Dickens is very concerned with social inequality and the circumstances which lead the poor to be kept poor—and especially with the extent to which injustice is so rife that it has become normalized. In the beginning of this novel, we find Pip sitting in a graveyard, relating quite casually the impressions he has drawn of his mother, father, and five dead siblings based only upon their gravestones. It is normal to Pip to be the only living member of a family who otherwise are all inhabitants of the graveyard; the sheer number of his dead siblings, in particular, is shocking to the reader, particularly because Pip does not offer any particular opinion about this fact. When Magwitch asks Pip where his mother is, he points to the gravestone and says, "there, sir," without any apparent hesitation. Pip is at the absolute beginning of his journey: the rest of his family having been committed to their graves, he represents the only surviving "pip" from that family tree, and any growth he sustains will naturally take him further away from the lowly place they all ended up in.
By beginning his novel in a cemetery, Dickens indicates to us that Pip is the last remaining hope of a family whose dreams have otherwise been ground down by poverty, illness, infant mortality, and so on. Pip must have very great expectations indeed if he anticipates entering good society from this seeming dead end of a starting point.