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With particular reference to chapters one to eight, how does Dickens engage the reader in Great Expectations?

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Introduction

'Great Expectations' Coursework With particular reference to chapters one to eight, how does Dickens engage the reader in 'Great Expectations? 'Great Expectations' was written by Charles Dickens in the Victorian times. At that time, reader extremely enjoyed gothic concepts. Dickens had to leave school and work as a young child as his father was sent to debtors' prison. The young Charles must have found this confusing and difficult. Great Expectations puts forward many of the feelings of hopelessness and lack of control that Dickens may have felt as a child. Pip, who is a very small boy deserted by his family and neglected by those who are left to care for him, represents Dickens as a child. The title 'Great Expectations' insinuates that the novel is about the high hopes about Pip's life or future. 'Great Expectations' was serialised, where two chapters were published every week. This meant that Dickens had to ensure the readers stayed interested. He did this by engaging the reader on different levels - plot, characterisation, language etc. Dickens used a variety of techniques and ended most chapters with cliffhangers. Chapters one to eight of Great Expectations are significant in the development of Pip's character; many of his later decisions have their roots in earlier events. One technique Dickens uses in 'Great Expectations' to help engage the reader in this book is the strong characterisation of each character. Pip is the main character. His name suggests a little bit of something, an insignificant and useless part of a greater thing; representing his character. ...read more.

Middle

Furthermore, Pip draws 'self awareness by placing himself firmly in a dreary, bleak landscape that seems to go on forever. This is another gothic element as it is a gloomy, grotesque, and mysterious setting with an atmosphere of degeneration and decay; further emphasising the abandonment of the churchyard. The reader expects anticipation and the descriptions of abandonment and neglect - and the gothic elements add this. Dickens' descriptions are very detailed and they create the atmosphere of a gothic setting. In his time - the Victorian Age, gothic elements were incredibly popular. Alternatively, a technique that Dickens uses to help engage the reader is the structure and plot. He uses chapter endings, for example, the first chapter ends as it begun... Pip is a frightened little boy in a huge uncaring landscape, deserted by family and friends and tormented by strangers. We cannot help but care what happens to him and we are firmly sympathetic. Perhaps the young Dickens felt like this when his father was removed from the family to the debtors' prison. In addition, at the end of chapter two, "opened the door (...), and ran for the misty marshes". This is a cliffhanger because we do not want Pip to be caught stealing, as he takes the food to the convict. It is important that Dickens used cliffhangers to help engage the reader because, 'Great Expectations' was serialised and Dickens would have wanted to keep the readers constantly engaged so that as a result his story would sell. ...read more.

Conclusion

These include strong characterisation, descriptive setting, varying structure and plot, universal themes, comic relief and use of dialogue. These devices complement each other whilst building tension and anticipation successfully. This is how Dickens engages the reader. Universal themes are used because everyone understands them and they can sympathise with the characters. This way the reader can understand Dickens' message on the crime system and put it into practice. Dialogue and colloquial speech is used to create a sense of reality and this way the readers can relate to themselves. Humour is used to break the tension before the story gets too tedious which, therefore, ensures that the readers are entertained and engaged. Strong characterisation is used to make the reader develop an emotional involvement with the characters. The emotional involvement creates a complex, absorbing relationship between the reader and the characters. This makes the reader want to find out what happened next and keeps the reader constantly engaged. Overall, all the devices that dickens uses only help to engage the reader. Dickens' uses the perfect mix of language devices to engage the reader. They cannot engage the reader on their own, just like a group of bricks put together will make a house. A brick on its own is no good. ?? ?? ?? ?? This document was downloaded from Coursework.Info - The UK's Coursework Database - http://www.coursework.info/ This document was downloaded from Coursework.Info - The UK's Coursework Database - http://www.coursework.info/ By Sonia Kaur ~ 1 ~ This document was downloaded from Coursework.Info - The UK's Coursework Database - http://www.coursework.info/ This document was downloaded from Coursework.Info - The UK's Coursework Database - http://www.coursework.info/ ...read more.

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