The Old Curiosity Club discussion

17 views
Great Expectations > GE, Chapter 08

Comments Showing 1-50 of 51 (51 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4341 comments Mod
Hello Dickensians,

Today I have the honour to introduce a key chapter of the novel – namely the first encounter of Pip and Miss Havisham, but, what is even more important, the first encounter of Pip and Estella.

After a dismal breakfast at Mr. Pumblechook’s, where Pip is treated to the most meagre morsels of the repast, such as crumbs and watered-down milk, as well as to arithmetics, his host and he go to see Miss Havisham. The first impression we get of the manor, which is, ironically called Satis House, though it lacks so much, already gives away a lot about Miss Havisham:

”Within a quarter of an hour we came to Miss Havisham’s house, which was of old brick, and dismal, and had a great many iron bars to it. Some of the windows had been walled up; of those that remained, all the lower were rustily barred. There was a courtyard in front, and that was barred; so we had to wait, after ringing the bell, until some one should come to open it. While we waited at the gate, I peeped in (even then Mr. Pumblechook said, ‘And fourteen?’ but I pretended not to hear him), and saw that at the side of the house there was a large brewery. No brewing was going on in it, and none seemed to have gone on for a long long time.”


How did this description strike you?

They are received by a young girl, who is extremely beautiful but also quite haughty and who gives Mr. Pumblechook a downer by pointing out to him that Miss Havisham has no wish to see him but only the boy, and so Mr. Pumblechook has to stay outside. We get another telling impression of the premises here:

”The brewery buildings had a little lane of communication with it, and the wooden gates of that lane stood open, and all the brewery beyond stood open, away to the high enclosing wall; and all was empty and disused. The cold wind seemed to blow colder there than outside the gate; and it made a shrill noise in howling in and out at the open sides of the brewery, like the noise of wind in the rigging of a ship at sea.”


Pip somehow feels intimidated by Estella, who calls him “boy” all the time although she is not really much older than he. She leaves him in front of a door in a dark passageway, and there is nothing for him but to knock at the door, and soon he finds himself in the presence of Miss Havisham, who is described as follows:

” Whether I should have made out this object so soon if there had been no fine lady sitting at it, I cannot say. In an arm-chair, with an elbow resting on the table and her head leaning on that hand, sat the strangest lady I have ever seen, or shall ever see.

She was dressed in rich materials,—satins, and lace, and silks,—all of white. Her shoes were white. And she had a long white veil dependent from her hair, and she had bridal flowers in her hair, but her hair was white. Some bright jewels sparkled on her neck and on her hands, and some other jewels lay sparkling on the table. Dresses, less splendid than the dress she wore, and half-packed trunks, were scattered about. She had not quite finished dressing, for she had but one shoe on,—the other was on the table near her hand,—her veil was but half arranged, her watch and chain were not put on, and some lace for her bosom lay with those trinkets, and with her handkerchief, and gloves, and some flowers, and a Prayer-Book all confusedly heaped about the looking-glass.

It was not in the first few moments that I saw all these things, though I saw more of them in the first moments than might be supposed. But I saw that everything within my view which ought to be white, had been white long ago, and had lost its lustre and was faded and yellow. I saw that the bride within the bridal dress had withered like the dress, and like the flowers, and had no brightness left but the brightness of her sunken eyes. I saw that the dress had been put upon the rounded figure of a young woman, and that the figure upon which it now hung loose had shrunk to skin and bone. Once, I had been taken to see some ghastly waxwork at the Fair, representing I know not what impossible personage lying in state. Once, I had been taken to one of our old marsh churches to see a skeleton in the ashes of a rich dress that had been dug out of a vault under the church pavement. Now, waxwork and skeleton seemed to have dark eyes that moved and looked at me. I should have cried out, if I could.”


Again, what were your first impressions when reading this description?

Of course, Pip is very diffident in the presence of this strange lady and only answers her questions in monosyllables, all the while taking in other details, e.g. the fact that every clock or watch in the room has stopped at twenty minutes to nine, that the lady apparently had never put on her second shoe, and that when she refers to her broken heart, she shows “a weird smile that had a kind of boast in it”. It’s quite interesting a small boy like Pip should notice this last detail.

