguing with Miss Havisham and rebelling against her. This is very important because ever since Estella was introduced in the beginning of the novel, she has always seemed to be going along with Miss Havisham. To see her going against her and standing up for herself for the first time is something to take notice of because after all, I think the Estella that we saw in this chapter is the real Estella. Before, she was just doing everything Miss Havisham said and not being herself. As Estella is aging and growing older just like Pip, she is beginning to become her own person. When Miss Havisham calls her “coldhearted,” Estella does fight back and tell her that she’s like that because of her. After all, Miss Havisham raised her to be cold and not the best person.

    I think that there is definitely a motif of growing up and maturing. Since “Great Expectations” is a coming of age novel, a lot of the characters have gone from kids to growing older with new personalties. We saw this with Pip first once he met Estella and then again once he went to London and met so many people such as Herbert. I think that the same thing is happening with Estella. Now that she is older and an adult, she’s starting to make descisions of her own. That’s why her fighting with Miss Havisham was so important. I really loved seeing Estella be herself for one of the first times and I really hope she ends up being a good person. Deep down inside without the influence of Miss Havisham, I think she is.

  15. trinityt

    In chapter 38, I see the theme, “coming of age”, repeating throughout the chapter. However, this time it wasn’t about Pip. It was about Estella!
    Estella has gotten into a fight with Miss Havisham while she and Pip was at the Satis House. When they were talking, Estella suddenly removed her arm away from Miss Havisham. This causes Miss Havisham to burst and say such negative things about Estella and her sudden attitude.
    “‘You stock and stone!’ exclaimed Miss Havisham. ‘You cold, cold heart!’…’You should know,’ said Estella. ‘I am what you have made me. Take all the praise, take all the blame; take all the success, take all the failure; in short, take me.’…’…What would you have?’ ‘Love,’ replied the other. ‘You have it.’ ‘I have not,’ said Miss Havisham…’Mother by adoption, I have said that I owe everything to you. All I possess is freely yours. All that you have given me, is at your command to have again. Beyond that, I have nothing. And if you ask me to give you what you never gave me, my gratitude and duty cannot do impossibilities.'” (pg.304-305).
    Estella talked back to Miss Havisham, saying that she mold Estella into what she is today. Since Miss Havisham has never given her love, Estella can’t give that back to her. This shocked me, because Estella were always listening to Miss Havisham and obeying her and never talked back, but now she speaks clearly of what’s on her mind. I find this moment to be very important because it shows Estella’s “coming of age”. In the past, Estella does everything Miss Havisham told her to do, right or wrong, but now she is starting to think for herself, and speaks her mind with her own voice. Estella has definitely grown up from her childhood and into her adulthood as a young woman. At first, I didn’t really like Estella’s character very much, since she was mean and too proud, but I became more intrigued of her character as I read on. During the previous chapters, I started predicting what will happen to Estella like maybe she will break away from Miss Havisham. Which indeed she did! Or at least starting to. I hope that Estella will continue to be free from Miss Havisham’s control, and grow more as a character.

    1. angelicac1

      I also hope that Estella will grow more as a character. It would be interesting for us readers to see her evolve more throughout the book.

  16. angelicac1

    “Great Expectations” is a “coming of age” novel, or a bildungsroman. A “coming of age” novel is a type of novel where it focuses on a certain character, such as Pip, showing that character’s life evolve as they become more maturely. Rather than focusing on Pip, chapter 38 focuses on Estella. When Pip visits the Satis House with Estella, to see Miss Havisham, everything goes downhill when Estella has an argument with Miss Havisham. I never thought Estella would ever use such an attitude towards Miss Havisham, her adoptive mother. She’s always used her attitude on Pip so this chapter truly shocked me. The argument begins when Miss Havisham starts to spit out negative words to Estella regarding her character and her attitude. Estella then defends herself and fights back in a calm and subtle way.

