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How does Dickens engage the reader in Great Expectations?

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Introduction

'Great Expectations' Coursework How does Dickens engage the reader in 'Great Expectations? In the Victorian age, crimes were taken extremely seriously and any thief caught would be taken to the Hulks (prison ships). Alternatively, a technique that Dickens uses to help engage the reader is the structure and plot. He uses chapter endings, for example at the end of chapter two, "opened the door (...), and ran for the misty marshes". This is a cliffhanger because we do not want Pip to be caught stealing, as he takes the things to the convict. It is important that Dickens used cliffhangers to help engage the reader because, 'Great Expectations' was serialised and if he wanted the readers to buy the paper to read the next two chapters, they must be interested in the book. Simultaneously, Dickens also used varying sentence structure to create anticipation and tension. ...read more.

Middle

Dickens also used universal themes as everyone on the planet has experienced them and understands them; hence the term 'universal'. Humour was another technique used by Dickens in 'Great Expectations' to help engage the reader in the story. It was used to break the tension. This was effective because when the tension was built up again it was more apprehensive. One example of this is "Tickler was a wax-ended piece of cane, worn smooth by collision with my tickled frame". This suggests that Pip was beaten so much with the cane that it smoothened. Victorians would have found this funny but if this novel was written at the present time the readers would think that it was harsh and child abuse. This quote also has a rhyme to it, which makes it more memorable. Dickens included dialogue of all characters to help engage the reader in 'Great Expectations'. ...read more.

Conclusion

These devices complement each other whilst building tension and anticipation successfully. Universal themes are used because everyone understands them and they can sympathise with the characters. This way the reader can understand Dickens' message on the crime system and put it into practice. Dialogue and colloquial speech is used to create a sense of reality and this way the readers can relate to themselves. Humour is used to break the tension before the story gets too tedious which, therefore, ensures that the readers are entertained. Strong characterisation is used to make the reader develop and emotional involvement with the characters. The emotional involvement creates a complex, absorbing relationship between the reader and the characters. This makes the reader want to find out what happened next. Overall, all the devices that dickens uses only help to engage the reader. They cannot engage the reader on their own, just like a group of bricks put together will make a house. A brick on its own is no good. ?? ?? ?? ?? By Sonia Kaur ~ 1 ~ ...read more.

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