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Look carefully at the opening chapters of "great expectations" and explore some of the ways in which Dickens captures and keeps the interest and attention of the reader. Explore also how social conditions of the time inform his writing.

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Introduction

Wassi.s.Negatu 11/1/04 H/w Great Expectations QS. Look carefully at the opening chapters of "great expectations" and explore some of the ways in which Dickens captures and keeps the interest and attention of the reader. Explore also how social conditions of the time inform his writing. When Dickens writes he uses three methods to interest his readers, the presentation of character, creation of atmosphere and his use of narrative, description and speech. To begin with we will look at dickens presentation of character. When my English class first began reading "great expectations" I noticed that Dickens did not describe a character physically or through their thoughts, instead he describes them with two details, their surroundings and their past. For example we are never told that Pip is blonde or his age etc, instead we are only told that he has a married older sister who cares for him and that they live quite simply for example we learn that for dinner they would have something like buttered bread which suggests that they have poor nutrition. ...read more.

Middle

traits to each character to make them individual, such as Mrs Joe Gargery Was the evil step-mother while her husband Mr Joe Gargery was the quiet and almost wimpy yet kind man. Dickens narrative technique is also very powerful. Unlike most novels the action starts almost straight away. By page two we are shocked by the very sudden arrival of Magwitch with the shocking and almost frightening line "Hold your noise"! We are suddenly completely sucked in to the story when we find very quickly that Pip, the young boy we have become fond of is in danger and that Magwitch has only just escaped from a prison ship and is in desperate need of food, drink and possibly a file, if he will be able to make a full escape. This makes the first chapter become very exciting. Also it seems quite realistic because Magwitch's language is very powerful because it is so graphic, blunt and colloquial. ...read more.

Conclusion

Pip describes the river as a "low leaden line" This is a perfect example of Dickens art of alliteration. The word low is also representing the low spirit of Pip, The word Leaden makes us think of something that is heavy, grey and dull, and the word line sounds very bland and boring. Also the way in which Dickens uses personification for example in calling the wind a "savage beast", these words make us think of Pip a small helpless child who is out alone in what seems like an extremely solitude and scary place. We then fear for this young child and want to learn what happens to him so once again the reader finds that they wish to continue in the book, and for the rest of the novel the drama and language that Charles Dickens uses makes us keep wanting to read on continues Therefore it is through using the techniques previously mentioned, of character presentation, creation of atmosphere and narrative, description and speech that Dickens gains and sustains his readers attention. ...read more.

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