October 3

“Surely I had seen exactly such eyes and such hands on a memorable occasion very lately!”

Please read chapters 47-50.  After you finish the reading, please consider and discuss the revelations that Pip uncovers with regard to Estella’s parentage.   What, if any, difference does this make to our understanding of Estella’s character?   Why might Dickens have included these developments?  How does this connect to other motifs or themes in the novel?

Remember to include specific details from the novel to support your opinions and to respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

GE blog #15


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Posted October 3, 2018 by equinson in category Great Expectations

47 thoughts on ““Surely I had seen exactly such eyes and such hands on a memorable occasion very lately!”

  1. Myles Ng

    In these chapters we learn that Estella still has a mother. Mr. Jagger’s housekeeper is Estella’s mother. Only Pip knows of this and not Estella. I wonder if he will or will not tell her, and if he does tell her, when? This information will most likely be shocking to her and will change her perspective on things. We also find out that Pip’s convict, Magwitch is in fact Estella’s father. Dickens is very good at making his stories and characters seem interwoven and I think these chapters are a great example of this. This means Estella is the daughter of two criminals. Magwitch, a thief, and Molly, a convicted murderer. Molly is thought to have killed Estella also, but as we know since she is still alive Molly is innocent of that crime of murdering Estella. Pip visits Ms. Havisham and she begs him to forgive her for breaking his heart. Pip forgives her. Nearing the end of Pip’s visit Ms. Havisham has an accident by the fire and Pip saves her life. Pip goes home injured from the fire and while Herbert is helping him they agree to become more fonder and nicer to Magwitch. Herbert also tells Pip about the missing part of the convicts story. Pip then realizes that the story checks out and Estella is definitely the child of Molly and Magwitch. All this thickens the plot of the story and shows how almost everyone in this book is interconnected.

    1. jaclynl

      There is a huge plot twist in these four chapters. First off, we learn about Estella’s real family, since she was only adopted by Miss Havisham. Her mother turns out to be Molly, the mysterious housekeeper from so many chapters ago and her father is Magwitch, Pip’s convict. Something that I love about Dickens’s writing is how well thought out and planned all of these characters are. When we first met Magwitch all the way in chapter one, I never thought that he would ever reappear. I had almost forgotten about Molly until I read tonight. The way Dickens writes is extraordinary in the way that he includes so many small details and characters that end up all coming together in the end. Dickens has included this plot twist in a way to get the reader excited and make them look closely at the text. After finding out this information, I can’t help but wonder what other characters might happen to be related to the story. This all relates to the theme of appearance vs. reality. When looking at both Magwitch and Molly individually, Magwitch as seen just as a convict who is a bad person and Molly came off as the strange housekeeper. But after finding out the true story behind all of this, there is so much more to them than just their appearances. Everything is connected and I can’t wait to see what other ways Dickens will surprise us.

      1. mikaylaf

        I totally agree with your analysis of Dickens. It is really an amazing talent that he has, the way he intertwines all of the characters that we meet. And I almost forgot about Molly, too! This plot twist has made me take a closer look at the characters we’ve met, so that I can maybe pick up something that will be important by the end of the novel.

      2. Hannah M.

        I agree strongly! It IS very interesting to see how everything is connected i this novel. It makes it very suspenseful! I forgot about molly too! Haha! Godd job Jaclyn

  2. Sunna

    In these chapters, we find out that Estella’s biological parents are Molly and Magwitch. This reveal truly shocked me, and Dickens impressed me even more. His writing is amazing, especially everything ended up being related. Who would’ve thought that Molly would end up being Estella’s mother? Or Magwitch her father? It also made me think that perhaps people forget that Estella grew up with no parental figures. She must have just felt like a pawn to Miss Havisham, someone to toy with and live through vicariously. This will change the story immensely, and I’m curious to see how the rest of this storyline will unfold.

    1. Casey

      I was also shocked when I was reading tonight’s chapters. I would have never have thought that Estella’s parents would turn out to be characters such as Magwitch and Molly!

  3. Casey

    These chapters reveal more secrets about Estella, Magwitch and some other characters. Pip successfully sends his convict away but is still worried for him. He is worried that Compeyson might find him to get revenge. Pip goes to the theater to calm down, only to discover that Compeyson is following him. Maybe this is part of the theme about what goes around comes around, if Pip was nicer to the convict, maybe he wouldn’t have to deal with Compeyson.

