Charles Dickens's "Great Expectations" contains one of the most famous
opening chapters of a novel ever written. It is very effective in
making the reader want to read on. He uses many techniques which makes
each paragraph flow into the next.
The novel was a very popular literary form in the Victorian period, in
a time before the invention of modern forms of entertainment such as
television and video. As the nineteenth century progressed increasing
numbers of people could read. At the time books were very expensive
for the lower class people making it hard for them to afford many
books. So Charles Dickens decided to publish his novel in weekly
instalments in his own magazine "All the year round". Dickens needed
to make his novel interesting so people would buy the next issue of
his magazine. This way of publishing the novel made it affordable for
all classes of people.
The opening of the novel is first set in a grave yard, then in Mr and
Mrs Joe's house and then back in the grave yard. This way of
structuring seems to work very well because chapter one raises
questions and then throughout chapter two you are wondering what is
going to happen to little Pip. This really makes you want to read on.
Dickens also uses humour to grab the reader's attention and make the
novel move on. He puts in the humour when the novel gets to a sad part
usually when something has just happened to Pip. When he has just been
describing his dead brothers Pip thinks "I religiously entertained
that they had been born with their hands in their pockets". It takes
the sad part off the readers mind ...
... middle of paper ...
...is life is told by himself when
he was an adult and this gives you his view of himself. He is also
memorable because of his encounter with the convict. The other most
memorable character for me is the convict Magwitch. He is very
impressive because of Dickens description of him and the way he first
enters the novel unexpectedly. When Magwitch first enters the novel he
is made to be a very dark man "A fearful man, all in coarse grey" the
darkness gives him an even more frightful appearance which ads to the
shock to Pip.
In conclusion I feel that Dickens made his opening chapters compelling
by using the techniques above. I think he wrote the novel very well
when you start reading it you really cannot stop. Dickens's novel was
very successful and one of the reasons is because he created the
opening chapters so well.
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