• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Show how Dickens has created atmosphere and tension through his descriptions of setting and characters in the extracts Chapter 1 " Great Expectations(TM) and Chapter 47 " Oliver Twist(TM)

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Show how Dickens has created atmosphere and tension through his descriptions of setting and characters in the extracts 'Chapter 1 - Great Expectations' and 'Chapter 47 - Oliver Twist' This essay will address how Charles Dickens builds up tension and atmosphere in the two extracts, from Great Expectations (Chapter 1 - Pip in the Churchyard) and Oliver Twist (Chapter 47 - Fatal Consequences), by analysing the main characters in each, the setting, language and dialogue and lastly the structures, and notify how Dickens keeps the reader engaged through the usage of these techniques. The extract being observed from Great Expectations is the opening chapter and set in a graveyard, immediately introducing the reader to a dismal and sinister atmosphere, which is contributed to by harsh vocabulary, such as 'raw afternoon' and 'distant savage lair'. These phrases give the reader a sense of the scene Dickens is trying to create, by making it come across as brutal through the intense language. He is trying to make the setting appear overwhelming against someone small, and so he contrasts Pip, an innocent orphan boy, against such a bleak and unwelcoming environment, and by doing so adds to the simplicity of this character. This builds up tension, and portrays the conception that the setting and environment are being made to reflect the emotions of the character, in this case Pip. ...read more.

Middle

The latter enables a greater sense of understanding of the situation atmospherically, for it would be as if the reader were looking down upon the situation (and hence from an outside viewpoint), and so rather than seeing the scene through the eyes of a character, a less influenced view on the situation is portrayed, creating a greater understanding of the atmosphere as a whole. Now the techniques used in Dickens' Great Expectations have been analysed, those of Chapter 47 of Oliver Twist, 'Fatal Consequences' shall be investigated, and any similarities or variations in the methods used will be observed. The opening paragraph sets the scene for the majority of the chapter, and Dickens uses phrases such as 'dead of night' and 'even sound appears to slumber' to establish a sinister atmosphere, which creates a sense of tension in the idea that the setting is isolated and mysterious. The reader's interest is sustained for they become intrigued to know what will happen next, and at the same time suspicious based around the enigmatic surroundings. The language choice of the first paragraph suggests that as well as a tense atmosphere, it is a time when evil might be dwelling, right as Fagin is introduced to the scene. The setting is 'nearly two-hours before day-break', adding a sense of darkness to the scene, which may also give the impression that Fagin possesses ...read more.

Conclusion

The scene moves quite quickly, for much of its context is dialogue, and in the strain of the atmosphere the reader automatically interprets this to be read quickly - in Nancy's case as a plea for her life, and in that of Sikes' out of rage. Any description that has been included is depicting the actions of the characters, which the majority of the time are awkward and impulsive, again conveying how the scene is fast moving. 'The man struggled violently, to release his arms; but those of the girl were clasped around his,' shows how both characters were in an awkward position, again portraying tension between them, which the reader is also forced to feel when visualizing the moment. The final part of the chapter is built upon impulse as Sikes eventually kills Nancy, though as Dickens says 'the murderer was shutting out the sight with his hand' as he did so, this is immediately conveying how on a certain level he acted against his will as if he couldn't watch himself do it, yet felt the need that he had to. By writing this final part as an impulsive act by this character, Dickens is making the scene move more quickly, for the reader is in a way seeing things on Sikes' terms and reading instinctively quickly. Through this, the atmosphere becomes tenser for time seems to be moving faster, and the reader feels the need to find out the outcome of the scene. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Oliver Twist section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Oliver Twist essays

  1. After studying 'Oliver Twist' the reader gains understanding of the true horrors that exist ...

    Being forced to accommodate such ghastly conditions has driven the inhabitants to the brink of insanity. This presents a danger because it shows us that these people are desperate and when in extreme situations extreme reactions occur. Finally, a technique that is general to most novelists is careful selection of vocabulary.

  2. How is the picture of childhood portrayed in Oliver Twist?

    However, Oliver's escape is not into a happier environment, rather into yet another of Victorian society's ills - child employment. Dickens continuously refers to society's capitalistic commodification of children - in the opening Oliver is "badged and ticketed", he is later referred to as being "To Let" when the undertaker.

  1. In Oliver Twist Dickens Uses Environment to Reflect Feelings, In The Lord of The ...

    He is always described as dark and sinister. "When Roger opened his eyes and saw him, a darker shadow crept beneath the swarthiness of his skin; but Jack noticed nothing." This suggests that the evil that Roger permeates into the group is unnoticeable at first, but slowly increases, culminating in more and more horrific acts; most notably, the death of Piggy.

  2. Discuss the presentation of Dickens treatment of the murder of Nancy in Oliver Twist, ...

    When Sikes extinguishes the candle, this could represent Nancy's life. Up to the death of Nancy, Nancy is trying to beg for forgiveness from her killer and is trying to explain to him that she never told anyone of him.

  1. How effectively does Charles Dickens use language to portray 19th century London society in ...

    We can see that Bill Sikes has also been described in this way as wearing, 'very soiled breeches,' 'had a brown hat on his head, and a dirty belcher handkerchief.' The use of the word of the words, 'soiled,' and 'dirty,' tell us that people of the underworld were not

  2. THROUGH AN EXPLORATION OF THE WAYS THAT DICKENS PRESENTS OLIVER TWIST, DISCUSS WHAT DICKENS ...

    After a little encouragement from his friends sat having the little bit of gruel for dinner he gets up and asks the master for some more. 'Please, sir, I want some more.' Now the master was a fat and healthy man.

  1. How effectively does Charles Dickens use language to portray 19th century London society in ...

    "old gentle man" (a common nick name for Satan at that time). To Victorian readers, the fact that he is a Jew would have indicated that he was greedy, mean, miserly spiteful alienated and unsympathetic. Furthermore he is portrayed as the evil rogue as Oliver compares him to a "loathsome reptile."

  2. Chapter 47 in Oliver Twist - Fatal Consequences

    This emphasises how bad he must look, either suggesting he looks like a ghost or someone that has come back from the dead. (Or possibly both!) Another way he could be described as inhuman is by Dickens describing his eyes as being "red".

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work