    Also, Pip makes the connection that Molly was the person that Estella resembles. Inferring that Molly is Estella’s birth mom. and once Pip and Herbert find out even more about Magwitch, they come to the conclusion that Magwitch is Estella’s father. This changes the whole plot of the story. This is now reconnecting Pip to his hometown after he chose to ignore it after Estella marries Drummle. Maybe Pip will use the new information about Estella’s real parents to win her back over Drummle.

    1. trinityt

      I agree! Plus, I wouldn’t mind to see Pip winning Estella back over Drummle. In fact, I would love to see that. I’m excited to read on and find out more.

  4. mikaylaf

    In these four chapters, Pip uncovers Estella’s parentage. It turns out that Mr. Jaggers’s housemaid, Molly, is Estella’s mother, and Abel Magwitch is Estella’s father! Pip realizes Molly is Estella’s mother whiling dining at Mr. Jaggers’s house. When Molly comes to serve the food, Pip realizes that she her hand motions look like she’s knitting, and then he remembers the motions Estella went through when he saw her knit a little while ago, and then he puts two and two together and sees that Molly and Estella look exactly alike, and that Molly must be Estella’s mother. Pip states, “But her hands were Estella’s hands, and her eye’s were Estella’s eyes, and if she had reappeared a hundred times I could have been neither more sure nor less sure that my conviction was the truth.” (page 391) Then, at the very end of chapter 50, when Herbert is filling Pip in on his conversations with Magwitch, Herbert says that Magwitch was talking about a girl he was with, and Pip used his knowledge of what he knew about Molly to piece together the idea that Magwitch is Estella’s father. Pip is very sure of himself when he tells Herbert, “‘And the man we have in hiding, down the river, is Estella’s father!’” (page 408)

    I believe that Pip’s revelation about Estella’s parentage makes a minor difference to our understanding of her character, but at the same time it doesn’t. What I mean by this is that Estella was a little girl when Miss Havisham adopted her. Miss Havisham tells Pip she was about two or three, and she never really knew her true parents, she just knew Miss Havisham as her adopted mother. This means that Estella was raised solely by Miss Havisham, and that her true parents never made an impact on her since she was just a little girl when she was orphaned. In this sense, Estella’s real parents have no impact on our understanding of her character whatsoever. On the other hand, one could argue that since Estella was born of a convict, she was destined to be a ‘bad’ girl. In this case, ‘bad’ because she doesn’t have a heart or romantic feelings. In this sense, Estella’s parents matter very much to our understanding of her! This fits into the ongoing theme of nature versus nurture. Estellas was nurtured, or brought up by Miss Havisham. However, her nature lies with her parents, whom we now know the identity of. I wonder if Estellas knows her true parents. If she doesn’t, will Pip tell her? I’m looking forward to seeing hown Dickens will tie this piece up by the end of the novel.

    1. Laila Sayegh

      I agree. The impact that Miss Havisham has made on Estella compared to her inherited traits does show a theme of Nature VS Nurture!

  5. Laila Sayegh

    In tonight’s reading, Estella’s biological parents are revealed. Surprisingly, Estella’s mother is Molly and her father is Magwitch.
    In a previous blog, I said that characters from the different parts of Pip’s life are connecting, and this further proves that point. Molly is a household maid he met when he came to London and Magwitch was a convict that threatened Pip when he was only seven. I love how Charles Dickens plans out all of his writing. Every character he creates has their purpose in the novel. For example, Molly never had much of a purpose, nor did I think she ever would because what would she have to do with anything? Of course, Dickens gave her a purpose to the story!
    I think that Charles Dickens mentioned who Estella’s parents were because it can show a lot about Estella’s character. For example, Molly was a mysterious character in the novel. She had many hidden aspects of her life and we never knew much about who she was or where she came from. Clearly, so is Estella. If you think about it, we never found out much about Estella personally. All we knew is she was Miss Havisham’s adopted daughter who was “destined to break hearts”. Magwitch, her father, is a man who people were quick to judge based on his appearance. Magwitch would always be quickly blamed and punished for innocent doings just because he didn’t look like a “gentleman”. Of course, Estella does look of high class but people often just see her as a rich, pretty girl. But, I think Estella has many different layers to her, some of which we have already seen. People usually forget that about her
    All in all, I think that Charles Dickens has done an incredible job giving each character their own storyline and somehow connecting them to the main character, Pip.

