As a small boy, Pip meets two people who will affect his whole life: Magwitch, an escaped convict he is forced to help, and Miss Havisham, whose beautiful but cold ward Estella young Pip adores.
In a mysterious churchyard, orphan Pip gives food to Magwitch and unknowingly sets forth the events of his life. Until a secret benefactor pays for him to go to London to become a gentleman, Pip never dreams he will meet Magwitch again, nor just how wrong his expectations are. Over time Pip receives riches from a mysterious benefactor, snobbishly abandons his friends for high society and great expectations, and gains an education through misfortune and sorrow. Pip knows the kind of life he was meant to lead. What he doesn't know is whether life will lead him in an altogether different - and startling -- direction.
Great Expectations is at once a superbly constructed novel of spellbinding mastery and a profound examination of moral values. Here, some of Dickens's most memorable characters come to play their part in a story whose title itself reflects the deep irony that shaped Dickens's searching reappraisal of the Victorian middle class.