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by Carol Ann Duffy

Havisham Madness Quotes Page 1

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Quote #1

Beloved sweetheart bastard. (1)

This phrase, which begins the poem, just might be a symptom of Miss Havisham's madness. Can someone be both a sweetheart and a bastard at the same time? She could be purposefully using an oxymoron to present contradictory ideas. (She both loves and hates her ex-fiancé.) Or maybe she's a little nuts, and the contradiction flies completely over her head.

Quote #2

Spinster. I stink and remember. (5)

Here Miss Havisham is certainly aware of herself. She knows she's a spinster. She even acknowledges the fact that she stinks. So maybe she's not so crazy? She seems pretty aware of herself and the situation she's in.

Quote #3

[…]Whole days
in bed cawing Nooooo at the wall;

Lying in bed all day screaming at the wall doesn't exactly sound like good mental health behavior to us. Then again, who hasn't been temporarily destroyed by the breakup of a relationship at some point in their lives? Shmoop recommends ice cream.

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