- Books, Literature, and Writing
Biddy and Estella in Great Expectations
Yen and Yang are two things that are almost opposite but have a small similarity and work together. In the novel, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, two of the characters, Biddy and Estella, are just like yen and yang. Although Biddy and Estella are both friends with Pip, their level of compassion, attitude towards rank in society, and relationship with Pip are very different.
Biddy is a character that always seems to do the right thing and is down to earth. Biddy’s level of compassion is shown in the scene where Pip and Biddy are by the river and she still loves Pip even though he says rude things like, “‘I should have been good enough for you; shouldn’t I, Biddy?’” (Dickens 812). Biddy is so easy going to just let that roll off her shoulder and not to slap Pip and yell at him even though he deserves it. This was a time where Biddy must have had to bite her tongue to not freak out about it. Furthermore, Biddy couldn’t care less about rank in society because, when Pip is a blacksmith, she loves him, with his high rank in society she fell in love with Joe, a blacksmith. If she really cares about rank, someone like Pip or Herbert is a better choice but instead she falls for Joe. She likes Pip before he becomes a gentleman and during/after his gentleman stage she doesn’t love him for his snobby personality that comes with him becoming a gentleman. Then, Biddy and Pip have a changing relationship that changes from them kissing to Biddy marrying Joe instead of him. When he was worth nothing, but a good person, Biddy loves him. When he was worth all the money in the world but a total snob she leaves and finds someone else. Biddy is not the gorgeous Estella but she is the kind of girl any guy would be lucky to have.
On the contrary, Estella is a character that tends to be a snob although she is absolutely gorgeous. Estella’s level of compassion is inhumanly low for she tells Pip not to love her because; all she will do is break his heart seeing as she does not know how to love. Estella has no ability to love and is a monster. She is still looking out for Pip, trying not to break his heart but she has been raised to break his heart so she really has no choice. Second, Estella’s view on a person’s rank is society is a crucial point to the relationship they will have with her since, when Pip becomes a gentleman; Estella calls Pip, Pip instead of boy. This is a form of respect for Pip to call him by his proper name. Because this was the treatment while he was a gentleman and not while he is a blacksmith, she is showing that she has more respect for Pip with a higher rank in society. Further, Estella’s relationship with Pip is equivalent to a cat and a mouse for she is a tease to him such as when he gets her tea and she says, “‘We are not free to follow our own devices, you and I’” (Dickens 857). Thus giving him false hope and then, she marries Drummle. Even though Pip loves her, Pip will care for her, Pip wants to be with her more than anything, and she marries Drummle who can’t think about anyone except himself. This was a cruel thing to do and shows Estella’s monster quality; how Miss Havisham has trained Estella to not have the gift of loving. Estella then at the end may have gotten together with Pip after an abusive relationship with Drummle. Dickens leaves it a mystery what really happened to Pip and Estella. Estella, in the end gets what she deserves. Whether she gets with Pip and that is to make up for her horrifying marriage, or it just wasn’t enough to let her finally love him.
Even though Biddy and Estella are so different, they both find, or may find, love and get with whom they deserve. Biddy is good to Pip, looks for love, and gives love. For this she is rewarded with Joe, a man to love and to love her. Estella on the other hand is cruel to Pip and never loves anyone. For this she goes through an abusive relationship with Drummle and only after may end up with Pip.