Great Expectations is the thirteenth novel by Charles Dickens and his penultimate completed novel; a bildungsroman that depicts the personal growth and personal development of an orphan nicknamed Pip. It is Dickens's second novel, after David Copperfield, to be fully narrated in the first person.
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The first chapter of Great Expectations is important because it introduces us to integral characters in the plot and provides the Pip's family history. Knowing Pip's past, as well as his relationship to the convict, is important to understanding the story to come.