The word Vaera means to appear. God makes a very dramatic appearance, beginning seven of the ten plagues that strike the Egyptians. The purpose of these plagues was to provide incontrovertible proof to the pagan world that God alone runs the show.
People have different reactions to a sudden appearance of God. Some, like the enslaved Jews, use it as an opportunity to cast off the shackles of bondage and dramatically reinvent themselves. Others like Pharoah, stubbornly shut their eyes and ears and hope to drown out the noise. Every time Pharaoh hardens his heart, his future becomes more set in stone, dooming him along with his nation.