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

How does Dickens create an effective opening to Great Expectations?

Extracts from this document...


How does Dickens create an effective opening to Great Expectations? The first nineteen chapters of Dickens' Great Expectations creates an effective opening in many ways. The very first chapter sets the scene with a mixture of anxiety and a build up of pressure. This is a good way to open a novel as it immediately grabs the readers interest. Throughout the opening of Great Expectations the setting changes several times. At the graveyard in chapter one, the atmosphere is very eerie and bleak. The graveyard is described as "dark flat wilderness" which gives the reader an image of a grim setting. There is no major difference between the graveyard setting and the setting in the next four chapters, collectively they have the atmosphere of depression and apprehension . This is when Pip steals the 'wittles' for the convict and is edgy about getting caught. The first big change happens in chapter eight when Pip visits Miss Havisham's house. Dickens describes the setting here as 'dismal, and had a great many iron bars to it,' it is still dark and gloomy all over the house, especially in Miss Havisham's room. Although this gives the impression that it is similar to the first seven chapters, Pip's feelings are different, this is the first time he feels vulnerable and resentful toward his upbringing and his background rather than afraid. ...read more.


Pip and Magwitch, except f course in the first chapter, do not have much of a relationship until later in the novel when Pip believes Magwitch is his benefactor. Mr Jaggers is often in and out of Pip's house and is the one who offers Pip a new life in London where Pip gets to know him better. The Pocket family have a strange connection to Pip. He often sees them at Miss Havisham's house on his visits. Towards the end of the opening Mr Pocket offers to tutor Pip in London and organise him with new clothes after his move to London. Especially throughout the opening of Great Expectations Pip is offered several opportunities, all of which he takes. The first opportunity is stealing the file and wittles for the convict, Magwitch. Pip feels he has no choice and he will be killed if he does not bring them so he obliges even though there are consequences at home. Pip is offered regular visits to Miss Havisham's house by Mr Pumblechook. Pip goes to Miss Havisham's and meets Estella, she is probably the reason Pip returns again and again as is rather scared of Miss Havisham at first. ...read more.


When the uneducated Mr Joe is talking, it is not very fluent and often spelt wrong. Mr Joe quote here. Great Expectations is an autobiography, its structure is very repetitive and is in chronological order. Dickens has his own very effective style which makes Great Expectations and other Dickens books so unique. The opening ends as Pip is leaving his small village for London, he pays Miss Havisham and Estella a final visit and celebrates with Mr Pumblechook. He leaves Biddy on bad terms as they have an argument. This could be one of the reasons that he has tears in his eyes as he leaves. Overall I think that Dickens creates an effective opening o Great Expectations by using his own style. Especially in more recent novels, no other author has the same very detailed narrative structure which make his novels unique to him, rarely is ever have readers been offered such detail. Dickens uses pressure and anxiety exactly where it is needed in a way that keeps the reader interested right through to the end, he allows the reader to really get to know and grow to love the characters. The end of the opening is a kind of cliff hanger, the reader will want to read on and find out what happens to Pip in London, if he ever does become a gentleman and if he will ever win Estella's love. ...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

    she uses slang unlike an upper class person usually would not do. Estella tries to be upper class but she is betrayed by her lower class language. Readers are invited to believe that she wants to be upper class because she likes looking down on others.

  2. Pip wants to grow up to be a gentleman. Do you think he succeeds?

    He is the instrument of Estella's first rebellion against men. She and Miss Havisham argue for the first time and Estella knows she is hard and cruel, but also that Miss Havisham made her that way. She even tells Pip this and it is best if he doesn't try to get her any more.

  1. How does dickens create an effective opening to great expectations ?

    These comments make Magwitch sound like a scary aggressive man. As well as that Dickens tells us that he was wearing, 'course grey with a great iron on his leg' this tells us that he is an escaped convict, which would make most people fear him.

  2. How does Charles Dickens create an effective opening to Great Expectations?

    However, these words and phrases would have been normal back when the book was first published, in 1860. There are even little words which have changed since then, such as 'us' is now 'me'. However, this may have just been the way in which Magwitch spoke.

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

    which helps to give the impression that he is quite sweet and innocent. The word Pip can also be interpreted as him being small and young as a Pip is the youngest and smallest part of a fruit showing that he is a child.

  2. In the opening chapters of Great Expectations, how does Dickens draw his readers in ...

    was no different in Dickens' day, and there were many in Great expectations. Its just about finding the balance between the two. For example there is the comedy of the doorstep wedge munching competetion and when Pip put the slice of bread down his pants.

  1. Great expectations - Which two settings in 'great expectations' did you find most effective?

    From this gain a lot of information about Pip's surroundings and background but not so much about the present Pip we realise he is abandoned and alone but not much more. Dickens uses imagery and metaphors to create a gloomy and sad out look on life yet creates a challenge for Pip to prove everyone wrong.

  2. Great Expectations Analysis

    As she has made the decision to be in such an execrable situation, readers do not sympathize with her.

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