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Having read Great Expectations(TM) how effective is the opening chapter? Discuss the methods Dickens used to ensure his readers continuing interest.

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Introduction

Having read 'Great Expectations' how effective is the opening chapter? Discuss the methods Dickens used to ensure his readers continuing interest. 'Great Expectations' is a novel which was written by the renowned author Charles Dickens in the 1800's. The novel is based around the prejudices of different class structures in the Victorian society. It is about a boy named Pip who firstly seems as though he wouldn't get anywhere in life as his mother and father have both died. However we soon come to see that Pip is a boy who has 'Great Expectations'. Dickens had a social conscience and was deeply critical of the existing system of law and justice as his father was imprisoned for debt. Issues relating to crime and the law run throughout Great Expectations. Pip becomes more socially educated and rich all because of a certain benefactor who was once a convict. ...read more.

Middle

Pip's only gateway in telling what his parents were like was to analyze the shape of the letters on his parent's tombstones. 'The shape of the letters on my father's, gave me an odd idea that he was a square, stout, dark man, with curly black hair. From the character and turn of the inscription, `Also Georgiana Wife of the Above,' I drew a childish conclusion that my mother was freckled and sickly.' This shows that Pip doesn't really know how to interpret people. He has no sense of where comes from or who he is as his guardians died when he was very young. Dickens creates empathy for Pip as we see how much he didn't know his parents at all. Whilst Pip was so interested in the tombstones, he gets frightened by a strange creature like man. Pip is automatically scared for his life, `O! ...read more.

Conclusion

As he is in a higher class, he has become blinded to who bought him there. He has a job which pays him quite a lot. Pip shortly becomes too rich for his own good. He forgets about who means to him the most. Dickens manipulated the reader through Pip's journey by leading everyone to believe that Pip's benefactor will be Mrs. Havisham. This attracted the reader to continue experiencing the feelings as Pip. Not before long we find out that Magwitch the convict was the actual benefactor. In conclusion I feel that the opening chapter of 'Great Expectations' is effective because the main two characters who were included in the beginning were brought through right till the end. This showed that the emotional attachments weren't lost. The method Dickens uses mot effectively is the where the reader is experiencing everything alongside Pip, so they are feeling what he must of felt. The theme of crime and law continues throughout the novel so the reader persists on reading. ...read more.

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