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

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Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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.

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