    This chapter had a theme of the coming of age because it showed Estella maturing into her adulthood. Miss Havisham shaped Estella’s character since her childhood without giving her any love, so Estella wouldn’t accept Miss Havisham’s words when she insulted her personality. Estella acts the way she is because of Miss Havisham so it was essentially Miss Havisham’s fault of why Estella’s character is the way it is. Like I mentioned earlier, this chapter shocked me. Another reason to why it did is because I got to view Estella in a different perspective. I used to view her as a bitter girl who had no feelings of happiness. Now I no longer see her in that perspective because of this chapter.

  17. Casey

    In chapter 38, we see Estella take a stand against Miss Havisham. Miss Havisham adopted Estella because of what I think is her so-called plan for revenge. Estella has been pushed around by Miss Havisham her whole life. This is the chapter where we finally see Estella stand up for herself. At this point in the novel, most of the characters are coming of age. Maybe since she is older, Estella felt the need to give Miss Havisham a piece of her mind. For her whole life, Estella has been told to break boys’ hearts, all because Miss Havisham can’t get over her own problems. She can’t accept that her cousin was right and fiance stole all of her money. Maybe this is scene is trying to show the reader that you should stand up for yourself and not let people walk all over you. I hope that since Estella was able to fight back against Miss Havisham, she is able to become a better person, and not act like she is so much better than everyone around her.

  18. MadiR

    Tonight’s chapter was very important and Estella’a motif had a big part. Pip was told to bring Estella back to the Satis House for a visit. At Ms. Havisham’s residence, Estella and Ms. Havisham got into an argument. This is the first time Pip has ever seen them fight. Estella states in the text ” Mother by adoption, I have said that I owe everything to you. All I posses is freely yours. All that you have given me, is at your command to have again. Beyond that, I have nothing. And if you ask me to give you what you never gave me, my gratitude, and duty cannot do impossibilities.”(pages 304/305) Estella’s response to Ms. Havisham’s outrage that Estella does not love her leads the reader to believe that Estella is incapable of love. Pip learns from this quarrel, as he has been advised previously, that Ms. Havisham raised Estella for one purpose, to carry out Ms. Havisham’s revenge on men for her one failed love.

  19. Laila Sayegh

    Normally when I’d blog about character development, I would be speaking about the main character in the novel, Pip. In tonight’s reading, I noticed immense character development in Estella.
    In previous chapters, Estella would always be obedient to Miss Havisham. She would never talk back and always obey her orders. It almost seemed to me as though they were “on the same team”. Meaning, they had the same intentions and always agreed with one another. Recently, I’ve noticed a change in Estella. In this chapter, we see her questioning and reasoning with Miss Havisham about why she never cared about Estella or showed her any love. So, why is this important? Well, one of the soul purposes that Estella was so cold-hearted to Pip was because of Miss Havisham. Now that she is standing up for herself it hints at a future for Pip and Estella. Also, it shows a sense of maturity. Estella defending herself shows her true personality and intentions. She does not want to be cold or heartless, it was how Miss Havisham had raised her to be.
    All in all, I definitely misjudged Estella at the beginning of the novel. I used to believe she was a bitter, ruthless girl. Now I can see that she does, in fact, have a heart. But, she can’t control her own life, for Miss Havisham had power over her since she was a little girl.

  20. josepha4

    In chapter 38 Dickens shows true characterization by comparing and contrasting the two woman, Estella and Mrs. Havisham. Mrs. Havisham is described as a witch and evil. ” I looked… at her own awful figure with it’s ghostly reflection thrown large by the fire upon the ceiling and the wall…” In contrast , we see Estella as cold. Unable to show love, empathy, or even emotion at all!” You stock and stone!… you cold heart! says Mrs. Havisham. Estella replies, “you should know, I am what you have made me. Take all the praise, take all the blame,” Where Estella is burning up Estella is frigid and cold. She is defiant and composed when confronting Mrs. Havisham for her wrongdoings. I think she has so much composure because she has no other emotion to express other than ones she is told to. There are many obvious symbols that Mrs. Havisham is fire and fury and Estella is cold and heartless.”Estella looked at her with perfect composure, and then down at the fire. Her… indifference what she has created and realizes that the sole purpose for her to the wild heat of the other was almost cruel…”. Mrs. Havisham realizes her experiment backfired.She only wanted Estella to love her like her husband would have. However, her methods are so twisted that instead of driving Estella closer to herself, she is unable to love anyone at all, including herself. Now Mrs. Havisham will feel the same crushing pain twice, yet another person she “loved” has not reciprocated the same feelings, only now it’s her fault. Estella is empty and only full of orders, never any emotions. I believe that Estella has true emotions but doesn’t know how to express them without putting another person down. She warns Pip, “Pip… don’t be foolish about it’s affect on you. it may have it’s affect on others, and may be meant to have. It’s not worth discussing.”

