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great expectations

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Introduction

There are many various ways in which Charles Dickens creates and builds up tension throughout the novel, 'Great Expectations', in particular Extract 1 (A meeting in the marshes) and extract 14 (A surprise meeting). In these two extracts Dickens uses many diverse techniques to achieve tension and keep the reader hooked on the novel. The descriptive writing, character's fear and a sense of mystery all contribute in creating tension within these two extracts. In extract 1 of 'Great Expectations', Dickens creates a very bewildered, dull, bare atmosphere, "...this bleak place overgrown with nettles...dark flat wilderness... intersected with dykes and mounds and gates..." This dull atmosphere builds up tension as it creates a negative mood which the reader picks up on straight away. This also portrays a depressing, miserable atmosphere. Tension is heightened as Dickens describes the surrounding as a "savage lair" which creates a barbaric, uncivilised ambience. Similarly, the description of the surroundings and weather in extract 14 also help to build up tension. Dickens uses very violent, fearful words such as "furious", "wretched" and "stripped" to help create a violent, dangerous mood. "Shipwreck and death" further emphasise a violent atmosphere. These weather conditions echo a sense of negativity within the surroundings. ...read more.

Middle

In addition, the various writing techniques incorporated by Dickens dramatically helps to build up tension throughout extracts 1 and 14. Extract 1 demonstrates Dickens' use of verbs and adjectives within a long complex sentence, separated by commas. The verbs and adjectives used, such as; "stung", "shivered", "growled" and "smothered" create a precise picture of the character and portrays what the landscape has done to him. The verbs within this sentence have a great impact on the reader as we feel a sense of empathy for we realise what there conditions have done to the convict. The use of the connective "and" throughout the long complex sentence adds flow but also makes the reader slightly out of breath, therefore reflecting the convict's terrible conditions. The convict's character uses imperative language as he speaks to Pip, commanding him to "tell", "give" and "show". This adds a frightful feel to the extract. Furthermore, Dickens shows the character's dialect, by spelling the words how the convict would say them. For example, the words "pecooliar" and "partickler" suggests the way the convict speaks. In this same paragraph, modal words such as "may" have been used to build up to the "but". After this, the word "will" is used to show threatening behaviour and language used against Pip. ...read more.

Conclusion

Unlike before however, Magwitch's punishment, the Death Penalty, would be inevitable. This creates tension as we, the reader, feel empathy towards the kind-hearted criminal ad do not wish anything happens to him. Overall, I believe that Dickens has used various successful techniques throughout 'Great Expectations' to create and build up tension. However, in my opinion, extract 1 was more successful then extract 14. This is because extract 1 engaged me much more, through the greater emphasis on mystery and linguistic features. Mystery is dramatically enhanced due to the convict having no identity and being repeatedly referred to as "the man" in Pip's commentary. It adds confusion and also suspense. Extract 1 is mostly made up of commentary by the older Pip and description of the scenery. This really helps to set the scene and also add tension. Pip's commentary adds tension as we, the reader, can grasp Pip's true feelings on his life as a young boy. In conclusion, I believe extract 1 is Dickens' most successful extract at creating and building up tension compared with extract 14. This is due to his use of syntax which involves the reader more, with the long sentences building up suspense and short sentences having a dramatic effect. Also, the repetitive language and verbs help to create a precise picture of the characters which dramatically adds tension. ?? ?? ?? ?? Neha Tailor 11KW ...read more.

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