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Great Expectations

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Prose Coursework Great Expectations The opening three chapters of Charles Dickens' novel Great Expectations are effective as they grab the reader's attention and keep them interested wanting to read more. This is what every author strives to do at the beginning of a novel. Charles Dickens' does this by creating effects by using a variety of methods. The methods include vivid descriptions of characters, settings and the weather. Other methods include selected use of language to create atmosphere and mood. Alliteration and repetition are used as well as cliff hangers to create suspense at the end of chapters. Pip, an orphan being raised by his sister and her husband, encounters a frightening man in the village graveyard. The man, a convict who escaped from a prison ship, scares Pip into stealing him some food and a file to grind away his leg shackle. Mrs. Joe, Pip's sister beats him around but her husband is a kind man and Pip is expected to follow into his line of work as a blacksmith. Pip gets invited to the house of a rich woman, Miss Havisham is an old woman who was abandoned on her wedding day making her give up on life. She has an adopted daughter named Estella, Pip's childhood crush which later becomes love. ...read more.


He is introduced by him shouting orders at Pip "Hold your noise" this makes him sound violent from the outset. The way his speech is written makes him sound uneducated and from a working class background "...pint out the place..." All of the convict's speech is written in short sharp sentences and nearly always in the form of orders. Dickens' may have done this to portray the character as someone to be feared which in turn may cause the reader to feel more sympathy for Pip as he has to take orders from the convict. The description given on the convict includes verbs such as "...soaked ... smothered... lamed... cut... stung... limped... shivered... glared... growled...seized" are used. The verbs are all negative verbs may have been used to show that the convict has escaped from somewhere and is acting in sheer desperation. In a way the verbs and description may also lead to the reader feeling sympathy for the convict after all his been through. Right from the beginning of the book Charles Dickens' introduces an interesting plot and maintains it throughout the novel. The early paragraphs start enforcing the plot which is quickly established. Chapter one is used to introduce two of the main characters Pip and the convict and is also used to tell us information about Pip's family and create sympathy for him. ...read more.


Other times the reader is left out of the secret but we are given the impression that it is an important thing that we need to find out, as in the case of the two convicts. We know that there is some connection between the two that is important to the story but we are given very few clues to help us. I think the first three chapters are very effective at gaining and keeping the readers interest. The methods and effects I found to be particularly effective were those promoting sympathy for Pip as I wanted to read on to see whether things improved for him or not later on in the novel. I also found that the passage that most edged my sympathy for Pip was "...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. To five little stone lozenges, each about a foot and a half long, which were arranged in a neat row beside their grave, and were sacred to the memory of five little brothers of mine..." I found this to be the most effective as the idea of anyone being without parents requires sympathy. . ...read more.

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