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

How does dickens engage the reader in Great Expectations? Focus on Chapter 1-8.

Extracts from this document...


Great Expectations How does dickens engage the reader in Great Expectations? Focus on Chapter 1-8 Dickens uses an extensive variation of techniques to engage the reader. Arguably, unanswered questions are the most effective, however this essay will discuss many other techniques. The title immediately engages the reader as it instantly creates unanswered questions and sets expectations on the part of the reader. The complex relationships between the characters draws in the reader. The reader becomes emotionally involved with the characters from Pip's perspective due to the fact it is a first person narrative from Pip's point of view. A third person narrative usually describes characters in a detached way whereas the first person narrative is more personal as it is the thoughts and feeling of one of the characters in this case Pip. ...read more.


This surprises the reader as the role of husband and sister is almost reversed. The contemporary reader would find this even more strange as they strongly believed that the husband was the dominant member of the household whereas the wife took a more subservient role therefore they would be reading the story with more interest as they are interested to see how this dysfunctional family develops. The structure Dickens uses creates anticipation and suspense to ensure the reader reads on. Originally 'Great Expectations' was serialised and two chapters were released at a time. To make sure the next two chapters were purchased Dickens had climatic endings after every two chapters. Once Pip had stolen some food he becomes paranoid which culminates at the end of chapter four he runs "head foremost into a party of soldiers." ...read more.


The use of comedy and irony provides relief from the tension that is created for example Dickens also uses unanswered questions to create suspense and interest in the reader so that they continue to read the story as they want to know the answers to these questions. Chapter seven finishes with the intriguing question asked by Pip "what on earth I was expected to play." As Pip is suddenly and unexpectedly invited to play cards by Miss Havisham which creates suspicions as he does not know her and immediately causes the reader to ask questions. However suspense and anticipation is created as these questions are not answered instantly at the beginning of chapter eight instead Dickens gives a long description of the High Street. This ensures that the reader continue to read the book until their questions are answered. ...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: A Tale of Two Endings

    The original ending leads the readers to believe that Pip and Estella will never see one another again, that he has reached his own personal closure from Estella, and that she is well and no longer cold-hearted, for her suffering has "given her a heart to understand what my heart used to be" (509).

  2. Analysis of chapters 1-8 in Great Expectation by Charles Dickens

    The line makes us feel that if there was an incident in which Pip is hurt, there is a distance between the church and the home. After finding out the state Magwitch is in, we find out that he is a very muscular and strongly built character.

  1. How does Charles Dickens engage and sustain the reader in the opening chapter of ...

    Furthermore, Pip's swearing by god seems to hold more weight than any of Magwitch's other threats. Not only does Magwitch verbally threaten Pip, but he physically instils fear into him. Magwitch tilts Pip, shakes him upside down and puts him on a tombstone.

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

    The effect of this on the reader is one of hostility and shock towards Pip, who seems to have changed dramatically from the young boy who was exposed and vulnerable, who Dickens had allowed the reader to empathise with earlier in the novel.

  1. How does dickens create sympathy for pip in chapters 1 and 8?

    reminded that he is only a boy and nothing else, we feel great sympathy for pip for the difficult situations he's put in and his misfortunes. In these 2 chapters, pip has been frightened a lot, treated unfairly and interrogated; his position has been seriously degraded as a worthless child.

  2. Charles Dickens's writing techniques in Great Expectations.

    Tom's relationship is important in Pip's life because Tom was Pip's strength, although Pip never sees this. Magwitch, a convict that becomes Pip's benefactor, is the second vital person in Pip's life. Magwitch devotes his life to support Pip, and becomes Pip's benefactor in the novel.

  1. How does Charles Dickens hook the reader into reading Great Expectations?

    The reader will want to know if the convict gets caught so they may read on to find to find answers to their questions. Questions like 'what did the convict do to become the convict?' and 'Why is he relevant to Pip's life?'

  2. Great Expectations -how Dickens uses language in the opening chapter and in chapter 8.

    As Magwitch leaves Pip, Charles Dickens uses great imagery to describe the grave yard. "He looked in my young eyes as if 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."

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