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Biddy and Estella in Great Expectations

Updated on December 30, 2008


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.


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    • profile image

      Bubba 3 years ago

      YAS diS is Kewl and I liKe daH booHK

    • profile image

      suzzane 4 years ago

      thanx 4 dis info

      the book is nice

    • profile image

      ashawn 5 years ago

      i have to read this god 4saken book for my class and im not even in collage im in high school

    • profile image

      Abs 5 years ago

      At least you don't have to read Guns Germs and Steel (700+ pages) plus this. Anyway, Great Expectations is a great book. But a looonnggg one. Still I came up with some good quotes to do reading responses on and I'm actually kind of excited to write them. Weird right?

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      georgieee 6 years ago

      this book is the most boorrring book i have ever read. yeah yeah yeah literary genius and everything blah blah blah. but as a teenager who has many better things to do, its awful. i don't understand why we cant study harry potter or something. anyway thanks for the info, its really helped my write my essay! xx

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      country.angel 6 years ago

      thanks for the info, it helped a bunch! :)

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      maggie 6 years ago

      i love great expectations and this really helped me put my thoughts together for an essay i am writing. thanks so much!

    • profile image

      sarah 7 years ago

      Diis helped a lot.


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      yikes 7 years ago

      Im not done with this book yet. I'm reading it for english, and I DO like it. I just was researching, because I wanted Estella to realize she loved him, or somehthing along those lines. It is deisrespectful to say how much you hate the book, or use this information for essays, just read it.

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      teacher's pet 7 years ago

      Obviously, not everyone loves the book– although I can't really see why you wouldn't at least like it for its language and tone– but isn't it better to come to your own conclusions about the book and use websites like these solely to enhance your comprehension, than to blatantly rip off other people's interpretations without even trying to understand the text? Just wondering.

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      eva 7 years ago

      A nice review of biddy and estellas nature and character.

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      kps 7 years ago

      This essay was very helpful! I'm writing about the exact same thing and this sparked a lot of ideas! This was a very difficult book for me. I get the plot events mixed up sometimes, but I still appreciate great expectations and its theme. Well done! Thanks! :)

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      mhm. 7 years ago

      I absolutely hate this book!! Our teacher gives us essays for an AP final exam and I didn't read the book! So This really helped with one of my essays! THANK YOU!!(:

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      dickens fan 8 years ago

      the book is excellent if you don't have quizzes or tests on it! Dickens is amazing with his beautiful language and absolutely mesmerizing descriptions! Hats off to him!!!

    • profile image

      marcia dickens 8 years ago

      2all u haters, dis book was fabulous i really enjoyed readibg it and i even read it hate.........

    • profile image

      Yen 8 years ago

      all ou haters don't know pure british literature. noone cares about your negative comments. Charles Dickens was the best author of his time and still is. He has made 68 million as an author. Noone has even come close.

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      Isabella 8 years ago

      i liked the book. yija yin yan yo

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      i hate mrs daunoras :P 8 years ago

      i HATE this book. ive had to write 3 essays, 7 journal entries, and taken 15 quizzes on this book. >:P i hate hate haaaate it. i hope that the last great expectations book on earth is burned so no on in the future has to suffer like me. and next, we;re doing the oddessy. :P fuuun.

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      Anya 8 years ago

      this book was great. Charles Dickens really knows his stuff.

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      Melanie 8 years ago

      I would like to thank you so much! This helped me understand the dreadful book that I was forced to read for my English 9 class....

    • profile image

      aisha 8 years ago

      that helped me for my homework ;/

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      chuy 8 years ago

      man i hate this book but that's for the info :) haha

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      gianina 8 years ago

      this book is very torturous, so this helped me with some research on the characters(:

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      tad 8 years ago

      i hate this book, so thanks for this info :)

    • profile image

      amber 8 years ago

      thanks, this helped me write an essay

    • profile image

      Kewl 8 years ago

      I hate this book

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      andy 9 years ago

      informative naganaah A*

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      mark theut  9 years ago