Great Expectations

How does Pip react to driving by the prison with Estella and what does Pip's raction indicate about his image of Estella as a person?

between chapters 32-45

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When she asks Pip what that place is, he pretends at first not to know. In my opinion, this shows that he still places Estella on a pedestal. He thinks that she is too good and too delicate to even have to think about such things as prisons.

You can see this attitude of his in this quote from the end of Chapter 32:

"I thought of the beautiful young Estella, proud and refined, coming towards me, and I thought with absolute abhorrence of the contrast between the jail and her."


Of course, the irony is that Pip believes Estella to be above reproach in name and reputation when, in actuality, she is the child of two criminals herself, and, thus, no true lady. But, in the opening lines of the next chapter, to Pip, Estella seems more delicately beautiful than ever before with an even more winning manner. After they dine, Pip and Estella near Newgate. When Estella asks what place this is and Pip replies, she shudders and remarks, "Wretches." Yet, as they near a sudden glare from a gaslight, Pip has that inexplicable feeing that he experienced in Chapter 32. However, he shakes it off as he takes her to Richmond and bids good-bye.