  21. stephaniec

    As shown in chapter 38 and in previous chapters, Dickens’ continued to portray the theme of coming of age. The novel “Great Expectations”, is a novel based on coming of age. This means that the novel is written about one or more characters development through their life. We have mostly seen these changed through Pip, the main character. However, Estella’s actions in chapter 38 have proved to demonstrate the recurring theme of coming of age too. From the beginning of the novel, Estella seemed to be fearless and determined to always speak her truth. However, she had never done so with Ms. Havisham. It had become evident to Estella and to Pip that Ms. Havisham tried to live vicariously through Estella. In doing this, Ms. Havisham would get the revenge she seeked in order to put her mind at ease. Essentially, Ms. Havisham seeked revenge in the hopes that her broken heart would heal, and that someone else would share the feeling of loss and abandonment she had once felt. Estella called Ms. Havisham out by saying “I am what you have made me. Take all the praise, take all the blame; take all the success, take all the failure; in short, take me.” (page 304). Basically, Estella explained that she had no other choice than to grow up the way she did, because of the way she was raised by Ms. Havisham. In conclusion, I think Estella had matured over the course of the novel so far, as portrayed in the scene that included Estella standing up for herself.

  22. maxwellw

    In this chapter, a lot seems to happen between Estella. Mainly we learn that Estella really isn’t as much of a “pawn” to Miss Havisham as we may have thought. Things start out simple as Pip and Estella head Miss Havisham’s home at her home. As Estella and Miss Havisham were seated by the fire, Estella withdrew her hand from Miss Havisham’s. This was described as showing “proud impatience” and causes a heated fight. This fight brings up a theme of Nature vs. Nurture that we have seen previously with Estella and Pip. Pip first realizes that “Estella was set to wreak Miss Havisham’s revenge on men,” which to us is clear but shows how Pip finally realized the reason for Estella’s indoctrination. Estella also gets Miss Havisham to admit to her hypocrisy when she becomes distressed over Estella becoming “proud and hard” to her, even though that’s what she was taught to do.

  23. Maddie

    In chapter 38, as well as in other chapters in the novel, a theme of coming of age is often portrayed. It is shown often in this chapter through Estella, who is beginning to finally speak up for herself.
    When Pip brings Estella back home to Satis house, everything seems to be going normally. They go up to Miss Havisham’s room, and Estella has her arm in Miss Havisham’s. Eventually, Estella takes her arm away, and Miss Havisham is offended. They then get into a big argument, and Estella finally learns to have her own voice, own opinion, instead of just doing whatever Miss Havisham tells her, which is what she has done for her whole life so far. “‘So proud, so proud!’ moaned Miss Havisham, pushing away her grey hair with both her hands.
    ‘Who taught me to be proud?’ returned Estella. ‘Who praised me when I learnt my lesson?'” This quote shows that Estella is letting Miss Havisham know that she has only done what Miss Havisham taught her to do, so Miss Havisham should not be mad when Estella is proud, or cold, or hard, or anything else that Miss Havisham raised her to be.
    All in all, Estella has shown tremendous growth in character, and is definitely portraying coming of age.

  24. johnh1

    In this chapter Estella and Ms. Havisham get into a fight. They fight about Estella’s want of being away from the actions of Ms. Havisham. This is the first time Pip sees this happen and could be the only time it happens. This shows what Estella has learned over time. She is ready to start living how she wants and not to how Ms. Havisham told her.


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