Miss Havisham makes Estella come back and play at cards with Pip. At first, Estella does not want to but the old lady tells the young girl something that Pip at first thought he did not hear correctly, namely that she could break his heart. Estella wins all games, she “beggars” [!] Pip and she also makes him feel low and common by making fun of his hands, his boots and the fact that he calls the knaves Jacks. Pip, of course, feels very ill at ease

”Her contempt for me was so strong, that it became infectious, and I caught it.”


and finally begs to be given permission to leave, which Miss Havisham grants, not before telling him to come back in six days and asking him what he thinks of Estella. Pip then is led outside by Estella and given something to eat and drink. He is blinded by the daylight outside and has the impression that he has been inside the House not just a few hours but days, and while he is eating and drinking in the yard, he has strange visions of Estella appearing in different places but also of Miss Havisham hanging by the neck and calling out for him. Estella’s bad treatment of him makes him doubt his own value and wish he had not been brought up so common. He also reflects on all the injustices he suffered from his sister and the following quotation shows the more mature narrator:

”In the little world in which children have their existence whosoever brings them up, there is nothing so finely perceived and so finely felt as injustice. It may be only small injustice that the child can be exposed to; but the child is small, and its world is small, and its rocking-horse stands as many hands high, according to scale, as a big-boned Irish hunter. Within myself, I had sustained, from my babyhood, a perpetual conflict with injustice. I had known, from the time when I could speak, that my sister, in her capricious and violent coercion, was unjust to me. I had cherished a profound conviction that her bringing me up by hand gave her no right to bring me up by jerks. Through all my punishments, disgraces, fasts, and vigils, and other penitential performances, I had nursed this assurance; and to my communing so much with it, in a solitary and unprotected way, I in great part refer the fact that I was morally timid and very sensitive.“


A very moving passage, which tells us, maybe, also something of the injustices Dickens had suffered when he was a child and had to work in a factory instead of receiving proper education.

The end of the chapter shows that Estella has also achieved some influence over Pip because on his four-mile way back home, Pip muses on all the things Estella pointed out to him and Miss Havisham as showing him to be a low-bred person.

What might Miss Havisham’s motives be for having Pip come over to her house?
What do you think of Estella? Is she a victim of Miss Havisham, or in league with her?


message 2: by Kim (new)

Kim | 5523 comments Mod

"'Who is it?' said the lady at the table. 'Pip, Ma'am.'"

Chapter 8

John McLenan

1860

Dickens's Great Expectations,

Harper's Weekly


"Pip Waits on Miss Havisham"

Chapter 8

Marcus Stone

1862

Text Illustrated:

"In an arm-chair, with an elbow resting on the table and her head leaning on that hand, sat the strangest lady I have ever seen, or shall ever see.

She was dressed in rich materials — satins, and lace, and silks — all of white. Her shoes were white. And she had a long white veil dependent from her hair, and she had bridal flowers in her hair, but her hair was white. Some bright jewels sparkled on her neck and on her hands, and some other jewels lay sparkling on the table. Dresses, less splendid than the dress she wore, and half-packed trunks, were scattered about. She had not quite finished dressing, for she had but one shoe on--the other was on the table near her hand--her veil was but half-arranged, her watch and chain were not put on, and some lace for her bosom lay with those trinkets, and with her handkerchief, and gloves, and some flowers, and a prayer-book, all confusedly heaped about the looking glass. . . . I saw that the bride within the bridal dress had withered like the dress, and the flowers, and had no brightness left but the brightness of her sunken eyes. I saw that the dress had been put upon the rounded figure of a young woman, and that the figure upon which it now hung loose had shrunk to skin and bone."


Commentary:

"In "Pip Waits on Miss Havisham," in contradiction to the letter-press, Stone depicts her as youthful and attractive. Commanding in presence, she is lit by candelabra, enthroned as it were before her humble supplicant, the blacksmith's boy. Cap in hand, Pip slightly bends at the knees, while the large-eyed, imperious woman with the elaborately arranged blonde hair and bare-shouldered, voluminous wedding dress (apparently no worse for a number of years of wear), her mirror just disappearing off the right-hand margin. Contrast this glowing image from Pip's memory with the despondent, introverted, somewhat elderly and angular bride in front of her mirror given us by McLenan, who has responded more accurately (if less delightfully) to the letter-press.