  6. Hannah M.

    In chapters 47-50 we find out some very unexpected news! Magwitch and Molly are Estella’s birth parents!
    I’m surprised that Molly is a huge part of this event for she was only brought up in the novel once! I never would have expected it to be her. Frankly, I kind of forgot about her….oops!
    I also forgot that Estella grew up with no parents for Miss Havisham has acted like a motherly figure to Estella for so long!
    Dickens reveals this to create a sense of shock in the novel. He also does this to make sure every character had a good purpose to be brought up in the book and that they stay relevant to the novel.
    Molly thought she murdered Estella when she was young! We know very well that she was not murdered or else she wouldn’t be alive now!
    I feel a little ashamed of myself for think”how can a convict and a maid have such a beautiful girl for a daughter. This goes back to the theme don’t judge people by their appearances. It is sad for people to think this way, but it was very shocking to find out a major character like Estella is the daughter of to low class citizens.

  7. janem

    In chapters 47-50 of “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens, a lot has been revealed regarding Estella’s past. Estella was adopted by Miss Havisham when she was just a toddler. We learn that her mother is Molly, Mr. Jaggers’s servant. She was accused of a murder, and threatened Estella’s father that she would murder Estella, but Mr. Jaggers was able to convince the court she was innocent. Molly repays him as being his servant. Molly is a mysteriously hesitant character, who has very tough wrists. “‘…You’ll see a wild beast tamed. Not so very uncommon, you’ll tell me. I reply, that depends on the original wildness of the beast, and the amount of taming.’ … ‘Keep your eye on it.'” (Page 202) I think this quote is very significant. First, Wemmick refers to her as “tamed”, a word one would typically use when referring to an animal. Second, I think by using the word “tamed”, it implies that Molly was very feisty, which I think can be seen in Estella when she argues with Miss Havisham in chapter 38. Lastly, I remember when Pip first saw Molly, Mr. Jaggers made him look at Molly’s tough wrists. This reminds me of Joe’s file in a way. Joe’s file is the symbol that reminds Pip of his misdemeanor, and brings him feeling of guilt, shame, and anxiety. Molly’s wrists could be tough from murdering someone, and if they are, then they will always remind her of her misdemeanor, and act as the file does for Pip.

    Something that really surprised me was discovering who Estella’s father is. It shocked me to learn that her father is Provis. Provis reminds me a lot of Miss Havisham. When we first see them, we see them as mean, cruel people, that we want Pip to get away from. But after learning about themselves as characters and their pasts, we start to soften towards them. They both remark on how Pip reminded them of people important to them. First, Pip as a seven year old reminded Provis of Estella, which he thought had been murdered by Molly. Miss Havisham said Pip reminded her of herself, when her heart was broken and she was devastated.

    Estella shows a resemblance of Molly, Provis, and even Miss Havisham. But despite those traits, Estella has blossomed into her own individual character, which I hope we can see more of in the final chapters of “Great Expectations”.

  8. Kate Ma.

    In tonight’s reading Dickens uncovers shocking new about Estella that I would have never guessed. Molly, Mr. Jaggers servant, as well as a murderer, and Magwitch, Pip’s convict are Estella’s biological parents. This shows a lot about Dickens writing style. Dickens writes his novel with such thought and care and comes up with genius stories that make the readers really dive into the book. A motif that I saw again was a foil. Estella is very different but also similar to her true parents. Estella gets her mysterious character from her parents, just like Molly and Magwitch’s unbelievable stories. Estella is very different from her parents by her idea of social classes. Estella always thought of common people as incongruent and unimportant, just like when she teased Pip the first time she met him. It’s almost a coincidence that Estella’s background consists of criminals, which are obviously lower in rank then Pip’s parents. Once again, Dickens ties in a theme of social classes, to not judge people. Estella wrongly teased Pip countless times for being a blcksmith’s boy. Dickens truly amazes me by his ability to tie all his characters together along with a motif and a theme.

