One’s desire to control another is often a desperate attempt to control one’s own life. One who feels helpless, uses her power to shape and dictate another, seemingly unimportant life. However, to go through life confident, only to discover that one’s life is being dictated by another is both depressing and empowering. In Charles Dickens, Great Expectations, the female characters of Miss Havisham, Estella and Biddy, display enormous power over the male characters and through the development of these characters the reader sees a clear picture as to why this occurs. Pain, caused by social injustice and heartbreak motivates change and show clear-cut divisions of the society at the time. Also, the reader sees that although power and wealth can buy many things, the capacity to love and forgive is much more beneficial. The influence of Miss Havisham, Estella and Biddy on the tragic hero, Pip, is both admirable and hurtful. Dickens shows that although one may struggle to maintain power and authority over others, this leads one to a life of great unhappiness and a failure to possess the position in society one desires.
Miss Havisham’s influence and hurtful actions prove to pay a vital role in the development
Hara also comments that Biddy"tms perception and judgment of Estella is absolutely correct, as Biddy is a very knowledgeable woman (158). "when you say you love me"you address nothing in my breast"I don"tmt care for what you say at all. Although Biddy is smart enough and strong enough to gain a greater position in society, she is destined to the domestic sphere because she is a lower class woman. ""she would far rather have wounded her own breast than mine"" (131) Biddy does not see Pip as ""coarse and common""(128) and she forsees the unhappiness Pip will feel he were to become a gentleman. In seeing this, Pip concludes that his life would have been much happier if Miss Havisham had never come into his life. However frustrating the reader feels when Estella refuses to love Pip in return, the ability to care about someone and to love someone throughout life, is something Miss Havisham has denied Estella of. After marrying Drummle, Estella loses her power and her internal strength. She discovers that while she had brainwashed Estella in order to live through her, she had caused Estella to stop loving altogether. Estella causes Pip to be ashamed of his lifestyle and consequently sets his expectations for him. French agrees in saying that Miss Havisham trains Estella to hurt men as men had hurt her and trains Pip to be to Estella as she was to Compeyson (51). Estella, having lost her power, but having gained a place in society by marriage, finds herself unhappy and "bend and broken.