As we turn page 48 in the 1861 Philadelphia volume we encounter the vignette illustration "'Who is it?' said the lady at the table. 'Pip, ma'am.'--Page 49" before we actually find the same moment in the letter-press. Whereas Stone had filled the frame with the enchanting fairy godmother, McLenan sets his crone in the midst of her furnishings and belongings. As in the text, open trunks (left and right) covered with clothing frame the scene, and an inward-gazing Miss Havisham in an attitude of despondency, hand supporting her head, sits before an oval mirror which has four candelabra attached. Faithful to his copy, the illustrator has included such details as the white shoe on the dressing table (Pip indicates that he can see the other white shoe on her foot, which McLenan conceals beneath her skirts). Although neither artist has depicted the faded flowers, the watch and chain are evident just to the right of Miss Havisham's left elbow in Stone's version, important symbols of her rejection of the passage of time. An interesting if minor detail which varies in the two plates is Pip's hat: in Stone's plate, it is a cloth cap such as was worn by the British working class, whereas in McLenan's plate it is a brimmed felt hat, which the American artist supplied from his own experience and period.

Whereas the American artist has depicted the jewels that the text twice mentions, these are not present in Stone's plate, which nevertheless glimmers by the light of four powerful candles in contrast to the faint glare of the four tapers in McLenan's. Without unnecessarily dwelling upon such minutiae, one may simply note that the overall effect of the American periodical illustration is awkward and stilted, although technically accurate, whereas that of the English illustration is dramatic and powerful because Stone has reduced the scene to its essentials, and placed the contrasting figures in close proximity, balancing the difference in their heights by placing three candles above Pip and creating a sense of the numinous that the American plate entirely lacks.

Miss Havisham remains a static, almost blind figure in McLenan's 'It's a great cake. "'A bride-cake. Mine!'--Page 63" and "'Which I meantersay, Pip.'--Page 70," both of which are nevertheless accurate in the details of each scene, the dining room and the boudoir, although Pip is perhaps too well dressed for a mere laboring boy and one wonders how the latter scene is lit, considering that the windows are covered but the candles above Estella are unlit. Interestingly, all three Havisham plate make mirrors central features, though none of them actually reflects anything. These "blind" mirrors may reflect the psychological blindness of Miss Havisham to her true condition; in David Lean's 1946 film, Miss Havisham is, as Regina Barreca notes, "framed next to mirrors in a number of scenes, making visual the way the spinster wishes to multiply her image through Estella". However, McLenan's mirrors return no image, suggesting the sterility of lifelessness of Satis House which accords well with the static, rigid depiction of the figures, rotund Joe furnishing in his darkly clad amplitude a sharp contrast to Miss Havisham's severe whiteness, stark thinness, and pronounced angularity."



message 3: by Kim (new)

Kim | 5523 comments Mod


F. A. Fraser

Text Illustrated:

"She came back, with some bread and meat and a little mug of beer. She put the mug down on the stones of the yard, and gave me the bread and meat without looking at me, as insolently as if I were a dog in disgrace. I was so humiliated, hurt, spurned, offended, angry, sorry,—I cannot hit upon the right name for the smart—God knows what its name was,—that tears started to my eyes. The moment they sprang there, the girl looked at me with a quick delight in having been the cause of them. This gave me power to keep them back and to look at her: so, she gave a contemptuous toss—but with a sense, I thought, of having made too sure that I was so wounded—and left me.

But when she was gone, I looked about me for a place to hide my face in, and got behind one of the gates in the brewery-lane, and leaned my sleeve against the wall there, and leaned my forehead on it and cried. As I cried, I kicked the wall, and took a hard twist at my hair; so bitter were my feelings, and so sharp was the smart without a name, that needed counteraction.

