This House is Haunted: Enough

Miss Havisham certainly strikes a figure- an eerie spectre of what once could have been (and in her mind, what should have been). But as she molders, so too does the house around her. The name of the house is mentioned by Estella- it has two. One, the name the people of town know it by, simply “Manor House”, and an older, forgotten name “Satis”, Latin for ‘Enough’. As Estella mentions, “It meant, when it was given, that whoever had this house, could want nothing else.” (vol. 1, ch. 8, pg. 56)

But now it seems to be the opposite: Miss Havisham certainly has everything she could ever need, but not the thing she wants- her marriage, successful. The name ‘Enough’ is now inverted, as if enough has become too much and begun to rot. The house has even become a prison- a decaying garden of Eden turned cage. The gate and outer wall keep the place separated from the rest of the world: “There was a courtyard in front, and that was barred”. Through Pip’s description, we also learn that the inside is just as locked away. “Some of the windows had been walled up; of those that remained, all the lower were rustily barred. . . (vol. 1, ch. 8, pg. 55). The entire complex is severed from reality to the point that Estella uses a side door to get in and out of the house, since “the great front entrance had two chains across it outside.” As a cage, the house serves to keep people out, but also keep Miss Havisham within.

The interior of the house is far worse for wear, with rooms and passages and stairs all dark but for carried candlelight. The grounds of the estate seem to at least contain a brewery and a garden, both places meant to be used for leisure and celebration now fallen far into disrepair. The grounds too, grow little- life in Enough House always seems to be one cobweb away from suffocating completely.

3 thoughts on “This House is Haunted: Enough”

  1. The analysis of the latin definition of ‘Satis’ is an interesting addition to understanding Miss Havisham’s character. The analysis of the name of her house itself adds another element of the gothic theme to her situation, noting the inversion of ‘Enough’/’Satis’ in Miss Havisham’s depression and deterioration because of her unsuccessful marriage represents her home as gothic. In theory, Miss Havisham has ‘enough’, due to her riches; how do you think this will Pip’s perception of wealth in light of his newfound great expectations further in the novel? In the following few chapters from this passage we see Pip realize how much better of a person Biddy is than Estella, do you think he will come to a similar realization with Joe after spending some time in London with living with his great expectations?

  2. This is a super interesting post and I loved the connection you made with the definition of “Satis.” When I was reading this post, I noticed a connection with another blog post that spoke to the liminal space of Mrs. Havisham’s house. I think this liminal space lens can also be used to describe what you spoke about in this post, the doubleness of the house as a “cage” that keeps people out and in. The house is also liminal in the way it is grand and originally a beautiful estate, but is now in a state of decay and filth after Mrs. Havisham has put her life and everything in the house, to a halt.

  3. I love the issue that you have raised here. Enough can also be applied to Miss Havisham because she was apparently not enough for her betrothed, and he left her at the alter. In a similar way, she had had enough with the outside world and the progression of time, so she simply stopped it, making that moment her everything: her enough. She then adopted Estella to have a purpose again, forcing Estella to be enough for her. Satis house is absolutely haunted by what it means to be enough and where to draw the line when life becomes too much.

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