    1. Emma Garbowitz

      I agree about how there are many foils including how Estella is both similar but also very different from her parents.

  9. MadiR

    In the reading tonight there is a surprising revelation in regard to Estella’s parentage. Pip discovers that Molly, Mr. Jaggers’ maid, is Estella’s mother. While dinning at Mr. Jaggers house Pip realizes how much Estella and Molly have in common. Afterward Pip speaks with Wemmick who was also at dinner. Wemmick tells Pip all about how Jagggers won her case when she was accused of murder. Pip then concludes that Molly is Estella’s mother. Later on in the novel Pip listened to Magwitch’s love story told from Herbert. After the story all of Pip’s doubts disappeared. Pip is surprised to hear that his convict, Magwitch, is Estella’ s father and that Molly is his wife and Estella’s mother. Wemmick and Magwitch’s story’s help us understand how Estella came to be Ms. Havisham’s adopted daughter. I think Dickens included these developments to show how everything connects in the novel. It kind of reminds me of the saying “It’s a small world”.

  10. josepha4

    In tonight’s assigned reading we learn about Estella’s biological parents as well as Mrs. Havishams’s true intentions when raising her. It turns out that Magwitch is Estella’s true father and Molly, Mr. Jagger’s house maid is her mother. Pip first observes this to be true when he notices that Molly’s hands move in a particular way and her face is familiar: “Her hands were Estella’s hands, and her eyes were Estella’s eyes, and if she had reappeared a hundred times I could have been neither more sure no less sure that my conviction was the truth.” Pip’s suspicion turns into a full investigation. He speaks to Wemmick and he confirms parts of the story, then he speaks to Mrs. Havisham and hears another piece of the plot, perhaps learning more about Estella than even Jaggers knows. We have so far learned that Estella was the biological child of a convict on Magwich’s side, and the child of a Gypsie murderous mother on Molly’s side. We also learns more about the “nurture” side of Estella’s upbringing. Pip learns that Mrs. Havisham never intended to make Estella heartless, rather that she only wanted to save her from the fate that she herself suffered. When it was certain Estella would be beautiful, she decided to make her a heart breaker. Along the way, Pip gains some magnanimity, by forgiving Miss Havisham. It’s intriguing to know if Pip will show the same magnanimity by not telling Estella her own humble and criminal origins. What we are now unsure of is whether Estella is cold and cruel because of her upbringing or because of her parentage, or both. This is a cliffhanger.

  11. Emma Garbowitz

    Throughout these four chapters in the novel “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens, Pip uncovers who Estella’s parents really are. First of all, Estella’s mother is Molly, Mr. Jaggers’ housekeeper. Pip realizes that Molly is Estella’s mother while he is dining with Wemmick and Mr. Jaggers. After Molly brings the food to the table, she begins moving her hands in an odd motion that reminded Pip of Estella’s knitting. Once he noticed their similar hand motions he soon realized that they have the same hands and eyes. Therefore, Pip conducted the conclusion that Molly Is Estella’s mother considering they look so much alike. The text states, “But her hands were Estella’s hands, and her eye’s were Estella’s eyes, and if she had reappeared a hundred times I could have been neither more sure nor less sure that my conviction was the truth.” This shows, the similarity between Estella and Molly.
    As well as this, Pip also figures out that the father is Magwitch, also known as Pip’s convict. While he was visiting Miss Havisham, Herbert has a conversation with Magwitch about a little girl he knew from many years ago, the same age as the girl Miss Havisham described, and the same age as the girl Wemmick described. Pip put together the pieces of the puzzle and figured that Magwitch had to have been Estella’s father. The text states, “I know I am quite myself. And the man we have in hiding down the river, is Estella’s Father.” This shows how Pip drew the conclusion that Estella is Magwitch’s daughter after using all the evidence he figured out.
    Lastly, I think Estella’s parentage does not affect the way we understand Estella at all. This goes along with the theme of nature versus nurture. This is because ever since Estella was 2-3 years old, she was growing up with Miss Havisham, who said herself that Estella is the way she is because of the way she was taught to be. The text states, “But as she grew, and promised to be very beautiful, I gradually did worse, and with my praises, and with my jewels, and with my teachings, and with this figure of myself always before her a warning to back and point my lessons, I stole her heart away and put ice in its place.” This shows how the way Estella is is all Miss Havisham’s fault and her parents have nothing to do with this. Just because Estella’s mother was supposably a murderer and her father was a convict for a decent portion of his life, doesn’t mean that it is Estella’s nature. You can’t pass something like that through heredity. Therefore, finding out who Estella’s parents are does not affect my understanding of her.