My sister’s bringing up had made me sensitive. In the little world in which children have their existence whosoever brings them up, there is nothing so finely perceived and so finely felt as injustice. It may be only small injustice that the child can be exposed to; but the child is small, and its world is small, and its rocking-horse stands as many hands high, according to scale, as a big-boned Irish hunter. Within myself, I had sustained, from my babyhood, a perpetual conflict with injustice. I had known, from the time when I could speak, that my sister, in her capricious and violent coercion, was unjust to me. I had cherished a profound conviction that her bringing me up by hand gave her no right to bring me up by jerks. Through all my punishments, disgraces, fasts, and vigils, and other penitential performances, I had nursed this assurance; and to my communing so much with it, in a solitary and unprotected way, I in great part refer the fact that I was morally timid and very sensitive.

I got rid of my injured feelings for the time by kicking them into the brewery wall, and twisting them out of my hair, and then I smoothed my face with my sleeve, and came from behind the gate. The bread and meat were acceptable, and the beer was warming and tingling, and I was soon in spirits to look about me."



message 4: by Kim (new)

Kim | 5523 comments Mod


"In an armchair, with an elbow resting on the table"

Chapter 8

Charles Green

1877

Gadshill Edition

Text Illustrated:

Whether I should have made out this object so soon if there had been no fine lady sitting at it, I cannot say. In an arm-chair, with an elbow resting on the table and her head leaning on that hand, sat the strangest lady I have ever seen, or shall ever see.

She was dressed in rich materials,—satins, and lace, and silks,—all of white. Her shoes were white. And she had a long white veil dependent from her hair, and she had bridal flowers in her hair, but her hair was white. Some bright jewels sparkled on her neck and on her hands, and some other jewels lay sparkling on the table. Dresses, less splendid than the dress she wore, and half-packed trunks, were scattered about. She had not quite finished dressing, for she had but one shoe on,—the other was on the table near her hand,—her veil was but half arranged, her watch and chain were not put on, and some lace for her bosom lay with those trinkets, and with her handkerchief, and gloves, and some flowers, and a Prayer-Book all confusedly heaped about the looking-glass.

It was not in the first few moments that I saw all these things, though I saw more of them in the first moments than might be supposed. But I saw that everything within my view which ought to be white, had been white long ago, and had lost its lustre and was faded and yellow. I saw that the bride within the bridal dress had withered like the dress, and like the flowers, and had no brightness left but the brightness of her sunken eyes. I saw that the dress had been put upon the rounded figure of a young woman, and that the figure upon which it now hung loose had shrunk to skin and bone. Once, I had been taken to see some ghastly waxwork at the Fair, representing I know not what impossible personage lying in state. Once, I had been taken to one of our old marsh churches to see a skeleton in the ashes of a rich dress that had been dug out of a vault under the church pavement. Now, waxwork and skeleton seemed to have dark eyes that moved and looked at me. I should have cried out, if I could.



message 5: by Kim (new)

Kim | 5523 comments Mod


"Miss Havisham"

Chapter 8

Harry Furniss

1910

Dickens's Great Expectations, Library Edition


message 6: by Kim (new)

Kim | 5523 comments Mod


"Well? You can break his heart"

Chapter 8

H. M. Brock

1901-1903

Text Illustrated:

“Call Estella,” she repeated, flashing a look at me. “You can do that. Call Estella. At the door.”

To stand in the dark in a mysterious passage of an unknown house, bawling Estella to a scornful young lady neither visible nor responsive, and feeling it a dreadful liberty so to roar out her name, was almost as bad as playing to order. But she answered at last, and her light came along the dark passage like a star.

Miss Havisham beckoned her to come close, and took up a jewel from the table, and tried its effect upon her fair young bosom and against her pretty brown hair. “Your own, one day, my dear, and you will use it well. Let me see you play cards with this boy.”

“With this boy? Why, he is a common laboring boy!”

I thought I overheard Miss Havisham answer,—only it seemed so unlikely,—“Well? You can break his heart.”

“What do you play, boy?” asked Estella of myself, with the greatest disdain.

“Nothing but beggar my neighbor, miss.”

“Beggar him,” said Miss Havisham to Estella. So we sat down to cards."



message 7: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: "After a dismal breakfast at Mr. Pumblechook’s, where Pip is treated to the most meagre morsels of the repast, such as crumbs and watered-down milk, "

I know Peter is keeping track of birds and one other thing, I forget what.

