Thursday, January 24, 2008

Three More GE Discussion Questions!

SPOILERS AHEAD! STEER CLEAR IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW!
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4) Why do you think Miss Havisham manipulates and misleads Pip into thinking she is his secret benefactor? What, if anything, does she derive from this action?

5) Given Dickens's portrayal of Estella, what do you think attracts Pip to her in the first place and what, when he learns of her cold-blooded manipulation of men such as her husband, keeps Pip devoted to her until the end, loving her, as he says, "against reason, against promise, against peace?"

6) In the final chapter Estella says to Pip: "Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching." Discuss the theme of suffering in this book.

12 comments:

kristen said...

5) I want to say "I have no idea why Pip would be attracted to Estella." BUUUT I kinda do. I think we've all been attracted to *that* person--the person we have nothing in common with, should have no desire to be with, doesn't bring out the best in us--hopefully we are lucky enough to remove ourselves from the unhappy relationship. Pip? Not so lucky. I think he was drawn to her for all the things that he was not. He was not wealthy. He was not mysterious. He was not taken care of. He was not confident. Estella was almost his alter-ego. Unfortunately, the more he grew to be *like* her (or was it to be perfect *for* her), the more he loses the good in himself.

Finally, Pip felt that gaining Estella's affection and, finally, hand in marriage, would be a sign that he had made it. He had become fulfilled. Once something like that becomes your goal, to let it go is to admit horrible failure.

Heather said...

4) Knowing Miss Havinsham, she probably derived much pleasure from messing with Pip's head. I figure she knew what Pip was thinking, that she was saving him for Estella, and also, she liked having that sort of power over a man.

5) Her beauty. Over and over and over again, we endure Pip's monologue's dedicated to her beauty. There certainly wasn't anything under the surface that was very attractive. I think Estella and Joe are complete opposites of each other. Estella, beautiful on the outside and Joe, beautiful on the inside. At least by the end, Pip learned to appreciate Joe more, even if he never learned about Estella. Plus Estella is our more modern times equivilant of the 'Bad Boy,' or in this case 'Bad Girl.' You know, the one you are attracted too even though you know you shouldn't be and know that all they are going to do is break your heart. We've all loved one. Must be part of human nature.

6) Well, there is a lot of it, isn't there? From the very first chapter to the end, every character suffers from something. The interesting part is how each character deals with it. Some are bitter and sad, one malicious (Miss Havinsham), some happy despite it all (Joe).

Nyssaneala said...

4) Miss Havisham saw in Pip a way to get back at the world for her broken heart, by exerting her power over Pip. She took out her feelings towards men in general by playing with Pip's emotions.

5) Who hasn't at one time been attracted to a person like Estella? Smart, beautiful, self-assured (and conceited), she embodies much of what Pip is striving to achieve.

Andi said...

Kristen, what did you think of the somewhat ambiguous ending? Do you think they got together? Do you think at that point in their lives they could compliment each other?

Andi said...

Heather, do you think Miss Havisham came to any sort of real remorse in the end? Or was she full of hot air? (I first typed "hair"..hot hair. I'm sure it was hot, too given all the fire.)

lol

Andi said...

Nyssaneala, me me! I've been there. I was notorious for lovin' the bad boys when I was younger. Luckily the bad boy I'm with now is mostly reformed. lol

Wendy said...

I agree with a lot of the comments here. I think Miss Havisham initially set out to gain revenge for her broken heart by causing pain to men in general (in the beginning she tells Estella she could break Pip's heart). As to why Pip is attracted to Estella, I think Kristen said it best in her answer - Estella was everything Pip was not and he thinks being with her will give him those things.

Andi: I don't think Estella and Pip will ever have romantic love - for one thing, I believe Pip has learned something from all of this and realizes his "love" for Estella is more about his own misguided path than true love (if you remember, he ends up recognizing that Biddy embodies what he really loves, not Estella).

I do believe that in the end Miss Havisham sees that hurting others does not bring her joy and she is truely remorseful.

Lisa said...

Regarding Pip and Estella ending up together -- I think that maybe they could have ended up together and been happy. Estella and Pip both had suffered (much of it to do themselves)and could possibly be more realistic in their expectations for a relationship. Unfortunately, sometimes people have to hit rock bottom before they figure out what is truly important in life. But, I'm glad he didn't tell us one way or the other.

Michaelann said...

4)I think that Miss Havisham is so use to manipulating peolpe that she automatically does it. Also she could have seen Pip as a "trial run" for Estella.

5)I agree that it is human nature to fall for the "beautiful" ones sometimes even when we know they are hurtful and manipulative.

6)I agree that the book shows the different ways that people deal with suffering and the kinds of people they become from it. Joe suffered yet he is kind and caring of others. Magwitch suffered and he turned to crime and cruelty but through Pip's actions turns to compassion for him. Miss Havisham suffered but she went crazy and turned her back on the world and only thought of revenge.

Phoebe said...

4) Miss Haversham lives to be the puppetmaster...manipulate anyone and everyone in her twisted sense of revenge for having been wronged and left at the altar.
5) I agree with everyone's comments about Pip and his relationship with Estella. On one hand, you want to shake him and get him to understand that he is destined to be heartbroken with Estella but on the other I confess that I have been in the same position quite a number of times...with a totally inappropriate person who was never going to match up the ideal I had in my head.
6) Most definitely suffering is a thread that runs throughout the book...some triumph over the obstacles that befall them and some just let them fester until it overtakes their every deed.

Ann Marie said...

6) I have to agree with everyone about suffereing throughout the book. People deal with their own suffering in different ways. I did notice however that it was the poorer characters within the book who dealt with their hardship best. Joe was content in his life, even though his wife may not have been the kindest he saw nothing but the good in her, and later he chose to see the good in Pip despite being abandoned. Herbert also made the best of his circumstances. He may not have been poor but he wasn't overly wealthy and yet he worked and believed his oppourtunity would present itself.
Characters such as Miss Havisham chose to dweal on their hardships and in her case let it ruin her life.

Kim L said...

4. Oh I think Miss Havisham enjoys her power in life. She has the satisfaction of seeing Estella continue to spurn him.

5. Some people just seem to be attracted to the wrong people. Even by the end, I don't think Estella redeemed herself enough, really, but Pip still loved her. Maybe he fell in love with her at first because she was pretty and she was something he thought he could never have? That first love can make a big impression on a person. Or maybe its Freudian-men supposedly look for someone who reminds them of their mother. Pip's mother figure (his sister) is mean and abusive to him, so maybe Estella fit right in?

6. Pip suffers a lot during the course of the book, sometimes through foolish decisions of his own, but also through circumstances he could hardly be expected to control at his young age. He loses Biddy and Joe, Estella, and finally his fortune. Estella suffers too, even though it has a lot to do with her own heartlessness. I guess we see as well that suffering is not alleviated by wealth, but by working hard for a living.