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How effective are the opening chapters in Great Expectationsand Jane Eyre?

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Troy Franklin How effective are the opening chapters in Great Expectations and Jane Eyre? In my essay i will be explaining and comparing the opening paragraphs of "Great Expectations" ang "Jane Eyre". The author of "Great Expectations" is Charles Dickens (1812-70). Dickens was a middle class man who was well known and wealthy. He had his own magazine, called "All the year round", in which he published "Great Expectations" over a period of 59 weeks; one chapter a week was published his magazine. He wrote it in 1860 and it was published between December 1860 and August 1861. "Jane Eyre" was published in 1847 and written by Charlotte Bronte but under the name of Currer Bell because it was hard for a women in the Victorian times to publish a book. She was born in Yorkshire but lived a short life of only 39 years (1816-55). It was not just her in her family that dies at a young age, she had two sisters who did not make it to adulthood. She also had a brother and two surviving sisters. Her father was a Vicar. She was not the only literate person in the family; her sisters also had books published. "Great Expectations" starts off with Pip all alone in a deserted graveyard looking at his immediate, relatives gravestones. Then a man threatens him "...I'll cut your throat!" ...read more.


He also makes up that somebody will kill Pip if he says a word just to keep Pip quiet, so he stays out of trouble. The prisoner makes you want to read on to see if he kills Pip when he brings the tools or wheather we will see him again in the book. "Jane Eyre" uses three main characters in the opening chapter. Jane is very quiet and a lone, she is not a typical 10 year old. "I returned to my book-Bewick's History of British Birds". Normal children of Janes age usually read fictional stories. She is very scared of John Reed "every nerve I feared him, and every morsel of flesh on my bones shrank when he came near me". This is very stereotypical of a victim to be scared of the bully. I do not think that Jane will survive John Reed because whatever John does Mrs Reed ignores it because she does not care about Jane and she loves John. Jane makes us want to read on to see how she copes with the the red room and when, or if, Troy Franklin she comes out how will she cope with the bulying. John Reed comes across as a very spoilt and gready character "Now I'll teach you to rummage my book-shelves: for they are mine; all the house belongs to me." ...read more.


We wonder whether he will carry out what he is threatening, we also wonder why he was put in prison and if he really has a "young man" to watch Pip or if the prisoner is going to come back. Pip also makes us want to read on because we want to find out if Pip is going to tell anybody about the prisoner, if Pip will meet back up with the prisoner with his brother-in-laws tools to help the prisoner and how will Pip cope with the pressure of keeping a big secret. I think the cliff hanger in "Jane Eyre" is more sucessful because in "Great Expectations" we can almost guess what is going to happen next, we can predict that Pip is going to help the prisoner and the prisoner has made up the young man to scare Pip so he helps him. In "Jane Eyre" it is more of a cliff hanger because more questions have to be answered later on in the book. We need to know; what the red room is; how long will Jane be in there for; and is the bullying from John Reed going to get worse. I think that "Great Expectations" is more sucessful because it has more of an effective plot which would make us want to read on. I do not feel that "Jane Eyre" has a strong enough plot to keep the readers attenion and it would not make us want to read on. ...read more.

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