We should also, I think, keep our eyes on Pip's meals and eating. Food seems to be mentioned more in these early chapters than in most of Dickens's other books, as far as I can recall. We have the theft of food for the conwict. We know Pim only got one slice of bread and butter for supper. We are told about the Christmas dinner and how he only got all the nasty parts, and not much of that, except gravy. Now we have this meager and nasty bits breakfast.

Also in the food line is Miss H's birthday cake. There is the brewery in the yard of Satis House. And after the visit, Estella gives Pip bread and meat and beer.

So many mentions of food, and some of them fairly important the story (feeding the conwict, the birthday cake). Seems that we ought to pay attention to this.


message 8: by Peter (new)

Peter | 2916 comments Mod
Kim wrote: ""In an armchair, with an elbow resting on the table"

Chapter 8

Charles Green

1877

Gadshill Edition

Text Illustrated:

Whether I should have made out this object so soon if there had been no fi..."


There are many illustrations of Miss Havisham but this one by Green is my favourite. It captures the essence of her as I look into my mind's eye.


message 9: by Peter (new)

Peter | 2916 comments Mod
Kim wrote: ""Well? You can break his heart"

Chapter 8

H. M. Brock

1901-1903

Text Illustrated:

“Call Estella,” she repeated, flashing a look at me. “You can do that. Call Estella. At the door.”

To stand ..."


In Brock's illustration I find the look on Estella's face to be incredible. It is so haughty.


message 10: by Peter (new)

Peter | 2916 comments Mod
Everyman wrote: "Tristram wrote: "After a dismal breakfast at Mr. Pumblechook’s, where Pip is treated to the most meagre morsels of the repast, such as crumbs and watered-down milk, "

I know Peter is keeping track..."


Yes. I'm looking for references to violence and physicality. I believe Natalie has an eye out for food and eating. Jean has mentioned references to clocks and time.

I will keep an eye out for the latter two as well. And, of course, birds.


message 11: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "Pip Waits on Miss Havisham"

Chapter 8

Marcus Stone.."


She looks quite lovely and not at all strange in this one.


message 12: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2226 comments Almost too lovely considering the circumstances. Surely there must be a portrayal of Miss Havisham that doesn't portray her as either young and beautiful or shriveled and old.


message 13: by Kim (new)

Kim | 5523 comments Mod
I also favor the illustration by Brock. In the illustration by Marcus Stone she looks like she is holding a baby, at least she does to me. Furniss is like an evil queen sitting on her throne wrapped in spider's webs. If my head lets me, I may go in search of another drawing, or perhaps a painting of Miss Havisham.


message 14: by Xan Shadowflutter (last edited Feb 07, 2017 10:10AM) (new)

Xan Shadowflutter (shadowflutter) | 867 comments I like the Marcus Stone illustration too. As someone mentioned, Estella is appropriately haughty, but does she look a tad bit old to anyone?

In the Greene illustration we have an elderly face with youthful arms. Perhaps that's intentional to contrast reality with Pip's initial reaction.

If I had I walked into the room that first time to encounter the Miss Havisham in the Furniss illustration, I would have screamed, and if she had stood up, I would have exited so fast only the smoke from my shoes would remain to testify to my ever having been there.


message 15: by Kim (new)

Kim | 5523 comments Mod
Xan Shadowflutter wrote: "If I had I walked into the room that first time to encounter the Miss Havisham in the Furniss illustration, I would have screamed",

Me too.


message 16: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4341 comments Mod
My personal favourites among the Miss Havishams presented here are those by McLenan and by Green. Although Green's Miss Havisham has a rather languid attitude, she is also quite emaciated and seems somewhat hard-hearted. I also like the sinister look of Brock's Miss Havisham, how she encourages Estella to turn up her nose at Pip. Harry Furniss's Havisham looks a bit too spidery to me, more like taken out of a story by Lovecraft.

I also like the illustration by Fraser: True, I would have imagined Estella more refined (wearing more costly clothes, for instance), but the look on Pip's face in that illustration is just heart-rending. It's full of pain and longing, and the posture of his body expresses helplessness to me.

