Dickens' Use of Devices to Engage the Reader's Interest in Great Expectations

Dickens' Use of Devices to Engage the Reader's Interest in Great Expectations

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Great Expectations is one of Dickens’ greatest accomplishments, properly concentrated and related in its parts at every level of reading. Dickens skillfully catches the reader's attention and sympathy in the first few pages, introduces several major themes, creates a mood of mystery in a lonely setting, and gets the plot moving immediately.
Every detail of the setting, devices, language and characterisation and some further aspect of narrative voice are necessary for the full apprehension of the reader. At the start of chapter one, we meet the narrator Pip in a churchyard. Dickens creates a sinister and menacing atmosphere in his description of setting. He starts the novel off in a churchyard which describes as a ‘bleak place overgrown with nettles’ with a young child, Pip, staring at the graves of his parents and brothers. Pip is about seven years old when the novel opens (Dickens mentions his age on page 409).
This very unusual as you would not expect a young child standing in a churchyard unaccompanied by a legal adult or guardian but Dickens chooses to start the novel off here. The description that Dickens gives the readers about the churchyard has a massive impact on the views of the reader. The setting makes the readers question each other about why Dickens has chosen to do what he has done with the opening chapters of his novel. Dickens uses words which makes the readers think of churchyards as sinister and eerie. As soon as the readers work up an image of the setting, Dickens immediately moves onto how Pip is feeling whilst he stares mindlessly at his brothers and parents graves. Dickens describes Pip as a ‘bundle of shivers’. This tells us that Pip may be afraid of what happened to parents and siblings or how they fel...


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...mentioned before, the complexity of the irony during this well known novel Great Expectations’.

Dickens plunges the reader straight into the action in chapter one with a mysterious character and a few mysteries which sets the reader’s imagination on fire. I particularly like the cliffhanger that Dickens has left at the end of chapter two because it makes you want to know if Pip will end up get beat with the Tickler by Mrs. Joe or ravaged by the fear of which Magwitch has used against Pip to gain the items he is need of for survival of the rough terrain which the marshes. The end of chapter two is an adrenalin pumping finale to a chapter because the reader would want to find out if Pip has managed to deliver to items which the escaped convict is desperately in need of and if Pip will go to the Hulks because he has aided a felon and perverted the course of justice.

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