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How does Chapter One of 'Great Expectations' prepare a reader for the rest of the novel?

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Introduction

Great Expectations How does Chapter One of 'Great Expectations' prepare a reader for the rest of the novel? In Chapter One, Charles Dickens 'Great Expectations' prepares the reader for the rest of the novel because the chapter introduces the two main characters, Pip, who is an orphan and Abel Magwitch, who is a convict. We don't learn Abel Magwitch's name until later on in the novel. The language that Dickens uses prepares us for the rest of the novel. Great Expectations has been written in the ninetieth century. Dickens uses long, rich sentences full of description, which allows the reader to appreciate and understand the novel. He creates a clear picture, portraying colourful characters and bleak settings. The language is important as it adds to the strong imagery, speech and interaction of characters, suspense and tension. Imagery is an important device because the landscape and the weather is a sinister aspect as Pip relates his surroundings. They are barren and bleak this reflects his emotions and feelings. "The dark flat wilderness beyond the churchyard, intersected with dukes and mounds and gates, with scattered cattle feeding on it, was the Marshes." ...read more.

Middle

This reflects Charles Dickens own life story. How he was poor and then changed his own destiny. Magwitch is a criminal, but Compeyson led him into crime. Compeyson blames Magwitch for being led astray, and is believed because of his 'smooth manners'. Dickens expresses this 'goodness', Magwitch does not harm Pip at all and he warns him that Compeyson might harm Pip if he comes across him. "There's a young man hid with me, in comparison with which young man I am a Angel." We feel pity for Magwitch, Dickens description of him and we generally feel that he has a 'good side' to him. This is enforced, when Magwitch is recaptured and saves Pip from any trouble, by admitting that he stole the food from the Gargery's house. "I took some wittles, up at the willage over yonder - where the church stands a'most out on he marshes." Through frightening to Pip, the convict's actions can be seen as quite amusing. The reader is often able to see things that Pip does not, for example, the fact that Magwitch is unlikely to harm Pip, even though Pip is scared and helpless. ...read more.

Conclusion

Pip is able to convey the viewpoint of his younger self. The simple child of the novel's opening, changes to the young prig of the middle Chapters and eventually the mature narrator. He is merciless in exposing his faults, allowing them to appear by the honesty of his narration rather than passing judgement. Chapter One of Great Expectations paves the way for the rest of the novel as it introduces us to the two main characters that holds the whole novel together. Through them we meet a network of characters that are all linked together. For example Compeyson is linked to Magwitch, Estella is linked to Miss Haversham, Miss Haversham is linked to Compeyson, Estella is linked to Pip, Estella and Pip are both linked to Magwitch. It sets the scene and also sets up the storyline for the rest of the novel. Images of landscape are used in chapter One as reflects of what may happen in the rest of the novel. "like an unhooped cask upon a pole - an ugly thing when you were near it; the other a gibbet, with some chains hanging to it which had once held a pirate." This ghostly image at the end of chapter one stays with the reader for the rest of the novel. Cassandra Angell ...read more.

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