  12. maxwellw

    In chapters 47 through 50 some major things are realized. For one Pip finds himself was badly burned trying to save Miss Havisham, and while Herbert changes his bandages, they agree that they have both grown fonder of Magwitch. Herbert tells Pip the part of Magwitch’s story that the convict originally left out, the story of the woman in his past. The story matches that of Jaggers’s housekeeper, Molly. Magwitch, therefore, is Molly’s former husband and Estella’s father. An ironic twist appears because of this as Pip, who was originally mortified to learn that his fortune came from someone so far beneath Estella, now learns that Estella is the daughter of his secret benefactor and therefore springs from even humbler origins than himself.

  13. Hannah Pitkofsky

    These chapters provide many important details in regard to Estella and her biological parents, which has been a secret for a while and when I found out, it took me by surprise. Estella’s biological parents are Molly (Mr. Jaggers’s servant) and Abel Magwitch (a convict/criminal), which is a couple that took me completely by surprise. It also helped confirm my suspicion that Dickens makes everything connect and relate to each other. Another interesting thing that Estella stated is that she was only about 2 or 3 years old when she was adopted by Miss Havisham and that she never really knew her biological parents. This makes a little bit of sense because even though she had her biological parents raising her for the first year or two of her life, she was mostly raised by Miss Havisham and this continues to emphasize the theme of nature (her biological parents) vs. nurture (Miss Havisham), which shows how Miss Havisham has changed her. This also makes me feel bad for Molly and Abel as a couple because Molly was a servant and Abel got sent to jail many times and they couldn’t be together too often. The way Dickens organizes the book is very interesting because we learn about the connections between the characters and how the characters also learn about the connections between themselves and others around them.

  14. maxwellw

    In chapters 47 through 50 Pip has some surprising revelations and goes through some interesting events. For one Pip, was badly burned trying to save Miss Havisham, and while Herbert changes his bandages, they agree that they have both grown fonder of Magwitch. Herbert tells Pip the part of Magwitch’s story that the convict originally left out, the story of the woman in his past. The story matches that of Jaggers’s housekeeper, Molly. Magwitch, therefore, is Molly’s former common-law husband and Estella’s father. This is quite ironic as Pip, who was originally mortified to learn that his fortune came from someone so far beneath Estella, now learns that Estella is the daughter of his secret benefactor and therefore springs from even humbler origins than himself.

    1. Brishti Sarkar

      I also think that he was slightly relieved to learn about Estella not being so far up than Pip. He now knows that she has no more right to brag than he does, so she can’t use this against him.

  15. Emily

    In these chapters our perception about Estella is revolutionized. The truth about who her real parents is not only completely shocking, but it may also reveal more about Estella’s character and why she is the way that she is. First off, we learn more about Mr. Jaggers housekeeper, Molly. Even though it was never actually said in words, Pip comes to the conclusion that she is Estella’s mother because “Her hands were Estella’s hands, and her eyes were Estella’s eyes, and if she had reappeared a hundred times I could have been neither more sure no less sure that my conviction was the truth.” We also figure out that Magwitch is Estella’s father.

    I think that because Pip knows the truth about Estella’s parents; but she does not, it will lead to conflict between the two of them. Pip will probably not know if he even should tell her, or when is a good time to tell her the truth. If I were in Pips situation I would tell Estella as soon as I could because the longer you keep a secret hidden, the harder it is too tell.

