• 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 ...

    This also makes us feel sympathetic towards Joe. Dickens has slowly prepared us for Pip's admittance by justifying why Pip is like this and Pip feeling bad about it. The reader's sympathy for Pip changes as we start to think he is to bigheaded.

  2. Great Expectations

    London was one of the greatest cities in the world in the 19th C. At this time huge amounts of money were invested in industry and buildings as trade with other countries increased. On the other side of the business world, made rich by the cheap labour of the exploited

  1. Comparing Chapter 1 of Great Expectations where Pip first meets the convict, with Chapter ...

    The scene is set with exciting imagery of the marshland, which is reflected in the ways of Magwitch. 'It was a raw afternoon', 'this bleak place', 'the distant savage lair from which the wind was rushing'. These descriptions of the scene are complimented by the descriptions we are given of Magwitch.

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

    This means it can only be the result of wizardry or which craft, which are associated with evil, and evil tenses up the audience because evil scares them. Also the way the camera zooms into the book creates tension

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

    Dickens uses dual perspective by showing the small, frightened Pip and then the more mature, older Pip. By using this technique it shows the readers the two different sides of Pip and explains about himself, his styles and what has happened with him.

  2. How does Dickens create an effective opening chapter in Great expectations?

    This is Pip's first meeting with the convict. The word "started" sounds quick and ands to the effect because up until now the narrative has been about Pip as he introduces himself and setting the scene and this abrupt change in the pace and mood as Pip is now in danger makes the chapter more dramatic for the audience and captures their interest.

  1. 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'.

  2. How does Dickens create sympathy for Pip in chapter 1 and 8 of Great ...

    Miss Havisham is dressed in all white as if she was getting married, except all her clothes had turned yellow because she's wore it so long. She sounds crazy because she talks to herself and Pip has a crush on her daughter Estella.

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