• 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 does Dickens create an atmosphere of violence around the characters of Sikes and ...

    Even as she pleads "stop before you spill my blood! I have been true to you, upon my guilty son I have" Sikes still kills her "he beat it twice with all the force he could summon, upon the upturned face that almost touched his own".

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

    Brownlow owned a house like this classifies him as one of the people of the higher class. Mr. Grimwig is also another character that belongs to the higher and more sophisticated lifestyles. His description is also full of adjectives and as we see, it is not as likely to impress the reader as Mr.

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

    The die is the same as the parochial seal - the Good Samaritan healing the sick and bruised man.' After an inconsiderate conversation about the poor, Mr Sowerberry decided that he would take the boy for himself. Oliver was informed that night that he was to be taken to Mr

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

    "Simon's effort fell about him in ruins, the laughter beat cruelly at him..." This gives the impression that Simon feels compelled to disagree with the evil, which is the basis of his world, but is beaten down by what he cannot contend with.

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

    It then goes into describing 'the Jew' as 'some hideous phantom, moist from the grave and worried by an evil spirit'. This is a shocking unpleasant use of imagery and foreshadows Fagin's death. I think the reason why Dickens gives such a negative view of Fagin is because he is

  1. Oliver Twist - Board Scene

    on the gate and thus, seeking an apprentice, speaks to the board and manages to strike a deal with them, but of course Oliver Twist must see him first and this is when the board scene unfolds. The first board scene is in Chapter two, whereupon Oliver meets the board

  2. Explore the ways in which human suffering is portrayed in Charles Dickens' 'Oliver Twist' ...

    Oliver must be feeling very low. It also implies that Oliver can no longer put up with his life - in which he mostly suffers - and wishes he were dead. Although it is a very strong comment to make it is put softly in the novel and indirectly, as it only implies he wishes he were dead.

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