  16. trinityt

    In chapters 47-50, we discovered new information about Estella, Molly, and Magwitch. Turns out, Molly and Magwitch are Estella’s birth parents!
    When Pip dined with Mr.Jaggers and Wemmick at Mr.Jaggers’s house, he once again met with the housekeeper, Molly. Even though this is not the first he met Molly, this is the first time that he saw the resemblance between her and Estella. “I thought how one link of association had helped that identification in the theatre, and how such a link, wanting before, had been riveted for me now, when I had passed by a chance swift from Estella’s name to the fingers with their knitting action, and the attentive eyes. And I felt absolutely certain that this woman was Estella’s mother.” (pg.391). Now that Pip saw the resemblance between Molly and Estella, it’s certain that Molly is Estella’s birth mom.
    After he was hurt in the fire accident back at Miss Havisham’s house, Pip went back home where Herbert was taking care of him. While Pip was away at Miss Havisham’s house, Herbert learned more about Magwitch. Herbert described this as the “dark wild part” of Magwitch’s life. As it turns out, Magwitch had a child with a woman, whom is Molly. “‘This acquitted young woman and Provis,’ said Herbert, ‘had a little child: a little child of whom Provis was exceedingly fond…'” (pg.406). This child that Magwitch had with Molly is none other than Estella. After hearing stories about Estella’s childhood and stories about her parents from Wemmick about Molly, from Miss Havisham about Estella’s adoption, and from Herbert about Magwitch, Pip puts it all together. He realizes that Estella’s birth parents are actually Magwitch and Molly.

    I was quite shocked and speechless when reading these chapters tonight. Both of Estella’s parents were criminals. Magwitch was a convict who went to jail many times in the past. Molly was a murderer and was acquitted. Magwitch and Molly are the complete opposite of what Estella is now. One theme that came to my mind was that you shouldn’t judge someone base on where they came from, but base on how they act and their personalities. Even though Estella’s personalities isn’t great, she is nothing like her parents. Also, I wonder how Estella would feel if she knew about this. It’s true that Estella is the child of Magwitch and Molly, and Pip knows that, but Estella doesn’t know that. Will Pip tell Estella? If he does, how will Estella reacts towards it?

    1. Sophie

      I like the theme you thought of. I do agree that you shouldn’t judge someone based on where they came from, especially since Estella does not remind me at all of either Molly or Magwitch!

  17. Sophie

    I am so shocked about tonight’s reading. I can’t believe that Estella’s parents are Magwitch and Molly. I would have never even thought that they would have anything to do with each other! First off, the way that Pip’s finds out the identity of Molly, is pretty much by himself. When he was at dinner at Jagger’s house for the second time, he observed Molly a bit more than usual. Her actions seemed strange to him, oddly familiar. “And I felt absolutely certain that this women was Estella’s mother…But her hands were Estella’s hands, and her eyes Estella’s eyes.” (pg 391) Then, the second major event was with the near death of Miss Havisham. While Pip was visiting her to catch up on basically life, somehow her dress caught on fire. Luckily Pip was able to save her, and minus a couple burns hopefully both of them will be okay. However, while that was happening, back in London Herbert and Magwitch were staying together and Magwitch told Herb a story. Pretty much, revealing that he had a baby girl with a crazy woman who wanted to murder somebody. Pip was utterly shocked, in the way how how the heck can so many different people in his life, all very important, can all be related? This whole theme of re-uniting of characters goes along with what I wrote about yesterday. The way Dickens is able to have so much going on, yet make it all come together as one big picture. It also makes me wonder how this new aspect of information is going to change Pip’s life. For example, when Pip found out the shocking information that it was his convict that supported his riches all along, it changed pretty much his entire being. I am looking forward to see if this new change will affect any of Pip’s actions or perspectives.

  18. stephaniec

    In chapters 47-50, Pip uncovered the identity of Estella’s biological parents. Essentially, Molly, Mr. Jaggers’ housemaid is Estella’s mother and Abel Magwitch is Estella’s father. Pip found out that Molly was Estella’s mother while having dinner with Mr. Jaggers. Pip noticed many distinct features about Molly as she entered and reentered the room. He thought to himself “But her hands were Estella’s hands, and her eyes were Estella’s eyes, and if she had appeared a hundred times I could have been neither more sure nor less sure that my conviction was the truth.” (page 391). After dinner, Wemmick told Pip a little bit more about Molly’s history. This made Pip very confident about his theory. In addition, when Pip had been away, Magwitch had confided in Herbert about his past love. After doing so, Herbert then passed the information on to Pip. He told Pip all the details Magwitch had skipped over in their previous talk. After hearing this, Pip was sure that Molly and Abel Magwitch were Estella’s biological birth parents. Pip said to Herbert “‘And the man we have in hiding down the river, is Estella’s father.’” (page 408). As the novel is slowly coming to an end, I think Dickens’ is making connections between the characters to thicken the plot.

