What an awful way to go!

Most students who have taken GCSE English Literature will be aware of the character and the fate of Miss Havisham. She is a very wealthy spinster who plays a key part in Charles Dickens novel Great Expectations. The book was written in 1861 and follows the growth and development on the key character Pip. Pip is an orphan who runs into a number of colourful characters.

Miss Havisham takes Pip under her wing as a companion for both herself and Estella (Her adopted daughter). She is a very unique lady and is naturally eccentric in nature. She spends her days wearing her wedding dress and rather peculiarly just one shoe, from the day she was jilted at the altar by her fiancé.

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Miss Havisham meets a rather gruesome end when her dress catches fire, from one of the many candles she has lit in her room. If she had only had access to modern day heating and used a firm like redbridgeandsons.co.uk/heating-systems-gloucestershire/boiler-installation-gloucester who are a Boiler Installation Gloucester company she wouldn’t have had to lit some many candles to help keep her warm.

It’s not a very pleasant experience to be jilted but what motivates the character of Miss Havisham to hate men for so long? Secondly, as she is evidently very rich why doesn’t she get more suitors later on. She is evidently very young when she is left, and you would have thought that she would have had the pick of men. I wonder if there wasn’t some young man, Lets call him Nigel Pewtee, out there who had looked to plight his troth to her and, seeing the unfolding drama thought, “At last, I can declare my love for Miss Havisham”, but he decides to leave it a while as the day of the wedding probably isn’t the best time. Nigel, flowers in hand duly pops round some 4 months later to enquire if they can go on a date (or the 19th century equivalent of the moneyed classes thereof, perhaps a trip to pay a penny and see the inmates at Bedlam?). You would imagine that Nigel’s face is a picture when she’s still sat in her wedding dress mono-shoed and miserable. The servants consul him “Oh, we’ve all told her Mr Pewtee sir, get back on the horse and there’s plenty more fish in the sea like”. Nigel leaves dejected on his horse and marries Veronica Ormsby-Gore instead.

Havisham is a tragic figure, not helped by my Pewtee embellishment, but she is also very vindictive that we cannot lose some sympathy. She is determined to wreck Pip’s life by breaking him, and all other men over Estella and ruin Estella too by making her into a person she is.  Havisham wants another her, Estella will be that person, sat alone with nothing. It is deliberate of Dickens that the criminal Magwitch should support Pip’s progress and not the old moneyed classes that Havisham represents. The character is also an analogy the decline in aristocracy.