English Literature Summer Task
The Great Gatsby, Life of Pi and Great Expectations: The Opening Chapters The opening chapters of each of these three books are both similar and different in many ways, and succeed to keep the reader interested enough to carry on their journey with Pip, Nick or Pi. The way characterisation is put forward in these three novels is rather similar, in the fact that all three are written in the first person, giving the impression that the character in question is telling their story directly to you, the reader. Similarly, all three characters open with a description of themselves and their lives; Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby stating facts of his childhood and education before going on to talk about his work and living arrangements; Pi immediately letting on about the accident and gives a detailed description of himself, his education and interests; and finally Pip in Great Expectations, gives a brief description of his life and tragic loss of parentage. All of these descriptions intrigue the reader, and make them want to know more about the characters life, and such events so briefly described or let on. The description of setting within the three novels differs slightly, due to both the circumstances of the characters and the time and place in which all three books are set. For example, The Great Gatsby, set in 1920’s America, uses a warm and delightful description of both outdoor and indoor settings. “Left a country of wide lawns and friendly trees” personifies the trees, showing that Nick misses these and that they made him feel comfortable and at home. “Great bursts of leaves” and “crimson room bloomed with light” both paint pictures within the readers mind and make is much easier to imagine the setting. Within the first short chapter of Life of Pi, there is next to no description of setting. The comparison between India and Canada is a quick one, and even amongst this, the elements that make up these countries are described...
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