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Great Expectations

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I wWith close reference to the text, how is mood and atmosphere created in the opening chapter of 'Great Expectations' by Charles Dickens. Charles Dickens is the author of "Great Expectations" and he was born in eighteen twelve in Portsmouth. His family were great inspiration for the characters in his books as the character Mr. Micawber in David Copperfield was based on his father. All of Dickens book were very similar in the fact that they were all about lower class people. This shows that Dickens felt empathy towards them. Dickens could relate to this as his family were quite poor. "Great Expectations" was first published serially in magazines in eighteen sixty. The novel is suitable for Victorian audiences because they could relate to the content of the novel, for example, the standard of living; the fact that women were seen as less important than men and Pips lifestyle. Dickens uses personal pronouns like, My, I and We, which makes the reader feel more involved in the story and they can imagine what it would have been like for the characters. ...read more.


Pip had to draw conclusions from the descriptions on their gravestones," derived from their tombstones." You feel empathy towards Pip as he still has love for his mother and father. A technique that Dickens expends is describing the setting at the beginning of the chapter. That graveyard at the start of the chapter is a typical example of how the setting contributes to the novel because in order to capture the reader's imagination the description must be able to paint a picture in your head. Dickens describes the graveyard as a, "bleak place overgrown with nettles." The use of the word "bleak" creates atmosphere as it makes the place sound cold and unwelcoming. To follow on from this, Dickens uses alliteration to describe the setting, "low, leaden line." This is used to describe the river on the marshland. "leaden" means lead coloured or dull and heavy, which suggests the river was dull and lead-coloured. This creates a sombre atmosphere. Dickens leaves the first piece of dialogue until after the description, which builds up suspense. ...read more.


Another technique Dickens uses is leaving the first piece of dialogue until the description is over, the first piece of dialogue is, "Hold your noise!" We don't know who says this until Dickens describes the character. Dickens also describes how the character spoke, in this case it says, "cried a terrible voice." This creates an unpleasant atmosphere. Dickens creates a vexatious atmosphere by creating a fast pace when Pip meets the convict. The description of the convict is very fast paced and puts a picture in your head which creates atmosphere, "soaked in water, smothered in mud and lamed by stones." "for he was so sudden and strong," this shows that the convict is a powerful character in this part of the story. Dickens describes scenes in great detail so you can picture it, "he looked in my young eyes as if he were eluding the hands of dead people, stretching up cautiously out of the graves, to get a twist upon his ankle and pull him in." This description creates mood because you can picture it in your head. You can also imagine how Pip is feeling with this description in his head. ...read more.

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