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Havisham

Havisham

by Carol Ann Duffy

Marriage Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

[…] Not a day since then
I haven't wished him dead
. […] (1-2)

Here Miss Havisham alludes to her past. We as readers are expected to know what "then" refers to: her wedding day, on which she was unceremoniously dumped. If you haven't read Great Expectations, this can be a little tricky, but, hey, that's what we're here for!

Quote #2

Spinster. I stink and remember. (5)

Miss Havisham calls herself a spinster, which a not-very-nice word for an older woman who has never been married. Is she feeling sorry for herself? Does she see herself as others see her? Probably yes to both. She seems to be aware of just what she looks (and smells) like to others.

Quote #3

[…] the dress
yellowing, trembling if I open the wardrobe;
the slewed mirror, full-length, her, myself, who did this


to me?
[…] (6-9)

Miss Havisham has been wearing her wedding dress for decades. It's yellowed and disgusting. So what do you think she's clinging to here – her wedding? Or marriage? Is there a difference between the two?

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