As a young boy living with his older sister and her husband, Joe, Pip encounters a convict out in the marshes that surround his house. The convict makes him bring him food and a file from Joe’s forge to remove his cuffs.
“Yes, Pip, dear boy, I’ve made a gentleman of you!”(Dickens ch. 39)
“Pray, what is your buisness?”(Dickens ch. 39)
Later, Pip is paid to stay with Miss Havisham, an old lady always dressed in her bridal gown, and meets and falls in love with hard-hearted Estella who scorns his ‘common’ life and causes him to as well.
“Which it air, old chap.”(Dickens ch. 57)
“Is it Joe?”(Dickens ch. 57)
Pip learns that someone has given him ‘great expectations’ and is glad to go off to London to become a gentleman. Growing up in London, Pip develops an expensive lifestyle. He receives and gives in to pressure to scorn his former life and neglects to visit Joe back at home.
“I have been bent and broken, but-hope-into a better shape.”(Dickens ch. 59)
As an adult, Pip learns that his benefactor was, in fact, the convict he had helped yers ago and not Miss Havisham. The convict, Magwitch, has illegally come into London and Pip is determined to get him out of the country and not to take any more money from him.
Pip is deeply in debt after Magwitch dies. He falls ill and Joe comes to take care of him. Once Pip recovers, Joe leaves, but not before paying off all Pip’s debt. Magwitch and Joe have given Pip a new understanding of love, generosity, and goodness.
Debts paid, Pip returns home to find Joe just married to his childhood friend, Biddy. (Pip's sister died a while back.) He congratulates them and goes on to work as a clerk with his friend's buisness and lead a modest life. Years later, going back to Miss Havisham's old property, he meets Estella, who has now learned the true value of Pip's old affections after living with a terrible husband.