Part I Pip is an orphan living on the Kent marshes with his abusive sister and her husband, Joe Gargery, the village blacksmith.

He has a conversation with Biddy and asks her to work on "improving" Joe.

Pip accuses her of being jealous of him when she suggests Joe does not need improving.

Shortly afterward, both convicts are recaptured while fighting each other.

Pip's pompous Uncle Pumblechook arranges for Pip to go to the house of a wealthy reclusive woman, Miss Havisham, to play with her adopted daughter, Estella. Miss Havisham's fiancé jilted her on her wedding day and she still wears her old wedding gown, although she's now elderly and wheel-chair-bound.

The man tells Pip that if he wants to live, he'll go down to his house and bring him back some food and a file for the shackle on his leg.

Pip agrees to meet him early the next morning and the man walks back into the marshes.

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The story opens with the narrator, Pip, who introduces himself and describes an image of himself as a boy, standing alone and crying in a churchyard near some marshes.

However, he hides his feelings from Joe and performs his duties.