Literary Advice: Ask Miss Havisham


We’ve decided to kick off our new literary advice column with some suggestions from Miss Havisham, the wealthy and grim lady of Satis House featured in Charles Dickens’ novel, Great Expectations. She was a difficult one to convince to get involved in this project, and her responses can be inscrutable at times. And yet, she offers her own unique brand of sage advice, dear reader, if you’re willing to take it with a grain of salt. Next week we’ll feature Dean Moriarty from On the Road, so write your soul-searching or beatnik-related questions in the comments section below.

Dear Miss Havisham,

I’m currently involved with a man twenty years my junior, but I just found out he’s thinking of leaving me for someone else. How do I make him stay in love with me? How can I earn back his affections when he’s already turning away from me in disgust?

Sincerely, Concerned Cougar

Dear Concerned Cougar,

Love him, love him, love him! If he favors you, love him. If he wounds you, love him. If he tears your heart to pieces — and as it gets older and stronger, it will tear deeper –- love him, love him, love him!

I’ll tell you what real love is. It is blind devotion, unquestioning self-humiliation, utter submission, trust and belief against yourself and against the whole world, giving up your whole heart and soul to the smiter — as I did!

Eternally yours, Miss Havisham

Dear Miss Havisham,

I am having some problems with my grandmother. She terrifies me. How can I get over my irrational fear of the elderly?

Cheers, Adorably Ageist

Dear Adorably Ageist,

Look at me. You are not afraid of a woman who has never seen the sun since you were born? I am yellow skin and bone.

Eternally yours, Miss Havisham

Dear Miss Havisham,

I just graduated college and want to do something for humanity. I was thinking of joining the Peace Corps, but maybe I should just stay in the US and apply to Teach for America instead. Could you provide any advice on what I should be doing with my life?

txkbye! 🙂 GenYNot

Dear GenYNot,

I am tired. I want diversion, and I am done with men and women. Play.

Eternally yours, Miss Havisham