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Coursework How effective is chapter one as an opening to "great expectations"?'

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Introduction

COURSEWORK 'How effective is chapter one as an opening to "great expectations"?' The first chapter is set in the grave yard, where pip is looking at the tombstones of his dead parents and brothers. 'Arranged in a neat row beside their grave, and were sacred to the memory of five little brothers of mine- who gave up trying to get a living exceedingly early in that universal struggle'. He is stating that all of his brothers gave in to death, which gives the idea that life expectancy was low for everyone. He then goes on to describe the area surrounding his home 'Ours was the marsh country, down by the river, within, as the river wound, twenty miles from the sea'. He is clearly explaining that he lives quite close to the sea, very near to the marshes. ...read more.

Middle

Also it very clear that the story is written from an adults' point of view looking back to when he was a child because the language is so mature and complex that it's just impossible to think that a 9 year old child could speak that way. The sentences are long, descriptive and seem to always follow a rhythm. Dickens plays around with language to give a clear image of pip's imagination. 'The shape of the letters on my father's, gave me an odd idea that he was a square, stout, dark man, with curly black hair. From the character and turn of the inscription, "Also Georgiana Wife of the above," I drew a childish conclusion that my mother was freckled and sickly'. The quote shows how pip imagines his parents from the lettering of their tombstones. ...read more.

Conclusion

The chapter is a perfect example of the pre 1914 writing it is persistent and rhythmic which gives the opening chapter a very certain structure of the rest of the novel by sticking to the same pattern. The sentences are complicated to give a complex structure and the most important event happens in this chapter, where pip meets his future benefactor who will give him great opportunities. It is also a very interesting point that the book is written from an adults' point to view looking back to when they were young, what is interesting about it is that from an adult's/child's' point of view we are able to make sense of what is happening, where as if a child was to be narrating the whole story at the heat of the moment, we would be having trouble understanding because a child's vocabulary is different to an adult's vocabulary, it is very limited unlike an educated adult's, which is very wide. ...read more.

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