• 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 Atmosphere In The Opening Chapters Of Great Expectations?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

How Does Dickens Create Atmosphere In The Opening Chapter Of Great Expectations? In the opening chapter, Dickens portrays quite a sad and gloomy atmosphere because Pip is visiting the grave of his parents and five brothers. However, the scene develops into a more intimidating and hostile environment when another character is introduced. Dickens uses a variety of tools and components to create this atmosphere; these include powerful adjectives, imagery, similes, metaphors, powerful verbs and pathetic fallacy. In the opening chapter, Dickens describes the surroundings and settings in detail. He does this through the use of a wide variety of powerful adjectives. For example, he describes the churchyard as a, "bleak place overgrown with nettles". This creates atmosphere because it portrays to the reader how much of a hostile place the churchyard is and also, because it is Pip that is describing the churchyard in the novel, it shows the reader Pip's negative attitude and emotions towards this intimidating place. Additionally, it tells the reader that Dickens wants us to have a negative feeling about the churchyard and its surroundings. ...read more.

Middle

For example, "I pleaded in terror". This creates atmosphere because it gives us an insight to Pip's thoughts and emotions and shows us his attitude towards the events taking place in the novel, which creates atmosphere. Also, in chapter one, Dickens introduces a sense of mystery and suspense. He does this whilst he is describing the newly introduced character of Magwitch; "with a great iron on his leg". This shows the reader that he is maybe a prison convict and makes the reader wonder why he is chained up. Also, it shows the reader that he is a shady character. This builds up atmosphere. Additionally, there is a deadly element to the whole chapter. For example, the chapter is set in a churchyard full of dead bodies, "overgrown with nettles was the churchyard" and then as the chapter develops, Pip receives a death threat from Magwitch, "Keep still, you little devil, or I'll cut your throat". This deadly element creates a negative atmosphere throughout the first chapter and shows to the reader that the churchyard is a dangerous and intimidating place, especially for a small boy. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is an effective technique because by having weather that compliments the emotions of the characters it creates a more appropriate atmosphere. Dickens creates atmosphere by creating a sense of fear. He does this through the use imagery. For example, "he were eluding the hands of the dead people, stretching up cautiously out of their graves, to get a twist upon his ankle and pull him in". This gives the reader an image in their head about what is going on the story and gives them a better understanding of the events that are taking place in the story and also, of the way that the characters behave. Overall, in the opening chapter, Dickens portrays quite a sad and gloomy atmosphere because Pip is visiting the grave of his parents and five brothers. He does this through the use of a variety of powerful adjectives, imagery, powerful verbs and pathetic fallacy. However, the scene develops into a more intimidating, hostile and bleak environment when another character is introduced; Magwitch. Dickens uses a variety of tools and components to describe this character and the change in atmosphere caused by this disheveled character. These include powerful verbs, imagery, imperative verbs, powerful adjectives, etc. ...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. How does Charles Dickens create an atmosphere of fear in the opening ...

    people want to buy the next one, so there were probably lots of cliffhangers to persuade the readers The opening chapter uses a high range of vivid imagery and very clearly illustrates the setting, as well as its mood.

  2. How does Charles Dickens create atmosphere and suspense in the opening paragraph of Great ...

    He is shown as quite a bullying person as when he is told that Pips mother is also at the churchyard he attempts to run away before realising that his mother is actually there buried which after this point he returns to threaten pip for his life if he doesn't get him a file and some food.

  1. Dickens creates atmosphere and tension in the opening chapter, of Great Expectations

    It also creates tension because it adds to the strange events of that day. When Dickens changes the viewpoint, from an older Pip remembering, to a younger Pip reliving his experience. This affects the reader's perception. He makes sure you live every moment of the experience to make you understand exactly how Pip feels at that moment in time.

  2. Compare, Contrast and Analyse Chapters 1 and 39 of Great Expectations.

    life he could only remember Pip, and the image of Pip comforted him in those times. This insight into the life of Magwitch strengthens the readers understanding of the love and longing for Pip Magwitch possessed, in times of adversity.

  1. How does Dickens create atmosphere and suspense in the opening chapter of his novel, ...

    This is what Dickens would have wanted to happen. The narration style used by Dickens in Great Expectations is called retrospective narration. Retrospective narration is when the narrator (this time it is Pip) is narrating a story about his history when they are older.

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

    convicts encounters Pip and grabs him, as Pip screams helplessly in mercy, trying to fight the convict, pulling himself painfully away from him in agony and innocents. The shots taken are ALL close-up's of the convicts Pip's face, with the convict grinning an evil grin, whilst pulling strenuously and fiercely

  1. How does Dickens use language effectively to create mood and atmosphere in chapter one ...

    Dickens creates mood and makes the reader feel sympathy for Pip in this paragraph by describing first the church and where Pip's family are 'dead and buried', then the marshes, then the 'low leaden line' (the river), next he describes the 'distant savage lair' (a metaphor for the sea, a lair referring to the home of something vicious).

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

    Dickens doesn't set the scene until the third paragraph, in order to leave room for the introduction of the main character, Pip. It is more effective, I think, to introduce characters first, rather than potentially boring readers with a long scene setting paragraph and then bringing characters in after that.

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