  19. Brishti Sarkar

    In these chapters, we find out who Estella’s actual parents are, and it is a very significant period for Pip. The first parent we find out is her mother. While Pip was at dinner at Mr. Jaggers’s house, Pip notices something very familiar in the way Molly, the house maid, looks and acts. Pip first recognised this because the way she sews reminds him of Estella. He notices the similarities in both of their features and remarks that “her hands were Estella’s hands, and her eyes were Estella’s eyes”(391). This new information makes Pip considerably shocked, and wants to know more. Through Wemmick, we find out the circumstances in which Estella was given to Miss Havisham. Later, from Herbert, we know more about Magwitch’s story, and it involves a woman who killed another woman out of jealousy, and who also threatened to kill a daughter that Magwitch dearly loved. Pip recognizes this as the exact story he heard from Wemmick the other day. This is done to show that Estella is not as good of blood as she claims to be. She always boasts about how she is better than Pip because she believes she came from wealthier origins. However, we find out that Estella came from the same, if not lesser, origins than he did. Dickens does this to show how if Estella knew the truth, she would have acted differently. She was brought up to break men’s’ hearts, and most likely told she was beautiful. If she had known the truth about her parents, she likely wouldn’t have boasted about how great she is.

    1. angelicac1

      I like how you pointed out that if Estella has known about the truth about her parents, she wouldn’t of boasted. Your last sentence led me to think about interesting it is to think about how different Estella would be if her parents raised her instead of Miss Havisham. She would’ve had a completely different attitude and a whole other personality.

  20. johnh1

    In chapter 50 we learn that Magwitch is Estella’s father. This changes a lot of the story. At first Estella we thought Estella was a heartless girl and this was awful. While this is still an awful thing to be, she could possibly have had a much worse fate. Her mother once threatened to kill her and her father was a criminal. If she hadn’t gone to Ms. Havisham she could have grown up to be a criminal or go through a lot of physical and mental pain due to her mother’s state of mind and her father’s legal point. I feel this could affect the book later on. While Magwitch is a criminal he is not an awful human being now. It was mentioned that he wa fond of his child. That child being alive, and known to Pip I think he would love to see her and know she is safe. I think that Estella being Magwitch’s daughter relates to nature vs. nurture because she was born into a poor family with crime in it but became of quite a high social class because of Miss Havisham raising her.

    1. Zoe

      Your paragraph makes me think; what would Estella be like if Magwitch had brought her up? Do you think that Magwitch would still be a criminal, or that Estella would still have no heart? I believe that it would benefit both of them and that the reason they both ended up this way is because they were separated from each other and never had the chance to develop and be changed by each of their personalties. Could use of the theme nature vs. Nurture, it definitely is an important part of the story.

  21. Zoe

    In these chapters, we get to learn a lot about Estella’s parentage. Molly, a murderous and jealous woman as well as Estella’s mom, had swore to Magwitch, a criminal in and out of jail and Estella’s father, that she would destroy the baby on account of the fact that another woman was more suited for him than her. That baby had been Estella, and Mr.Jaggers gave her to Mrs.Havisham when she was young instead of letting Molly destroy her. You can definitely see here that Mrs.Havisham may have not been as heartless as we have seen her to be. She wanted this baby in the first place, so she wouldn’t be stuck in her house and would have company. Also, she kept the background of Estella’s story a secret to protect her from the reality of her backstory. If she found out, she could have reacted the way Pip did towards Magwitch. In a way, these events make Pip and Estella very similar, because the truth could make them think that everything they ever believed true about themselves was not what they thought it to be. Later, you see Mrs.havisham catch on fire and Pip happens to be there to save her. After she had bandages put on, she starts a speech and says things like, “What have I done?” and “When she first came, I meant to save her from miseries like mine!” It leads me to believe that she purposely caught herself on fire because she couldn’t bear to live any longer knowing she ruined Estella’s life. You can see Mrs.Havisham regret bringing Estella up the way she did and know Estella is heading towards the same fate as Mrs.Havisham; marrying Drummle, when she could live happy life with Pip. Drummle is definitely very much alike to Compeyson and Mrs.Havisham’s goal was to get her away from men like this. The end result, was not how she planned. These chapters illustrate Estella’s backstory, and also give more depth to the relationship between her and Mrs.Havisham.

