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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. (1.17.53-56)
This is Pip at his most charming. We 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. We can’t help but feel like cough medicine or some other concoction meant to provide a cure. In this moment, Pip identifies his inability to control love as well as the way in which he has been blinded by love. He is so blind that he can’t see that Biddy is affected by his confession. Both Pip and Biddy are afflicted with unrequited love at this moment.
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. (2.29.2)
So, Pip is not necessarily in love with Estella, but he may just be in lust with Estella? He sees her faults clear as day, but he has not power over this love/list. Even though loving Estella promises sadness, destruction, and pain, Pip cannot help but be drawn to her. She’s like a Siren from Homer’s Odyssey. She’s impossible to resist, and there’s something a little out of the ordinary or fantastical about the strength of her power over Pip.
"I have not bestowed my tenderness anywhere. I have never had any such thing." (2.29.75)
According to Estella, she has never loved anything in her life. Not even her jewels. As readers, we never really ever 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. Estella is almost inhuman or robotic in her lack of humanness, in her coldness, and in her lack of emotion.