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Examine the opening chapters of Great Expectations and discuss the impact they have on the audience.

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Introduction

Examine the opening chapters of Great Expectations and discuss the impact they have on the audience. Born in Portsmouth in 1812 Charles Dickens was the second son of a Navy Pay-Officer, he lived a happy childhood, like many of those portrayed in his novels. Charles Dickens died at the age of fifty two and lived from 1812-74. Dickens was one of the most famous novelists of the 19th Century as he was so widely known. He is untouched in creating the most vivid group of inhabitants with the use of his amazing characterization. Great Expectations was written in chapters for a newspaper, whilst Dickens worked as a journalist. The novel took over one year to write and is regarded as one of Dickens finest pieces, even though the ending was changed for a happier one. In Great Expectations Dickens writes about flamboyant images of London, this was mainly because at the time; London was the biggest most important city in Great Britain, there were plenty of pubs and bars sprouting around the city, however there was a lot of poverty at the time as well. London led the way for the revolution of the world and this is when other cities started to get bigger and more significant. The story starts with Pip talking about how his parents have died and his elder sister Mrs. ...read more.

Middle

Dickens takes great care to distinguish the two Pips, filling the voice of Pip the narrator with perspective and maturity while also imparting how Pip the character feels about what is happening to him as it actually happens. This skillfully executed distinction is perhaps best observed, when Pip the character is a child very early on in the book; here, Pip the narrator enables us to see and feel the story through his eyes, although his views are not so accurate because of the bias outlook of the child. As a character, Pip's most important quality is his innately good conscience. Pip the narrator judges his own past actions extremely harshly, rarely giving himself credit for good deeds but angrily criticizing himself for bad ones. Pip is at heart a very generous and sympathetic young man, a fact that can be witnessed in his numerous acts of kindness throughout the book (helping Magwitch, stealing food, etc) and his essential love for all those who love him. Pip's main line of development in the novel may be seen as the process of learning to place his innate sense of kindness and Conscience above his immaturity. Mrs. Joe serves as link to make it so that Joe appears very much to be the father of Pip. In addition, Joe, although terrified of Mrs. ...read more.

Conclusion

We can clearly see the horror genre has been the base of the scene the fact that the Convict seems as if he is a real villain with the added fact of him being tied up with an iron on his leg. When Pip says " after each question he tilted me over a little more, so as to give me a greater sense of helplessness and danger", it is clear that the convict isn't as bad and dangerous, he is simply trying to scare Pip into what he wants done , there is no painful violence inflicted onto Pip at all. The convict gives one last contribution to Pips conscience, he introduces a new character "a young man" this young man would "softly creep and creep his way to him and tear him open" (him, being a young boy in this case Pip) . this again is a comical part of the scene and is meant to sound ludicrous to the audience but not to Pip, it also shows Pips naivety and innocence. I feel that "Great Expectations" is such an appealing novel straight from the start of the book because of all the different levels and themes that have been applied to the early chapters. The book also works on so many different levels, working with a variation of genres. The different Characters with their each and own individual characteristics also makes the book very intriguing from the beginning. Sunny "The King" Parmar ...read more.

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