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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser


Great Expectations

Charles Dickens


' "You must know," said Estella, condescending to me as a brilliant and beautiful woman might, "that I have no heart—if that has anything to do with my memory."

I got through some jargon to the effect that I took the liberty of doubting that. That I knew better. That there could be no such beauty without it.

"Oh! I have a heart to be stabbed in or shot in, I have no doubt," said Estella, "and, of course, if it ceased to beat I should cease to be. But you know what I mean. I have no softness there, no—sympathy—sentiment—nonsense." ' - Great Expectations


Brings up the question of nature and nurture. I am mostly aromantic myself, but not because anyone trained me to be or because I've experience significant hurt. We never learn quite under what circumstance, but Mrs. Havisham's fiancé stood her up on her wedding day, and she is significantly altered by the betrayal. Yet can Mrs. Havisham's lessons to her adopted daughter, or any such teaching, prevent someone from romantic feelings if they are so inclined?