Estella, whose name means "star," serves as Pip's guiding force and reason for being. He loves her against his sense of reason or rationale. She's the impetus behind his drive to become a gentleman, and she represents the height to which Pip struggles to reach. In the early stages of the novel, she's the gatekeeper, which seems to us a perfect job for her. She also tends a metaphorical gate, keeping Pip from accessing the world of privilege, wealth, and social mobility that lies behind it.