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How effective is the opening chapter of Great Expectations?

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How effective is the opening chapter of Great Expectations? By Kenny (10P) Charles Dickens wrote Great Expectations using Pip as the first person and through him, give the reader Pip's perception and point of the story. The opening chapter uses a high range of vivid imagery and very clearly illustrates the setting, as well as its mood. In the first paragraph we are thrown into a window to see a glimpse of Pip's past and not a very pleasant one it was. We immediately know that Pip is an orphan and that all of his five siblings are dead. The author's intent was to create sympathy for Pip and this he has done very well. For now the reader, at such an early point in the story already feels some pity and sympathy for Pip. ...read more.


The use if this description, in fact, the entire paragraph is dedicated to this description shows contrast extremely effectively, it portrays the convict as a vicious, merciless evil thing, the previous description of the deserted and cold churchyard and amidst all this was young Pip, thrown into this situation, helpless and vulnerable while all that surrounds him seeks to do harm. The opening chapter also cuts straight to the point and after the third paragraph, dialogue is added in the first of which "hold your noise" is sudden and brash and immediately seizes the reader's attention. This is then followed by a threat "keep still you little devil or I'll cut your throat." This threat continues to hold the reader's attention while the other hand of the story if you like, pulls out more harsh dialogue and threat the climax of which is when Pip is asked to get whittles and a file. ...read more.


This shows pip merging the convict and the gibbet from two individual points of fear into one much more terrifying illusion. Dickens uses Pip's imagination quite cleverly to I believe question the reader.. "as I saw the cattle lifting their heads to look after him I wondered if they thought the same." I believe that this phrase is quite clever of the author is asking whether the cattle saw the same, this is in fact asking us, the reader, whether we too see what Pip is seeing. Overall the opening chapter of Great Expectations was written with a cold and dark mood, almost dull in the first few paragraphs and quickly moves to and intense, fearful, and dangerous situation. It was particularly effective to have Pip in the midst of this, for it show a high level of contrast and almost seems improper that a young innocent child such as him could possibly be in the situation he was in. ...read more.

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