She was not beautiful,—she was common, and could not be like Estella,—but she was pleasant and wholesome and sweet-tempered.

Category: Writing & Reading | Type: Discussion | Title: Great Expectations (in Context) | Author: Charles Dickens | Ch: Chapter XVII

Pip's attraction to Estella extends beyond her beauty and class to her ability to make him feel unworthy. That is what makes her lovable—her capacity to prove who he is. Yet if she would love him, then he'd not be who he believes himself to be. But she is not "pleasant and wholesome and sweet-tempered." 

return to text