• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Analyse the opening chapter of the novel 'Great Expectations' by Charles Dickons

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Introduction The first chapter of Great Expectations is about a young boy called Pip and a terrifying event in his life, which is being looked back on by the voice of an older more mature Phillip Pirrip in the first person which gives limitations as we can only see his viewpoint and knowledge. Dickens uses Dual Narration; at first the older Phillip Pirrip introduces himself, and then the younger, innocent Pip experiences the events as the main character. The novel was written in the Victorian age and really does show how difficult life was during that age for the poorer people. Dickens uses his own experiences working in a blacking factory which help him describe in detail the problems of Victorian life. The opening chapter is very exciting and achieves the main target; to get the reader interested and want to read on, Dickens does this using a Narrative hook. Setting The setting is in a graveyard which is surrounded by the marshes, the river and the sea. The weather is grim and the graveyard is 'bleak' and un-kept; 'a bleak place overgrown with nettles was the churchyard'. Pip does not fit this dull setting as he is innocent and vulnerable, Magwitch, however, matches the doleful setting perfectly as he is impious and evil. ...read more.

Middle

I think this shows humour too. Pip believes his brothers have dodged work deliberately, as he does not realise that people die without wanting to and doesn't know that death is not a good thing, he is prepared for a life of hard work as a blacksmith for Joe Gargery. But realisation hits Pip from the middle of the third paragraph, and he becomes enlightened to the harsh side of life at that time, he realises 'the identity of things'. He has realised that his parents are actually dead and that he is an orphan and it is something he should be upset about; 'Phillip Pirrip late of this parish, and also Georgiana wife of the above, were dead and buried.' This realisation from Pip begins to create drama as the tension builds up, Pips realisation of what the graveyard represents, and the cold remote are surrounding him raises the level of tension. Pips innocent misunderstanding of the world helps create a feeling of sympathy towards Pip from the audience. The terrifying appearance of Magwitch adds to the tension, the drama, and the reader's sympathy for Pip creating a climax. Magwitch When Magwitch appears in the fourth paragraph he really does contribute to the dark, miserable setting, and fits it perfectly, creating a dark mood. ...read more.

Conclusion

Pip uses standard English throughout the chapter, even in moments of terror he still has the manners to address Magwitch as 'Sir'. Magwitch, however, uses coloqual English, which shows his lack of education. It is easy to derive by the style of writing that it is not a novel written in this day and age but is of the Victorian era and is very formal. This goes to show that Pip was raised at a time that life was difficult and Pip probably didn't have a very joyful life. Dickens leaves this chapter on a cliff hanger which I believe at the time was because the novel was first written in a weekly magazine, so leaving the story on a cliff hanger was essential in keeping readers interested. The interaction between the two characters is what builds up tension. To conclude, I believe that the opening chapter of 'Great Expectations' is extremely successful at getting the reader interested and wanting to read on into the rest of the book. The opening is very exciting and the excitement is left to hover on a cliff hanger; will Pip steal the 'file' and 'wittles' or not? The duel narration is also successful in enticing the reader as it gives a mature adult, and a na�ve child's viewpoint and is very interesting. ?? ?? ?? ?? Great Expectations - By Charles Dickens Page 1 of 6 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Great Expectations section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Great Expectations essays

  1. The opening graveyard scene of Charles Dickens ' Great Expectations' has become part of ...

    Also the corn is very high and Pip cannot see over to top, which makes it seem like he is trapped and unable to go anywhere. Having the corn like this makes the audiences feel trapped as well because they cannot see over the corn either.

  2. great expectations, opening paragraph question

    The mix of the two atmospheres gives the story a surreal feeling and sets the scene really well. A few of the main themes can also be detected within the first chapter. Identity is quite a strong theme that comes across during the first chapter.

  1. Compare and contrast the narrative structure of Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford and Charles Dickens's ...

    Gradually the tone and narrative voice changes and develops as Pip as a character matures and develops, when he learns of his new fortune, has great expectations and becomes educated. When he has come of age he has developed a business-orientated mind and helps Herbert work through his debts as

  2. Charles Dickens's writing techniques in Great Expectations.

    Pip understands that his expectations and his dramatic change in lifestyle affected the people that really loved him in a negative way. This made him unhappy and uneasy. When fighting with Miss Havisham, Estella says, "Only a little tired of myself."

  1. Great Expectations Role of Magwitch

    However, Magwitch's vulnerability is then made clear to the audience when he thinks that Pip's mother is with him. "He started, made a short run, and stopped and looked over his shoulder." Because Magwitch and Pip have been talking, Magwitch accidentally lets his guard down when talking to Pip, but remembers that he is supposed to be an evil man.

  2. An evaluation of the effectiveness of chapter one of great expectations as the opening ...

    for certain that Phillip Pirrip and also Georgina wife of the above were dead and buried' and that his parents aren't with him, they were six feet under. He was alone and unprotected. Dickens says all of this in a very long sentence, which would build up tension and the impression that Pip was in a very frightening place.

  1. How does Charles Dickens hook the reader into reading Great Expectations?

    The alliteration highlights the convicts bear like behaviour and because of this he frightens the children. We also see that the convict has to frighten the protagonist in order to last, so there is the possibility that he isn't as scary in the next chapter.

  2. Discuss how Charles Dickens builds tension in Chapters 1 and in Chapter 39 of ...

    Both quotes show the immense power the Convict possesses. Here Dickens portrays the Convict as an ogre or a beast for the first time. Furthermore, we also get to know that the Convict has not eaten for a while because of what it says in the Chapter, 'he ate the bread ravenously'.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work