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Great Expectations: Love Quotes

Instructor: Bryan Cowing

Bryan is a freelance writer who specializes in literature. He has worked as an English instructor, editor and writer for the past 10 years.

In 'Great Expectations' by Charles Dickens, there are many quotes about love. It might be hard to keep them all straight, so in this lesson we will take a look at some of the comments about love in the book.

Love and Logic

If you have ever had a crush or been in love with someone who did not return the feeling, you can probably relate to Pip from Great Expectations. Pip has a crush on a girl named Estella. Though it is clear from the start that Estella does not return these feelings, Pip can't help himself. Pip's love for Estella gets a lot of attention in Great Expectations; however, there are other important examples as well. Throughout the book, love is presented as something out of our control, no matter how well we think we understand it.

Pip's Love For Joe

One of the first mentions of love happens when Pip tells us about his sister's husband, Joe. Pip says, ''But I loved Joe,--perhaps for no better reason in those early days than because the dear fellow let me love him.'' In other words, Joe was lovable and receptive to Pip's affection. Interestingly, in the same paragraph, Pip tells us that ''I do not recall that I felt any tenderness of conscience in reference to Mrs. Joe.'' Mrs. Joe is Pip's mean and cruel sister.

Biddy and Pip

Another important comment about love comes when Pip is speaking with his friend, Biddy. She is a smart young woman who runs a general store and also teaches classes in town. Pip knows that he would be better off if he could make a connection with Biddy, but he cannot put away his Estella obsession. At one point, Pip tells Biddy, ''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?'' Pip sees how illogical his affections are, but he knows that all the logic in the world will not change his feelings.

Miss Havisham

Pip is not alone in his being blinded by love. When Pip first meets his friend, Herbert, they talk about Miss Havisham. Herbert tells Pip how Miss Havisham fell in love with a man who convinced her to hand over large sums of money. This man also told her that it would be smart to buy her brother's brewery. In the end, Miss Havisham was swindled by her lover, and Herbert explains that ''she was too haughty and too much in love, to be advised by any one.'' Miss Havisham did not listen to anyone else's logic or advice because she was so focused on her lover. Miss Havisham's destruction is in part due to her refusal to think logically about love. Fascinatingly, Pip puts himself in the exact same situation. His love for Estella causes him to chase money and destroy his relationships with others.

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