Havisham

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The opening line portrays the order of events. “Beloved sweetheart bastard. ” The man she describes was someone special but soon became someone she hated.

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She has longed for revenge as the reader is told, “Not a day since then I haven’t wished for him dead. ” The words “prayed” also tie in with this deep seated longing for change. The imagery of her eyes being like “Dark green pebbles” hints to the hardness of stone but also the green is jealousy.

She has become trapped by obsession: thinking, praying and waiting for her fiance. The word “Spinster” is a one word sentence, almost spat out in distaste. Havisham describes her condition “I stink and remember” the words refer to her smell from wearing the same clothes but also the stench of the terrible thing that has happened to her. The events have changed her and there is real sadness and fear behind the words.

Her wedding dress is described as “yellowing” as she questions how she has ended up in this situation. The final part of the previous stanza merges into this third verse and the disjointedness reflects Havisham’s own distress. This stanza hints that sometimes she can feel happy and when she is bed asleep for a moment it as if she is still with her lover, but the strong words “bite awake” describe the gnawing pain of having lost a loved one. The dream is only a dream and life is difficult to live with.

Love is personified and the narrator describes herself as “Love’s hate behind a white veil” Love enjoys hurting her and again this is emphasised with her description of the balloon “bursting in my face. ” Balloons are supposed to be fun like love but in this instance it becomes something shocking ready to spoil her happiness. Havisham also describes at destroying her wedding cake, “I stabbed at a wedding-cake. ” This describes not only her pain, but the pain she would like to inflict on someone else.

The imagery of a honeymoon is coupled with the words “male corpse” this also shows her unfeeling towards men. She doesn’t want something living, she wants something dead. The very last word comes out in a stutter when she talks about how a heart “b-b-b-breaks” this shows sadness and madness at the same time. When she talks about her heart not being the only one that is broken it reminds us of Pip from “Great Expectations”, she’s been hurt and knows how to break a man’s heart. In the case of Pip, she wanted to crush his dreams of gaining an education.