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How is chapter 1 an effective opening to the novel Great Expectations?

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Introduction

How is chapter 1 an effective opening to the novel 'Great Expectations'? In the opening chapters of any novel, the reader expects to be entertained in order for him to keep reading. The reader should expect to find good and interesting language. Charles Dickens gives the reader a title to hint at what the story might be about. The title 'Great Expectations' is exactly what the novel is about. It's about a young man called Pip, he wants to get out of his state of poverty and get rich, as the title suggests he expects great things in the future. We know that that there are two voices in the novel, so we might wonder how the adult Pip has become educated. The genre of this novel is historical fictional autobiography or Pseudo autobiography which means that Pip is a character created by Dickens. Dickens shows this by explaining Pips life in chronological order, for example, "My father's family name being Pirrip and my Christian name Phillip...I drew a childish conclusion." Pip tells his life story starting from the beginning, he explains in 1st person narration by using 'my and I'. Also, Pip is talking about his 'childish conclusion', it tells us that he is still a young and uneducated child. ...read more.

Middle

This was the centre of which the action took place. In the story you get clues telling you that this is not a modern story because the story was made long before pictures where invented and another clue would be that a young boy aged 8-14 would not be in a graveyard all on his own but he would be in his house playing with toys and watching television. This makes the atmosphere of this story seem dull and gloomy and at the same time it makes us feel sorry for Pip because all he had lost where the most valuable to him (e.g. his family). Charles Dickens uses Pathetic Fallacy to reflect Pip's emotions. Pathetic Fallacy is when a characters are reflected and emphasised by the weather. Pathetic Fallacy is used in the first chapter in descriptions such as the "windy cold gloomy" marshes in which Pip first encounters the convict. Pip is really scared, "Wind was rushing... I was dreadfully frightened". This shows that Pip was really scared, Pip is all alone in the dark, windy marshes confronting a stranger. Dickens uses the 'windy and dark' weather to reflect Pips emotions. The weather is frightening and so is Pip. ...read more.

Conclusion

In chapter one we are given a rough sketch of where Pip lived and we are given information on his family but hardly any information on Pip. Charles Dickens has chosen to capture the reader's interest by making the first paragraph sad so that the readers would feel sympathetic and for Pip and see how Pip grows up and what he gets up to. I believe that this is what would make readers want to read want to know what happens in the rest of the story. To conclude, I think that the great expectation opening is so effective because it gives us information about Pips family background. I think that the opening chapter will get the readers interest and make him/her want to read more. I think that dickens has entertained the reader because of the layout and plot of the story. From this type of novel and because this is an fictional novel I would expect to know the main characters life story e.g. where he lived, age, gender etc I think that we are drawn into the story of the character Pip because the story is all about him and because Dickens writes it in a way that would want people to read more. We can relate the title to rest of the story because at the end of chapter 1 we expect something to happen to him. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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