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Great expectations

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Introduction

Great Expectations This essay aims to discover how Dickens used the first chapter in great expectations to encourage the reader to keep reading the rest of his novel. Charles Dickens was born in 1812 his novels criticize the injustices of his time, especially the brutal treatment of the poor in a society sharply divided by differences of wealth he lived through that world at an early age, he saw the bitter side of the social class system and wanted it to be exposed, so people can see the exploitation that the system rests on. But he presents these criticisms through the lives of characters that seem to live and breathe but at the same time they do this by being flamboyant beyond that which is common in real life within real people. Dickens established the method of first publishing novels in serial instalments in monthly magazines. By doing this he reached a larger audience including those who could only afford their reading on such an instalment plan. Through his fiction Dickens did much to highlight the worst abuses of 19th-century society and to prick the public conscience. But running through the main plot of the novels are a host of subplots concerning fascinating characters. Much of the empathy that we feel for the characters in the novels derives from Dickens's descriptions of these characters and from his ability to capture their mannerisms as though they are real. Dickens's social criticisms in his novels were sharp and pointed. ...read more.

Middle

Dickens' description of the marshes make it seem like a very unwelcoming place; it is a "dark flat wilderness...intersected with dykes and mounds and gates, with scattered cattle feeding on it," with the river a "low leaden line beyond." The marshes are made clear to be inhospitable, and Dickens makes them seem harsh to a small boy, using phrases like "the distant savage lair from which the wind was rushing" - referring to the sea. After his experience with the convict, Pip is left isolated and afraid in a frightening and flat setting: the marshes are described as being "just a long, black, horizontal line" and the river as "just another horizontal line" with "a row of long, angry, red lines and dense black lines" making up the sky using pathetic fallacy so that the dark blurred surroundings could be compared to Pip's own confused thoughts about death, and the gothic colours foreshadow events yet to occur in the chapter. The only things that Pip can see standing are a beacon to sailors, and a gibbet; the gibbet is particularly unnerving to him, as in itself it is a scary thing. It also foreshadows the convict's appearance, which the convict could be "a pirate come to life" who has come down from it. All of this makes the reader feel sympathetic of Pip, a small boy in a stark wasteland, alone and afraid. The setting has objects and points which are very concentrated points of fear such as "a gibbet with some chains hanging to it which had once held a pirate. ...read more.

Conclusion

Dickens also shows him using the words 'partickler' instead of 'particular' and 'pecoolier' instead of 'peculiar', which helps the reader have an idea of how he talks, choosing his words carefully to match the convict's personality. In the same way he has used words such as 'pleaded' instead of ' asked' because it has much more of an effect and shows that Pip is desperate for the convict to let him go, whereas just saying ' Pip asked' gives the impression he is not really concerned about being let go. All throughout the opening chapter there a various reasons why the reader would want to read on. The Victorian audience would have instantly recognised the man as a convict and would fear for pips safety regardless if he brought him food or not, the audience would also want to know if Pip did in fact return to the convict to help him. The audience feels strong empathy and sympathy for Pip and his situation through various techniques employed by dickens to grab the reader's attention and keep it throughout the chapter making them disappointed when the chapter ends and looking forward to the next instalment. Pips safety is the main reason the audience would want to read on, however there are various other factors that contribute to this, such as what is going to happen to the convict, how does his families' death affect Pip and the story itself and where does pip go, what is going to happen in his life. The title itself Great Expectations, the reader want to know what is the meaning of the title, what is Pips great expectation? ?? ?? ?? ?? Aidan Morrison 11C ...read more.

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