The Significance of Chapter 1 in Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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The Significance of Chapter 1 in Great Expectations by Charles Dickens Great Expectations is a riveting book set in Victorian London and published in 1861. The novel is set in historical context and illustrates ideas of implication such as how the really interesting people could often be found in the lower classes, in the time of social division and where the shift from agriculture to industrial processes was contemporaneous. Nevertheless the plot contains significant relevance to modern day life in the subtle message that we can be happy as we are; we don't need always to aim higher at riches. This great novel is so successful as it applies to historical and contemporary issues alike in themes such as: isolation, guilt, greed, sorrow, forgiveness and social reform. These themes are all elaborated on in the text which is comprised of complex language structures that is mostly formal whilst remaining personal with the reader as well; sentences are structured diversely with short sharp quotes in juxtaposition to lengthy descriptive and often either first person of passive language (which is characteristic of Dickens and the time) "Great Expectations" is one of Charles Dickens more mature and profound items of literature and is classed by many as "the last of his great works". Great Expectations is typically characteristic of his later books which satirize social division and are more radical that its predecessors and the comedy more savage in that the way the plot is melodramatic in portraying wealth as boring and the cause of other's suffering. Also theses points are shown in the construction of exaggerated attitudes for characters w... ... middle of paper ... ... son (Pip). Pip loses his parents at the start of the book and then following on he is arguable unfortunate to lose his parental figure of his sister as well. Joe loses his wife and leaves his once unhappy marriage with her to start a new life with Biddy in an apparently joyous life with a child for the first time. Great Expectations is in my opinion a marvel of literature that manages to stand the test of time and remain interesting to modern day experiences. We can all relate to themes of failure and vulnerability, of guilt and of secrecy. The book is intensely engraved at every point with moral issues, surprise and a brilliant contrasting plot that positions it apart from all other books published at the same time. A lot of its success is the incessant repetition and development of themes commenced in chapter one.

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