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Summary Chapter 38



When Pip visits Estella, she uses him to tease other young men. She has many admirers, which inflames Pip’s jealousy. He is never happy with Estella’s company, and yet he obsesses about marrying her. Estella constantly warns him not to love her. She asks Pip to take her home to Satis house. This is part of Miss Havisham’s instructions.

Miss Havisham has an obsessive adoration of Estella. She observes Estella’s effect on Pip. She relishes all the men that Estella tells her about that admire her. Pip realizes that Estella was bred to exact Miss Havisham’s revenge on men, and he wouldn’t have her until this task was done.

During one visit, Estella quarrels with Miss Havisham. She seems to endure her adoptive mother. Sensing this, Miss Havisham reproaches her for her cold heart. Estella tells her that she is what Miss Havisham made her, and she has to accept the blame as well as the praise. Estella acknowledges that she owes everything to the woman that took her in, but she cannot give Miss Havisham what the woman didn’t give her.

Miss Havisham insists that she did love her. Estella retorts that she learned Miss Havisham’s lessons very well. Miss Havisham praised her when she became proud and hard. Her adoptive mother replies that she didn’t mean for Estella to be proud and hard to her. Pip excuses himself from the depressing sight. When he returns, he and Estella play cards.

During the night, he sees Miss Havisham prowling the house and sobbing.

The quarrel is never repeated. Miss Havisham remains devoted, though she is frightened of Estella. Pip and Estella visit her on other occasions.

At a meeting of Pip’s club, Bentley Drummle toasts Estella. Pip objects to Drummle proposing a toast to a lady he does not know. Drummle is able to produce proof that he does know Estella. Pip is pained that Estella would show favor to such a brute.

Estella is just as cruel to Drummle as she is to other admirers, but Drummle is a match for her. Pip reproaches her for encouraging a boor like Drummle. Estella says it is part of her game. Pip is upset that she smiles at Drummle in a way she never does at him. Estella says she doesn’t have the desire to deceive and entrap Pip. 

Charles Dickens