Development of Relationship between Pip and Estella.

Philip ‘Pip’ Pirip, around whom the structure of the greatest English novelist Dickens’s outstanding work Great Expectations has been constructed, does not firmly have in mind the so called ‘great’ expectations until he meets Estella. He is exhilarated to make up his mind to be a true gentleman by this strange meeting. His relationship with Estella does not grow naturally as is expected by the reader: rather he is every time rejected, ridiculed and is treated crudely by the young woman with an icy heart. Being scoffed at on the very first meeting, Pip finds himself an orphan in a new world where he has no one to confide in, no mentor to guide him and most important, he has no money to realise his dreams. He finds no way out to escape from what he has come to think of as ‘the common life’. This idea has been sown in Pip’s mind as a result of Estella’s scornful remarks towards him as regards his lifestyle: “...why, he is a common labouring boy!” and, “And hat coarse hands he has! And what thick boots!” This disdain and later ill treatment from Estella who he has infatuated with, rouse a sense of grief and depression in Pip’s mind, and a very low idea about the commonness of the labouring class that he belonged to. He is treated like a dog and is ‘so humiliated, hurt, spurned, offended, angry, sorry’ that tears started to his eyes. In response Pip can not abominate Estella nor can he avoid her attraction. He wants to become a gentleman just worthy of Estella. That is, he gets an enthusiastic approbation from Estella’s maltreatment. This is affirmed by the conversation between Pip and Biddy— another young lady presumably in love with Pip—as to Pip’s eagerness for Estella: “... and I admire her dreadfully, and I want to be a gentleman on her account. ” At the very moment he apprehends that Biddy is a good woman and that Estella, at any given moment, might make him miserable. Yet he can not help loving Estella. His confession to Biddy is charged with self-pity: “If I could only get myself to fall in love with you.” In fact he could never do so, for he has no ability to free himself from the glowing attraction of Estella. Now, when Pip learns that his ‘great expectation’ might be a reality, it dazzles him. He takes it to be an angelic deed on the part of Miss Havisham, who has taken Estella for an adopted child; and thinks that Miss Havisham would expect to marry Estella to Pip in future. He does not have the slightest doubt that she has toyed with him. In reality, Miss Havisham cherished a severe hatred for men and to avenge her broken heart has made a heart-breaking machine of Estella. Pip is her suitable target whom she can trap with the help of the unavoidable lure of Estella’s physical beauty, her queen like pride and gesture. So it was easy for Miss Havisham to entice Pip by Estella and make him love her:

“Hear me, Pip! I adopted her to be loved. I bred her and educated her to be loved. I developed her into what she is that she might be loved. Love her.”

So Pip taking Miss Havisham to be his mysterious benefactor, and believing in a quick advent of his gentleman’s condition dreams positively on the prospect of winning Estella’s favour in love. But for Estella, the sincerity of Pip’s love is worth nothing:
“You must know that I have no heart—... ... Oh, I have a heart to be stabbed in or shot in.... But you know what I mean, I have no softness there, no sympathy, sentiment, nonsense.”

Honestly and directly stating this she has revealed that she has been reared into a kind of monster. Her heart is made cold and hardened so that she can play with the hearts of men and break them. It is very obvious that Miss Havisham is her trainer. But at one agonising moment she understands the nature of the barrenness of her heart and accuses Miss Havisham with the responsibility:
“I am what you have made me. Take all the praise, take all the blame, take all the failure.”

On the opposite end of the confession regarding her lack of emotion, there larks a doubt whether Estella swallows her word of marrying Drummle. Her defence against this throws an unfavourable light on her character. She knows it full well that she won’t be able to make Drummle happy. She is well aware of the incompatibility of temperaments between herself and Drummle. Yet she has decided to marry Drummle just for the status of a married woman. This gives rise to yet another question: if she has the intention to experience a married life, then why not with Pip? The answer lies in her statement:
“Should I fling myself away, on the man who would the soonest feel ... that I took nothing to him?”

This answer of Estella proves her to be honest in her motive. She at least does not want to cheat the man who has already booked a lofty position for her in his heart. If we try to analyse the abnormal behaviour of Estella, we can get the cause behind her chilly and straightforward negativity towards Pip. It was not only the result of continuous brainwashing, but a biological factor also. She was the daughter of Abel Magwitch, a convict and Molly, a murderess, and is bearing the genetic quality of the two in her. However, her honesty in speech and straightforwardness seem to be the inheritance of the characteristic undercurrent in her father. The discussion has opened before us the anatomy of an almost unsuccessful relationship between a man and a woman whose emotional current flows apart to the opposite direction. They undergo bitter experience and learn the hard way that the true goodness comes from inner worth. When Pip gets her Estella back forever, he does not get the Estella he loved before, because she is no longer that rose like fresh blooming maiden he was mad for. Nevertheless he has won a better Estella in the sense that she has been experienced enough for her age and now she comes to understand the real value of true love; the ice in her has begun to liquefy and Pip sees “... no shadow of another parting from her.”

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