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How does Charles Dickens make the first chapter of Great Expectations an exciting opening to the story?

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Introduction

How does Charles Dickens make the first chapter of Great Expectations an exciting opening to the story? Charles Dickens was born on the 7th February 1812. His father was sent to prison because he could not afford to pay his debts. Dickens had to go to work at an early age because his father was in prison. At the age of 12, Dickens was working in the blacking factory. A blacking factory was where people made polish for shoes. Dickens worked there to help raise money for his family. As he grew up Dickens became sympathetic towards the poor, especially young children. If you did not have any money in Dickens' time it would have resulted in going to the poor house or to the Debtors' prison. Most of his novels reflected class which was the rich or the poor. 'Great Expectations' deals with problems the characters experienced as they moved through their lives. Pip is one of the main characters, at the beginning a poor child but one who eventually becomes a successful gentlemen. Dickens introduces the scene by setting the scene in the "marsh country, down by the river". ...read more.

Middle

Magwitch makes the reader and Pip feel scared because we don't know is there and why they might be creeping around the marshes and the graveyards at night. The reader is led to believe that Magwitch is an escaped convict because it says that he is wearing a "coarse grey" uniform with a "great iron on his leg". He is also wearing "broken shoes", "and he has got an old rag tied around his head." Magwitch has been "soaked in water" and he has been cut by pieces of flint. He is described as being a homeless person. My feelings towards Magwitch is that he is terrifying because he has just escaped from prison and he is hungry, and he asks Pip to go and get food for him. The convict speaks to pip with a "terrible" and "threatening voice." Pip replies to the convict in a frightening way and says to the convict "O! Don't cut my throat, Sir." "Pray don't do it, Sir." this increase the tension as we think Pip is going to be killed by Magwitch. ...read more.

Conclusion

The reader's last view of Magwitch in this chapter is that he is running away because he scared that Pip's mother was there (but she's not). while he is running, he is limping because he has got the big iron dangling from his leg. Magwitch is running through the graveyard, as he runs the dead people are trying to grab him and pull him underground into the graves with them. "he looked in my young eyes as if he were eluding the hands of the dead people." Magwitch is a pathetic character because he is limping everywhere and acting stupid. He is also trying to avoid all the boggy land so he doesn't fall into them. The reader might be feeling much easier now that the convict has gone because the convict has been trying to hurt Pip and the reader feels sorry for Pip. Pip ran home after the convict had gone. " but now I was frightened, again and ran home without stopping." Dickens creates suspense and an eerie feeling at the end of the chapter 1 by saying that the skies are angry with the red lines. "and the sky was just a row of long angry red lines and dense black lines intermixed." ...read more.

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