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

Discuss the effectiveness of the opening chapter of ‘Great Expectations’.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Discuss the effectiveness of the opening chapter of 'Great Expectations' Charles Dickens was a very famous writer who was born 7th February 1812. One of most famous books is 'Great Expectations' which was serialised in 1860. 'Great Expectations' is about a young infant boy called Pip (Philip Pirrip) whose mother, father and five little brothers are all departed. His sister Mrs Joe Gargery and her husband Mr Joe Gargery, a blacksmith, then looked after Pip. The novel 'Great Expectations' begins very swiftly and promptly, as the start of the novel sees Pip visiting his deceased family. I think this is very effective in a story like this because straight away Dickens wants to show Pip's isolation and fear, as he stands alone before his families' gravestones at the start of the novel and how he explains that his sister 'brought him up by hand', this means that his sister would beat him if he did something wrong. This was not uncommon at the time when this novel was written because in the 19th Century, orphans and convicted criminals, like Pip and Magwich, were very badly treated and physically abused; the treatment that these unfortunate people suffered was inhumane. Dickens knew that this was not right so one of the main reasons why Dickens wrote this novel was to inform and notify the audience about the mistreating of orphans and convicts. ...read more.

Middle

As stated before Dickens uses high-quality description of his characters, this makes them stand out from the rest and become more vivid. I think this is because as Dickens was growing up his father was always in debt and in and out of prison, so Dickens was sent to work at the young age of 12 and Dickens stated 'They were the most terrible times of my life'. From this I have come to the conclusion that Dickens created Pip from his own experience in life and because Dickens actually lived like Pip, it makes him sound more realistic and believable for the audience. Dickens lived like Pip and experienced the brutal treatment for himself. The novel 'Great Expectations' is actually being told by Pip himself, but not as a child, as an adult looking back at when he was younger. This is very effective and is successful language by Dickens, as it gives us an adult opinion and perspective of a child's life. We know that the narrator is a mature one, because he talks about his childish conclusions of his family by looking at the inscriptions on their gravestones and how his 'infantile tongue' could only make out the name Pip from his full name. "From the inscriptions, I drew a childish conclusion that my mother was freckled and sickly". ...read more.

Conclusion

It is also because of Dickens's choice of words why his main character is called Pip; because the word Pip means a seed from which things grow. This is true of the text because Pip does grow throughout the novel from a young orphan to a rich gentlemen, so the name Pip is a very interesting name for this novel. The social and historical setting in this novel is in similarity with the real life environment at the time as in the novel Magwich the convict has been very badly treated and is very adverse, this also happened in the environment at the time that this novel was wrote. Also the brutal abuse of Pip the orphan is similar to the exploitation of the orphans in the surrounding atmosphere. By reading this novel we can get a rough idea of the physical abuse that the orphans and convicts suffered at the time, I think this is very useful because it would have been a very good real-life novel. On a whole I think that chapter one of 'Great Expectations' is very effective by the choice of language and words used by the famous, experienced writer Charles Dickens. However if we look at chapter one in relation to chapter two I think that chapter one and chapter two go together to make a unit, Nevertheless chapter one is still very successful. Andrew Marshall 11 A 3 GCSE Literature Coursework ...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. An evaluation of the effectiveness of chapter one of great expectations as the opening ...

    It is made clear to us that Pip is a child born into a working class family as Dickens explains that most of Pips siblings died in early childhood: 'five little brothers of mine - who gave up trying to get a living, exceedingly early in that universal struggle'.

  2. Great Expectations -how Dickens uses language in the opening chapter and in chapter 8.

    worry about Pip, since we realise that he is alone in an unsafe place. Moreover, although Pip describes the landscape and its position, everything is obscured by other matters. "Bleak place overgrown with nettles" show how the area is unknown by Pip.

  1. Great Expectations - Why is it so enjoyable?

    However, ironically, there are many subtle similarities between them. The dirt and decay of Miss Haversham's chamber mirrors the mud of the marshes and graveyard. When Pip first encounters Miss Haversham he recollects when he was taken to see "...a skeleton in the ashes of a rich dress, that had been dug out of a vault."

  2. Great Expectations Effectiveness of chapter 1

    We find out that Pip was looking at the tombstones of his parents and his younger brothers in the middle of the cemetery. As the reader we immediately feel sorry for Pip, his parents and younger siblings have passed away leaving only him remaining and his older sister Mrs Joe Gargery, who is married to a blacksmith Joe Gargery.

  1. How is chapter 1 an effective opening to the novel Great Expectations?

    The weather is frightening and so is Pip. That's how Dickens uses the weather to link it with Pip's emotions. In the first chapter, Pip is described to be a quite boy, a boy who has lost his family. Pip is described to be a boy who is always visited the graveyards and he is also described to

  2. How does Dickens create an effective opening chapter in Great expectations?

    This shows the desperation of Pip to know something about his family and wanting it so much his imagination creates this picture of them from the words and shapes of the letters. The adult Pip seems to be looking back and is confused about how he created these images as he says they were "odd ideas".

  1. How does Dickens create an effective opening in "Great Expectations"?

    Pip's isolation is shown by the way he lives in his imagination. His imaginative stories are illustrated in the way he builds up a picture of his family from their tombstones, "I am indebted for a belief I religiously entertained that they had all been born on their backs with

  2. How effective is the first chapter of Dickens' 'Great Expectations'

    These themes are eventually built throughout the story keeping the readers hooked. To keep the readers hooked you need a good line up of characters. The Characters which are introduced to us in the fist chapter are Pip, his sister, Mrs Joe Gargery, her husband, Mr Joe Gargery, Magwitch, the convict and the convict with the scar on his face.

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