  22. angelicac1

    Throughout chapters 47-50 of “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens, readers learn more about Estella’s parentage. Pip uncovers that Molly, Mr. Jagger’s housekeeper, is Estella’s mother. He realizes this when he was in the midst of dining with Mr. Jaggers and Wemmick. When Molly comes to serve the food, Pip notices that her hands moving in a motion that reminded him of the way Estella knits. Soon Pip notices that they both shared the same features. This is said in the text when it states, “But her hands were Estella’s hands, and her eyes were Estella’s eyes, and if she had reappeared a hundred times I could have been neither more sure nor less sure that my conviction was the truth.”

    Not only did Pip uncover who Estella’s mother was, but he also uncovered who her father was. It turns out that Pip’s convict, Magwitch, is Estella’s father. Shocking, right? Pip uncovers this when Magwitch talks about a girl he once knew many years ago. The girl he described had the same age as the girl Miss Havisham and Wemmick described. Learning that both of Estella’s parents were criminals was incredibly shocking. I didn’t even think that we would get to learn who her parents were! I thought that it would remain a mystery to readers, but I guess Dickens has other plans.

    Lastly, in my opinion, Estella’s parentage shouldn’t affect the way readers understand her character. Her character was based off the way Miss Havisham raised her. Her parents weren’t there for her as a child so therefore she didn’t any other people to look up to besides Miss Havisham.

  23. Maddie

    In chapters 47-50, there was a great revelation regarding Estella and her family. We find out who Estella’s real mother is, because she was only adopted by Miss Havisham. Estella’s mother turns out to be Molly, Mr. Jaggers’ housemaid! As I read the previous chapters with Molly in them, I knew she was a very intriguing and mysterious character, and had a feeling that there would be some event involving her in the future. Not only that, but we also find out who Estella’s father is. It was very unexpected to find out that Estella’s father is Pip’s convict, Magwitch. Once again Dickens has interconnected two characters, as he often does.
    The interesting and scary thing about Molly, is that apparently she is a murderer. The text said that she was going to murder Estella too, but she did not. This means that Estella is the daughter of a thief and a murderer. Also, Pip knows this information, but Estella does not, so I wonder if Pip will tell Estella, or hold off in case it would make her upset.
    In conclusion, there have been many surprising revelations within these pages, as there always are in this book. I was very interested, and these chapters really pulled me in.

  24. Rcey Ortega

    In tonight’s reading, we find out who Estella’s parents are. In chapter 48, Pip has dinner with Mr. Jaggers. Pip and Mr. Jaggers have a conversation about Estella and Bentley Drummle. While they talk, Molly, Mr. Jaggers’ waitress, brings out food for them. Pip looked at her hands, her eyes and her hair and they looked familiar to him. He had seen them in the ruined garden and at the deserted brewery. Pip was absolutely sure that it was Estella’s real mother! “And I felt absolutely certain that this woman was Estella’s mother.” (Pg 391) She had everything Estella has.
    In chapter 50, Herbert tells Pip that last night Mr. Provis told him more things about his story. Herbert told Pip that Mr. Provis was involved with a revengeful woman. Provis and this young woman had a child. This jealous woman took the baby one night and threatened to kill it and she told Provis that he’ll never see it again. After this night, they were never seen again. The baby was about Pip’s age when Pip first met Provis. “…and you brought into his mind the little girl so tragically lost, who would have been about your age. (Pg 407) In this instance, Pip realized that Provis was Estella’s father! “I know I am quite myself. And the man we have in hiding down the river, is Estella’s father.” (Pg 408) I think now that Pip knows Estella’s parents, he’ll probably try to tell Provis that Estella is still alive.


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