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Great Expectations

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Great Expectations In this piece of coursework I have been asked to find out how atmosphere and mood is established in the first chapter of the novel 'Great Expectations' by Charles Dickens. Charles Dickens was born on February 7th, 1812 and spent the first nine years of his life living in the coastal regions of Kent. When he turned twelve his father got arrested and taken to debtor's prison. While his family moved to prison with Charles' father, the mother arranged for Charles to live along outside the prison. Charles eventually becomes a law clerk, then a court reporter and finally a novelist. Charles Dickens published extensively and was considered a literacy celebrity until his death in 1870. In the novel 'Great Expectations' many events from Dickens's early life are mirrored. The main character in this novel is a boy named Pip. Pip lived in the marsh country, worked at a job he hates, considered himself too good for his surroundings and experienced material success in London at a very early age. This is exactly what Charles Dickens lived like and thought like. This makes the novel semi-autobiographical. During the beginning of the chapter Pip describes the atmosphere by saying 'Ours was the marsh, down by the river, within, as the river wound twenty miles of the sea.' ...read more.


This is Pip describing himself when he was in the graveyard, the mood is frightening and the atmosphere was plain. Once Pip is all of a sudden grabbed by Magwitch, the mood changes 'Keep still, you little devil, or I'll cut your throat!' From this quote you can see how this happens. The mood all of sudden has a sign of panic, out of nowhere a man grabs Pip. It also makes the mood even more frightening than it is by using an exclamation point; it makes the reader feel that Magwitch is shouting. Magwitch is then introduced into the story from this event. Pip uses adjectives effectively to describes Magwitch as being frightful, 'A fearful man, all in coarse grey, with a great iron on his leg. A man with no hat, and with broken shades, and with an old rag tied round his head.' This is the first to sentences to describe Magwitch and it makes a panicking mood. 'A man who had been soaked in water, and smothered in mud, and lamed by stones, and cut by flints, and stung by nettles, and torn by briars; who limped, and shivered, and glared and growled; and whose teeth chattered in his head as he seized me by the chin' This description of Magwitch shows how injured and battered he is. ...read more.


The mood is firstly created in this chapter by talking about the churchyard; I feel the mood starts off by giving the audience a scent of fear, nettles all around Pip makes the mood seem dangerous, bit by bit the mood gets more intense until it builds up to a climax. More fearful things occur until Magwitch actually grabs Pip. Panic is then brought into the mood from this action but as the mood starts to climax it begins to lighten up. This happens because sympathy is brought in when Magwitch realises Pips' mother and father are dead. Over the entire chapter the mood it is made to build up until it climaxes and then starts to drop down. By building up it helps to make the reader feel they are living the story, this helps to make the reader read on. I feel Charles Dickens is successful in what he has been trying to do in this chapter; he is able to create dramatic atmosphere and mood by using vivid description to describe the scenery and the characters. I feel by doing this it has made the reader want to read on more, Charles has done this by making the reader feel they are Pip in the story, the reader automatically wants to know what happens next. Nathan Whitehead 1 ...read more.

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