Character in Charles Dickens
novel Great Expectations
. Raised by the eccentric Miss Havisham
, Estella is trained to be a weapon
against men. Although she is quite beautiful
, Estella is incapable of love
. This becomes a point of consternation
for her twisted benefactress
who is wrought when she realizes that she had succeeded all too well in to making Estella a heartless
Here is Estella's reply to Miss Havisham when the latter asks why she cannot even love her own foster mother:
"`I begin to think,' said Estella, in a musing way, after another moment of calm wonder, `that I almost understand how this comes about. If you had brought up your adopted daughter wholly in the dark confinement of these rooms, and had never let her know that there was such a thing as the daylight by which she has never once seen your face - if you had done that, and then, for a purpose had wanted her to understand the daylight and know all about it, you would have been disappointed and angry?
`Or,' said Estella, ` - which is a nearer case - if you had taught her, from the dawn of her intelligence, with your utmost energy and might, that there was such a thing as daylight, but that it was made to be her enemy and destroyer, and she must always turn against it, for it had blighted you and would else blight her; - if you had done this, and then, for a purpose, had wanted her to take naturally to the daylight and she could not do it, you would have been disappointed and angry?'"