• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Great Expectations Effectiveness of chapter 1

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How effective are the opening and closing chapters of 'Great Expectations.' Opening Chapter The novel, Great Expectations by Charles Dickens was written between December 1860 and August 1861, and was published in instalments in a magazine. Charles Dickens was known as a 'social reformer' and many of his novels reflect on poverty, justice and punishment in novels such as Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickleby and Great Expectations. Charles Dickens was also concerned about prison systems and he campaigned long and hard against public executions, using his fame to bring the horrors of the situation to light. The first chapter of Great Expectations establishes important information in terms of character, action, and the plot which aims to entice the reader to read on. Charles Dickens used a lot of suspense in the novel; in addition he made each of the instalments end with a cliff-hanger to persuade readers to buy the next issue, which would definitely gives the reader a purpose for buying the following part of Great Expectations. Great Expectations can be also considered semi-autobiographical of Charles Dickens as it is based on his own experience of life and people. The novel is written in the style of a bildungsroman.* The first chapter of Great Expectations introduces us to the young protagonist Philip Pirrip, who was known as Pip because he could not pronounce his full name 'I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip.' ...read more.

Middle

He has "no hat," "Broken shoes" and "an old rag tied round his head." He looked like he had been "soaked in water, and smothered in mud" his walk was described as a limp, like he had been "lamed by stones and, cut by flint." He must have been cold as he was "shivering." The description of Magwitch makes the reader have some sympathy for him due to his hard life. "Hold your noise!" Magwitch's opening line, which already suggests he is from a lower social class, due to the informal vocabulary and that he is aggressive as emphasised by the use of the exclamation mark. As he threatens Pip, an innocent child, our very first impression of Magwitch is that he is a dangerous person, a convict who has no limitation to his threats, "Keep still you little devil, or I'll cut your throat!" "You young dog, what fat checks you ha' got. Darn me if I couldn't eat 'em, and if I han't half a mind to 't!" Dickens use this technique of depicting speech phonetically (as it would be said) to give a comic edge to Magwitch's words. The relationship between Pip and the convict appears to be based on power and fear. Magwitch yells at Pip only to get what he wants, a file and some wittles (food). ...read more.

Conclusion

The convict's identity is unknown and the use of a cliff-hanger makes the reader think about what will happen in the next chapter as the opening chapter does not give this away. The character description is very detailed and the reader is kept personally interested in the characters. The novel appeals to Victorian readers, as well as modern readers who also learn about what happened during Victorian times and what the criminal systems was like then- how prisoners were punished. There is archaic language which is not used now. Such as, "gibbets" or "Lord, strike you dead." The opening chapter contains a balanced sense of the frightening atmosphere. As Magwitch threatens to kill Pip, by lying about the 'young man,' he over exaggerates. For the reader, it seems humorous and, therefore it lightens up the tension and relieves the reader. I feel that it is an effective opening for the novel and it would persuade me to read on because it contains an exciting use of the cliff-hanger - we do not know whether Pip will bring the needs of the convict or not, or whether the young man will hunt for young Pip and kill him. Dickens also uses very descriptive language to capture the scene and the feelings of the characters which makes the reader feel personally involved in the events of the novel. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Great Expectations section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Great Expectations essays

  1. Great expectations may be read as a bildungsroman how does the first volume of ...

    "Joe persistent in addressing me instead of Ms Havisham." When Pip admits his misery over being apprenticed to Joe's trade we are made to dislike him as he is becoming egotistical and assuming that he will become better than everyone else.

  2. Analysing and explaining Charles Dickens' Great Expectations; Chapter 1.

    the boy for some reason is tense himself, and the fact that he's running frantically applies that something threatening and evil is after him or that he's late for something very important which could cost him very dearly.(i.e. in his life!).

  1. Great Expectations

    These kinds of prisons came to be workhouses for people who had lost all their belongings. In case debtors had family, it must accompany them in prison. This painful experience may have kept way in his mind for the rest of his life.

  2. Great Expectations

    Pip is very happy about the fact that he is going to finally be able to follow his ambitions of becoming a gentleman. Before he goes he notices something, "I saw Joe...he never smoked so late, and it seemed to hint to me that he wanted comforting, for some reason or another".

  1. How is chapter 1 an effective opening to the novel Great Expectations?

    We learn a lot by this technique because we can see two different sides of Pip and see how he changed and was in the past. There is a big difference is style of speech of the small Pip and the older Pip.

  2. An evaluation of the effectiveness of chapter one of great expectations as the opening ...

    It is made clear to us that Pip is a child born into a working class family as Dickens explains that most of Pips siblings died in early childhood: 'five little brothers of mine - who gave up trying to get a living, exceedingly early in that universal struggle'.

  1. How does Dickens create effective descriptions of people and places in Chapter 1 and ...

    reader then quickly identifies more information about Magwitch through this quote; that he is very demanding. As a reader, we show sympathy towards Pip and we want to help him and keep him away from this aggressive character. If Dickens causes the reader to react in this way, it shows

  2. Great Expectations analysis of chapter 1 and 5

    in the garden of Satis House where they first met as children. The novel explores many major themes: Loneliness is shown through the character of Pip and Miss Havisham. In chapter 1 Pip is in the grave yard starring at his family member's graves all alone, shivering and crying.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work