All in all, it's interesting to see how differently we all react to these pictures. So thanks a lot for posting them here, Kim!


message 17: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Does anybody think they have any sense of Miss Havisham as an actual living and breathing person? Or only as a caricature?


message 18: by Peter (new)

Peter | 2916 comments Mod
Absolutely, real, living and breathing. I imagine we all have known a person who lived in our neighbourhood and frightened us.

Is not the profile elderly, withered, and has lived alone in the same house for decades. The house was, of course, aging right along with its owner. When I was growing up it was Miss Piper. You would only see the front curtains move occasionally, and I had no idea what she ever really looked like. We lived on that street near her for over a decade.


message 19: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4341 comments Mod
We also had an old lady in our street that gave me the creeps when I was a young child. She had long white hair which she never combed and after her son had died of cancer she would always shout blasphemies and threats to God in the street. She also hated my grandmother - and I cannot imagine why - and whenever she saw her she tapped her finger at her forehead, which is, in Germany, a sign that you consider the person opposite you nuts. When I think of that old lady, I can actually imagine that a woman like Miss Havisham might have existed. Since Miss Havisham was obviously a wealthy woman, she was also able to have her own way with people and to boss them around, and so I don't see her as a caricature in the sense I would see Mrs. Gamp as a caricature.


message 20: by Kim (new)

Kim | 5523 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: "We also had an old lady in our street that gave me the creeps when I was a young child. She had long white hair which she never combed and after her son had died of cancer she would always shout bl..."

Your old lady just beat any of the old people in our town that I can remember from my childhood.


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

I think the picture in post 4 looks the most like Miss Havisham in my head. A scary looking old witch. I don't like her.

Estella really makes me angry, as Pip hasn't had many people who were accepting of him . Then to have this spoiled girl treating him badly makes him feel so horrible about himself.

It seems to me as though the old lady enjoyed watching the girl treat him badly. Too early to tell, but if she was a jilted bride? , then maybe she finds some sick thrill watching a girl treat a boy badly?

Just a guess.


Xan Shadowflutter (shadowflutter) | 867 comments Julie wrote: "Estella really makes me angry, as Pip hasn't had many people who were accepting of him . Then to have this spoiled girl treating him badly makes him feel so horrible about himself...."

Estella is insufferable, but she may also lead a lonely life, as does her guardian, who has raised Estella to break little boys' hearts. Her life may not be so great either. So I'm withholding judgment on Estella until I read more.

Dickens sometimes creates characters in parallel to show comparisons. For example, Mrs Jellyby and that other insufferable woman who mistreated her children in the name of charity in BH. Here Mrs. Joe and Miss Havisham may be characters in parallel demonstrating the different ways parents can raise (and mistreat) their children. But at this point that's just speculation on my part.


message 23: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Julie wrote: "
It seems to me as though the old lady enjoyed watching the girl treat him badly. Too early to tell, but if she was a jilted bride? , then maybe she finds some sick thrill watching a girl treat a boy badly?."


Oh yes, I think she was a jilted bride of a man who broke her heart. And so she's raising Estella for revenge against the male gender, to be the one breaking men's hearts.


message 24: by Peter (new)

Peter | 2916 comments Mod
Xan Shadowflutter wrote: "Julie wrote: "Estella really makes me angry, as Pip hasn't had many people who were accepting of him . Then to have this spoiled girl treating him badly makes him feel so horrible about himself......."

Yes. Dickens does tend to develop and write his characters in binary and parallel forms. Perhaps that was a method he simply felt comfortable with. I tend to this that such style was also partly motivated by the fact that his novels were published in monthly or weekly installments, and thus clearly defined and conflicting characters would have been easier to track by his readers.


message 25: by Kim (new)

Kim | 5523 comments Mod
Everyman wrote: "Oh yes, I think she was a jilted bride of a man who broke her heart."

I was thinking of the absent groom and I thought it most likely that he never showed up for the wedding, jilting her. Or, perhaps he died on the way to the wedding, or at the wedding for that matter, but I don't know why she would try to turn Estella for revenge on men because the men may die. :-)

Or, perhaps she is like a woman I know who comes to our small group every week. She has her wedding all planned, she knows what dress she wants to wear, she knows who her bridesmaids are going to be, what color flowers she wants, that kind of thing. The only problem is she is now near 70 and still no one has asked her. But she doesn't have the wedding food sitting on her table all these years. At least I hope not.


