Phillip or Pip as everyone else calls him is an orphan. Pip was sent to live with his sister, Mrs. Joe Gargery, who loves to bring Pip up by hand, and her husband Mr. Joe Gargery, who is a blacksmith. While Pip is at the graveyard where his parents are buried, a convict captures him; the convict gets Pip to bring him food and a file. When Pip returns the next day with the food and file, he finds a second convict who actually turns out to be the first convicts' enemy.
Pip's uncle gets Pip a playdate at Mrs. Havisham's house, a rich elderly lady who is always wearing a wedding dress and likes to watch Pip play cards with her step-daughter, Estella. Pip goes there for several months and after a while he finally meets her greedy relatives who are just waiting for her to die so they can take her money and run.
While Pip is there, he meets another unfamiliar face; he is a pale young gentleman who gets beat up by Pip. Because Pip beats up the pale young gentleman, he is presented with a kiss from Estella. Mrs. Havisham then pays for Pip's apprenticeship to become a blacksmith working with Joe.
Pip has been looking forward to being a blacksmith with Joe for the past several years, but because he has seen and been a part of the easy life at Mrs. Havisham's, he sees this life he has been looking for, for the longest time as a life sentence in jail. Pip, however, knows if he told Joe that he wanted to quit, Joe would be disappointed in him. While Pip is at the local club years later, he sees a strange man who carries the file he stole for...