Some more quotes from Sunset Boulevard

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Steerwheel

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It was like that old woman
in Great Expectations...
that Miss Havisham in her rotting
wedding dress and her torn veil...
taking it out on the world because
she'd been given the go-by

What does this last phrase mean?
 

Gillnetter

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It was like that old woman
in Great Expectations...
that Miss Havisham in her rotting
wedding dress and her torn veil...
taking it out on the world because
she'd been given the go-by

What does this last phrase mean?
Miss Havisham was either angry, or, hurt people because she had not received something. Most probably, since her title is Miss, she had not been married. The "go-by" here simply means that people had not accepted her, or, married her.
 

probus

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It's a Victorian usage that has faded away. It means she had been passed over.
 

Tdol

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In Great Expectations, she found out on the morning of her wedding that her fiancé was a fraud who had deceived her for money and wasn't going to marry her, so she spent the rest of her life wearing her wedding dress, with the clocks stopped at the time she learned the news. Being dumped by him is the go-by - the sudden ending of the relationship.
 

Tdol

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PS taking it out means she turned her anger/unhappiness on the world.
 
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