Xan Shadowflutter (shadowflutter) | 867 comments Kim wrote: "The only problem is she is now near 70 and still no one has asked her...."

Ouch!


message 27: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4341 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "The only problem is she is now near 70 and still no one has asked her."

Never say die! Just imagine how surprised everyone would be if the old lady finally got married.


message 28: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Tristram wrote: "Kim wrote: "The only problem is she is now near 70 and still no one has asked her."

Never say die! Just imagine how surprised everyone would be if the old lady finally got married."


My Great Aunt Virginia (universally known as Auntie Ginger, and for good reason) at the age of 85 upped and married, her first marriage, a man she had known all her life -- they went through school together in their small town. He had been a widower for years, lived a quarter mile down the road. She had lived her life in the house where she was born and raised, shared it with her sister when her sister was widowed and moved back to Maine from Philadelphia, they lived there happily for all the time I was growing up, and I think long before then, but suddenly she decided to get married, and upped and moved out to her husband's home where HE had lived all his life.

There's hope yet!


message 29: by Mary Lou (last edited Feb 13, 2017 10:15AM) (new)

Mary Lou | 2226 comments Kim wrote: "he has her wedding all planned.... The only problem is she is now near 70 and still no one has asked her.

That's so sad. :-(

Everyman's Aunt Ginger should give her hope!


message 30: by Kim (new)

Kim | 5523 comments Mod
When we are at the nursing homes each week I often ask whoever I'm talking to if they like it there - which once or twice the person actually said no - but usually they say yes, everyone is very nice to them, and then they will talk about all the family they have who haven't been to see them in years. One day I asked a woman how she liked it there and she said "Terrible, the only reason I agreed to come here was in the hopes of finding a husband and there's only one man in the place." She went on to tell me there are 50 women just on her floor, but only one man. :-)


message 31: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2226 comments Kim wrote: "She went on to tell me there are 50 women just on her floor, but only one man. "

My dad's building was pretty big, so he wasn't the only man, but he and the others were definitely outnumbered! (Just between you and me, Kim, having had a widowed father and having two widowed brothers, the old fools forget how old they are and seem to think they still have a chance with sweet young things in their 20s and 30s. Men can be so delusional! ;-) )


message 32: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 829 comments Mod
Mary Lou wrote: "Just between you and me, Kim, having had a widowed father and having two widowed brothers, the old fools forget how old they are and seem to think they still have a chance with sweet young things in their 20s and 30s. Men can be so delusional! ;-)."

Was Pablo Picasso delusional? Was Howard Hughes? (Well, yes, but not that way.) Was Hugh Hefner? (Again, definitely, but again not in that way.) If they can attract sweet (and not so sweet) young things in their 20s and 30s, and they sure did, why not me?????


message 33: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4341 comments Mod
Looking at some of his paintings I would definitely hold the view that Pablo Picasso was delusional. Or that he did not have a lot of time to bestow on his paintings. - But people, even some people here in my own house, tell me that I don't know a lot about painting, which is true because I normally take photos. 'tis much quicker.


message 34: by Kim (new)

Kim | 5523 comments Mod


An illustration by Edward Ardizzone


message 35: by Mary Lou (new)

Mary Lou | 2226 comments Everyman wrote: " If they can attract sweet (and not so sweet) young things in their 20s and 30s, and they sure did, why not me?????"

Hey! That was confidential to Kim! But since you ask, it might have something to do with the caliber of the women, and the size of the men's bank accounts. Of course, that's just a guess.


message 36: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4341 comments Mod
Kim wrote: "

An illustration by Edward Ardizzone"


The illustration on the left gives the impression of Miss H. being a rather young woman. You could easily mistake her bride's veil for long blond hair.


message 37: by Bionic Jean (last edited Feb 25, 2017 12:25PM) (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Classics Illustrated pages 12&13:



Classics Illustrated pages 14&15:




message 38: by Peter (new)

Peter | 2916 comments Mod
I admit I'm really liking the comic version illustrations.


message 39: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) I do like Miss Havisham in these, even though she's a little mannish. What I like best about the "Classics Illustrated" set though is that they often use authentic dialogue and text. Sometimes there's an entire soliloquy in their William Shakespeare plays.

