BBC 2011 adaptation of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.
Estella looked at her with perfect composure, and again looked down at the fire. Her graceful figure and her beautiful face expressed a self-possessed indifference to the wild heat of the other, that was almost cruel.
“You stock and stone!” exclaimed Miss Havisham. “You cold, cold heart!
“What?” said Estella, preserving her attitude of indifference as she leaned against the great chimney-piece and only moving her eyes; “do you reproach me for being cold? You?”
“Are you not?” was the fierce retort.
“You should know,” said Estella. “I am what you have made me. Take all the praise, take all the blame; take all the success, take all the failure; in short, take me.”
“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 had 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?”
Miss Havisham, with her head in her hands, sat making a low moaning, and swaying herself on her chair, but gave no answer.
“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?”
Miss Havisham sat listening (or it seemed so, for I could not see her face), but still made no answer.
“So,” said Estella, “I must be taken as I have been made. The success is not mine, the failure is not mine, but the two together make me.
On my first time reading Great Expectation, I despised Estella. I despised, even more, the fact that Dickens changed the ending to make it more ambiguous, so Estella was not as unhappy as in the original. But then I read it again more clearly and I realize how Estella had truly been cheated from a life. This adaptation is the best yet; it may seem to soften a lot of Dickens’s defined edges, but it is still a beautiful interpretation.
1/∞ favourite novel interpretations