Great Expectations, set in England in the 1800s, tells the story of Pip, an orphan who lives with his elder sister and her husband Joe. While in a cemetary, Pip encounters Magwitch, an escaped convict on the run. Pip helps Magwitch to escape by bringing him a file and food. However, Magwitch is caught again.
Miss Havisham, a rich elderly lady, who lives on a grand estate that has gone to rack and ruin since she was gilted at the altar hires Pip as a playmate for her haughty adopted daughter, Estella. Pip instantly falls in love with Estella.
Pip grows up and becomes an apprentice to Joe. One day Jaggers, a lawyer visits and reveals that Pip now has 'great expectations' as he has a mystery benefactor who has promised him a regular income. Pip moves to London, with hopes of becoming a gentleman, assuming the benefactor is Miss Havisham.
While in London, Pip discovers that Estella, whom he has remained in love with, was raised by Miss Havisham to wreak revenge on the male race by making men fall in love with her then breaking their hearts. One day he is visited by an old man whom he realises is Magwitch, whom he discovers is his true benefactor. If Magwitch is found in England, he will again be imprisoned, so Pip has to keep him in hiding. Pip returns to Miss Havisham's House to find it on fire, he saves Miss Havisham from the fire.
Pip goes back to London where he attempts to help Magwitch escape by boat, the escape goes wrong and Magwitch is taken to jail. It transpires that Magwitch is Estella's father. Pip falls ill, while he is ill Miss Havisham dies. On his recovery, Pip returns to the late Miss Havisham's Estate to find Estella who had been married to a cruel husband. Estella having had her heart broken, now finds she is capable of having some feeling, this gives Pip hope that they might have a future together.