(I managed to fit the whole double spread on to one image, but it took a few goes. The older ones wouldn't fit!)


message 40: by Peter (new)

Peter | 2916 comments Mod
Jean wrote: "I do like Miss Havisham in these, even though she's a little mannish. What I like best about the "Classics Illustrated" set though is that they often use authentic dialogue and text. Sometimes ther..."

Jean

You and Kim are opening up whole new Dickensian worlds to us. Thank you both!


message 41: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Oh Kim' s our expert! I just happen to have a copy of the whole of one of them :)


message 42: by Kim (new)

Kim | 5523 comments Mod
Just when I think I've seen every possible "illustration" there could be:



"Pip sees the beautiful Estella in the countryside around the marshes"

That's all it says, so for any questions about the artwork, don't ask me. I'm clueless. I haven't tried to track it all down yet.


message 43: by Bionic Jean (last edited Feb 25, 2017 02:16AM) (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) I remember the skull with a heart on and the octopus very well of course - who wouldn't - but why are there cypress trees and mountains in the marshes?

What a find Kim! :D


message 44: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4341 comments Mod
Mmmh, you see how differently people remember a novel, Jean. I remember the skull but for all I know it did not have a heart on but the Queen of Spades. And the cypress trees were behind the fighting elephants.


message 45: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) Stop making me spill my coffee again, Tristram!


message 46: by Bionic Jean (new)

Bionic Jean (bionicjean) I've edited my post to add in the missing comic pages, and since the next bit merges two of Pip's visits, I'll put it in the next thread.


message 47: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4341 comments Mod
Jean wrote: "Stop making me spill my coffee again, Tristram!"

Too much coffee isn't good for you, Jean. So you ought to be thankful!


message 48: by Ami (new)

Ami | 371 comments The building of tragic and damaged characters would appear to be at its zenith in these chapters considering the introduction of Miss Havisham and Estella (if Miss Havisham's influence isn't telling enough), but knowing Dickens, I know it can only get worse as I delve further into the psyches for the grown and mature woman and the impressionable girl. Hell hath no fury like a woman scored...Correct? Did anybody find it odd, Miss Havisham an upper classman, her family owning a brewery business?

I'm already quite exhausted from feeling and thinking "Poor, Pip..." But really, "Poor, Pip!"

He also reflects on all the injustices he suffered from his sister and the following quotation shows the more mature narrator
I reflected on that particular quote as well; in fact, upon my first reading of it, I thought this young boy to be very progressive in thought associating his "sensitivity" to "his sister's upbringing." I flailed to realize that these thoughts are from a mature Pip remembering his earlier days. Seriously, though...what kind of people are we really dealing with, people who elicit feelings of self-hate and loathing in a child? I would think, knowing how some of these themes run rampant in Dickens' novels, that reading about these cruel injustices would become easier to digest, when in fact, it's quite worse.


message 49: by Tristram (new)

Tristram Shandy | 4341 comments Mod
Ami,

I was struck with surprise at Miss Havisham's father being a brewer and a respected gentleman as well, and a little later Pip or Herbert will even comment on this oddity, namely by saying that apparently while one cannot be a baker and a gentleman, one can get away with being a brewer and still be a gentleman. I let it pass at that, but then while reading What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew, I came across a passage that said that brewers were respected figures in the countryside because they often were rich men, who either owned or held local alehouses under their thumb. Beer was the much safer alternative to drinking water, which often carried germs, before the advent of tea, which was much more expensive than beer, which did not have to be imported. Therefore, marrying arich brewer's daughter was a proverbial and actual remedy for the cash needs of many a hard-up nobleman.

As to instilling a child with self-hate and feelings of guilt, I think that this was probably very common in Victorian society and had to do with the rather grim Low Church attitude that become more common in the course of the century, and that is reflected in Trollope's Barchester novels, esp. in Barchester Towers.


message 50: by Peter (new)

Peter | 2916 comments Mod
Tristram

Interesting points and insights. Thanks.


« previous 1
back to top