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"If I could only get myself to fall in love with you—you don't mind my speaking so openly to such an old acquaintance?"
"Oh dear, not at all!" said Biddy. "Don't mind me."
"If I could only get myself to do it, that would be the thing for me."
"But you never will, you see," said Biddy. (17.53-56)
Oh, Pip, you are such a charmer. We just love it when someone tells us that he wishes he could force himself to fall in love with us in order to solve all of his problems—it makes us feel just like cough medicine or extra-strength Advil. In this moment, Pip identifies his inability to control love as well as the way in which he's been blinded by love, but he's still so blind that he can't see that Biddy is TOTALLY IN LOVE WITH HIM. For now.
The unqualified truth is, that when I loved Estella with the love of a man, I loved her simply because I found her irresistible. Once for all; I knew to my sorrow, often and often, if not always, that I loved her against reason, against promise, against peace, against hope, against happiness, against all discouragement that could be. Once for all; I loved her nonetheless because I knew it, and it had no more influence in restraining me, than if I had devoutly believed her to be human perfection. (29.2)
Hm. Is Pip maybe just in lust with Estella? He sees her faults, but she's still impossible to resist—almost like she's put a spell on him. That doesn't sound like a love we want to be part of.
"I have not bestowed my tenderness anywhere. I have never had any such thing." (29.75)
Estella has never loved anything in her life—not even her jewels. (Shocking, right?) We never really get to know Estella, because the extent of her relationship with Pip is a few card games, some dark passage ways, and brief, cryptic conversations in which she tells Pip to stop loving her. Gee. If that's not the basis for a lifelong love affair, we don't know what is.