Pip first goes to see Miss Havisham when he is called by her to go and play at Satis House. He had heard of Miss Havisham before up in town, “… as an immensely rich and grim lady who lived in a large and dismal house. ” As Pip enters the house for the first time the size of the house becomes apparent to the reader but also the fact that it has “no heart”. As Pip meets Miss Havisham for the first time, he describes her as “the strangest lady I have ever seen, or shall ever see.
” It is also evident to Pip that she is very wealthy and is described as wearing “rich materials-satins”; he is also aware of the fact that everything she is wearing is white but has become a faded yellow: “But I saw everything within my view which ought to be white long ago, and had lost its lustre, and was faded and yellow. ” The extraordinary state of her clothing also says a great deal about her state of mind. Pip is terrified by her peculiarity and appearance and describes her as like “wax work and a skeleton” and “corpse like”.
These are horrific images for a young child and would be very intimidating for an adult let alone a young child: “I should have cried out if I could. ” This frightening a scary image of Miss Havisham has an even stronger influence on Pip by the fact he is a boy made sensitive by Mrs Joe. On Pip’s second visit to Satis House, Miss Havisham’s relations are at the house as it is her birthday, trying to secure some of Miss Havisham’s money. She uses Pip to spite them by making them think that Pip will get all her money. This shows her cynical attitude as she enjoys infuriating her relatives.
On his second visit to the house Pip and Estella play cards for Miss Havishams entertainment but she gains more pleasure by drawing Pip’s attention to Estella’s beauty and she encourages him to admire Estella’s splendour. “Miss Havisham watched us all the time, directed my attention to Estella’s beauty, and made me notice it the more by trying her jewels on Estella’s breast and hair. ” This is Miss Havisham’s cruel and heartless way to gain revenge on all men with Estella. Miss Havisham has expectations for Estella to break all men’s hearts as Compeyson broke her own heart.
This is the reason she uses Pip for practice for Estella when she is older, to hurt and break the hearts of men. She encourages Pip and makes him believe Estella is intended for him. This is her main influence on him; she makes Pip believe Estella is intended for him and that she is Pip’s benefactor. “Miss Havisham would often ask me in a whisper, or when we were alone, ‘Does she grow prettier and prettier Pip? ‘ This is an example of Miss Havisham constantly developing the thought in Pip’s mind that Estella is intended for Pip. She points out Estella’s outstanding beauty to Pip, constantly nurturing his growing love for her.
Estella is Miss Havisham’s weapon against men: “Break their hearts, my pride and hope, break their hearts and have no mercy. ” This is what she is using Pip for. As Pip falls deeper in love with Estella the more he becomes a victim to Miss Havisham and her cynical plan to hurt men through Estella. Miss Havisham debatably has the largest influence over Pip than any of the four women in the novel. This is because of one reason; this is because of one reason. She makes Pip unhappy with whom he is. “Now, it was coarse and common, and I would not have Miss Havisham and Estella see it on any account.
” Although it is Estella who makes Pip unhappy about his social class and background and the prospect of him being a blacksmith and makes him want to be something he is not it is Miss Havisham who makes Estella treat Pip in this appalling manner. “I felt more than ever dissatisfied with my home and with my trade and with everything; and that was all I took by that motion. ” Miss Havisham frequently throughout the novel plays up to Pip that she is his benefactor one example of this is when Pip is in preparation to leave for London and he visits Miss Havisham to tell her the good news.
His visit coincides with the visit of Miss Havisham’s relatives. She makes Sarah Pocket remain in the room while Pip and Miss Havisham talk about London and Miss Havisham encourages Pip to believe she is his benefactor to spite Sarah and her relatives “She quite gloated on these questions and answers, so keen was her enjoyment of Sarah Pocket’s jealous dismay. So this makes Pip more certain that Miss Havisham is his benefactor and that surely Estella is intended for him; resulting in more misery for Pip. The strange and bizarre nature of Miss Havisham’s behaviour is understood when Herbert Pocket reveals her life story.
She was tricked out of a small fortune by her fianci?? Compeyson who then jilted her on their marriage day. This explains her desire to hurt and break hearts of all men through Estella. This also explains why Miss Havisham is so vengeful maybe verging on insane. Her role in the novel is to instil the belief into Pip that he and Estella are meant to be and her encouragement to Pip of being his benefactor. Miss Havisham towards the end of her life realises the enormity of her actions as she has ruined Pip and Estella’s lives.
She, like Mrs Joe, shows remorse and begs Pip for his forgiveness “My name is on the first leaf. If you can ever write under my name, ‘I forgive her,’ though ever so long after my broken heart has turned to dust-Pray do it! ” So Miss Havisham does show genuine repentance to Pip. Thus also at the end like Mrs. Joe is presented as sadly human. Miss Havisham and Mrs. Joe shape and mould Pip into the person we are familiar with in the novel. Their influences are vital for Pip’s character and the plot throughout the story.