Coursework Question: Having read ‘Great Expectations,’ how effective is the opening chapter? Discuss the methods Dickens used to ensure his readers’ continuing interest.
The novel great expectations is about a boy named Pip having great expectations to become a gentleman, who when he is a young lad is let under care of his mean sister and her husband who is quite fond of Pip himself and have a good relationship between each other unlike pip and his sister.
In the opening scene pip has come across a convict (not knowing that he is a convict) who threatens him. In this essay I am going to be analysing how the author – Charles Dickens – has made this opening scene effective and how it engages the reader to carry on reading.
In the first chapter Charles Dickens introduces us to the main character in the story, Phillip Pirrip, who is come to be called Pip throughout the story. As we see the writer has given the main character a very much ambiguous name not only does it refer to the name Pip but it also means the beginning of life and is beginning to grow. Like the pip of a fruit the write shows how Pip will grow and mature throughout the events to come in the story. As we read on we come to find out that Pip is an orphan, both mother and father dead along with 5 other siblings of his, making us readers feel empathy for him while he goes to visit them in the graveyard not even knowing how they look imaging their image, also being at the mercy of his sister, Mrs Joe.
Charles Dickens has the opening scene set in a graveyard giving it a very dramatic effect when we first meet the convict, Magwitch, as Pip has been grab by a convict in a graveyard, where many dead bodies lying. The author uses this setting to make the readers aware of the unfortunate event that is about to be taken place. The author describes the setting ‘overgrown with nettles’ showing that the place was uncared for. This can also be a symbol of Pip and his... [continues]
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