The first chapters of Great Expectations set the plot as well as introduce the main character Pip and his world. Being both narrator and protagonist, Pip is naturally the most important character in Great Expectations. Dickens’s most important task as a writer in Great Expectations is the actual creation of Pip’s himself. The story is told in Pip's words, using his outlook. Because Pip is the voice with which he tells his story, Dickens must make his voice relatable and believable to readers. In this first few pages, Pip is a young child and he is able to depict a childhood relatable by many readers. Dickens uses Pip to characterize any childhood, so innocent yet open to what life has in store.
Pip being a naive young boy agrees to stay true to his promises to the convict and helps him, all the while being horrified and worrisome of his own safety. Dickens shows his own background through Pip in the beginning; the way Pip's parents die, is close in part to how Dickens father was sent to debt prison, which in those times was like death itself. Still, throughout this section, Dickens continues to show Pip's negative qualities: his dishonesty and his guilt. This is characteristic of Pip as a narrator throughout Great Expectations. Despite his many admirable qualities—the strongest of which are compassion, loyalty, and conscience—Pip constantly focuses on his failures and shortcomings. This is also, in part, relating to Dickens actual life because Pip's lack of values comes from a rough background, one that Dickens experienced first- hand as a child.
In the introduction of Great Expectations the convict is the most important occurrence in the plot of the first section. Though Pip believes that the convict’s appearance in his life is an isolated incident, he will feel this character’s influence in many ways throughout the novel. I felt as if this convict so far kind of personified Pip's views on life.
In addition to the introduction of the convict, the other important plot development in the early chapters of Great Expectations occurs at the very end of Chapter 7, when Pip learns he is to be taken to Miss Havisham’s to play. His introduction to Miss Havisham will determine a great part of his story and will change the young boy forever. Though Pip has no sense of the importance of the event, Dickens conveys its importance to the reader through Mrs. Joe and Pumblechook, who are obviously ecstatic at the idea of Pip befriending the wealthy old woman. The idea of a wealthy person in Pip's life leads up to the idea which relates to the title, his "great expectations" for what life holds for him in his unknown future.
Pip has a very low social standing which makes itself clear with his admiration for Miss Havisham as well as seen through his colloquial language. By describing Pip’s early education, Dickens continues to emphasize the idea of self-improvement. Dicken's shows his own struggles through Pip because he came up from nothing and you can see that through how Pip has such a hard time in school.
I feel as if these first few introduction chapters were not only a look into Pip's crazy world it is also an important sense of where Dickens came from. Dicken's allows himself to show through the struggles of Pip and I feel he may also feel a strong connection with Pip. This not only keeps the novel interesting, but it also makes Pip more and more real as I continue to read "Great Expectations" and by the look of success Charles Dickens has accomplished i'm excited to see where his young, innocent character Pip will end up too.