Atmosphere and Tension in Great Expectations Essay

Atmosphere and Tension in Great Expectations Essay

Length: 1445 words (4.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Atmosphere and Tension in Great Expectations

In this essay I am going to write about how Charles Dickens creates
atmosphere and tension in the opening chapter, of Great Expectations.
Because the audience cannot see what Dickens wants them to, he has to
create atmosphere and tension to guide the audience through the
incident, as well as hooking the audience by keeping them interested.
Dickens intentionally creates that atmosphere because he wants us to
feel sympathy for Pip and what he’s going through. And if we care
about what happens to Pip we keep interested. Atmosphere and tension
set the tone and mood of the book.

Dickens begins his book by starting with Pip at the graveyard to
create atmosphere and tension, by referring to death and tombstones.
The story is set in a time were disease and death were common, before
any major advances in medicine, and it was ordinary to loose a lot of
your close family to illness. We are told by Pip, that his mother,
father, and five little brothers were buried there but that is all we
are told. By doing this Dickens has deliberately created a felling of
solitude and helplessness and makes the reader feel and identify with
Pip. Dickens tells us the churchyard is overgrowing with nettles and
there are gravestones all around the area. Instantly the graveyard
creates a morbid feeling, and knowing that Pip’s dead relatives are
surrounding him produces a scary feeling, that you wouldn’t want to be
in yourself. The reader becomes worried that a young child is in such
a place alone, which adds to the dread that something might go wrong.

Dickens also uses weather to create atmosphere and tension by making
it seem bitter, and cruel. The weather is described as a “raw
afte...


... middle of paper ...


...e tombstone
obviously isn’t Pips he thinks he is going to die because of how the
convict is acting physically and verbally. It feels personal to him
and this is a fear-building phrase. Pip is portrayed as being
venerable and young. Dickens wants you to see him as an innocent, to
see him scared of what is going on as it is a new and shocking
experience. Dickens wants us to understand and sympathise with him.

Pip describes the convict as “a fearful man” and the convicts first
words as “a terrible voice”, which tells us that Pips first impression
of the convict is a fearful one. The convicts orders are written as if
they were directed at the reader. For a second we become pip and
undergo what Pip is going though. This creates tension as the reader
begins to understand what pip has felt.

Dickens uses colour as another factor to create atmosphere morbid.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Fear and Tension in Great Expectations

- How does Dickens create an atmosphere of fear and tension in the opening chapters of Great Expectations. Explain briefly how effectively these chapters prepare the reader for the revelations at the end of the second stage of Pip’s expectations and expose the frailty of Pip’s assumptions about the identity of his benefactor. Charles Dickens successfully creates an atmosphere of fear and tension in the opening chapters by using characters to a remarkable effect, amplifying the differences between the two most important characters....   [tags: Great Expectations Essays]

Strong Essays
1649 words (4.7 pages)

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens Essay

- Great Expectations by Charles Dickens 'Great Expectations' was written by Charles Dickens in 1861. 'Great Expectations' is a coming of age story that revolves around the life of one man Pip. From the time he was seven years old until he was in the mid thirties, Pip shows us the important events in his life that shaped who he became. Along the way, he enquires many different acquaintances and friends that influence him in his decisions and goals in his life. 'Great Expectations' is a story that the public can relate to because at some point, everyone goes through the struggles that Pip must battle....   [tags: Great Expectations Essays]

Strong Essays
2500 words (7.1 pages)

Essay on Chapter One of Great Expectations

- What is the Significance of Chapter One of Great Expectations in Relation to the Novel as a Whole. 'Great Expectations' is a novel written by Charles Dickens and is considered to be one of his best stories. The plot follows a young boy named Phillip Pirrip or 'Pip' and it focuses on his growth as he matures from a young boy into a fully grown man. He had always had great expectations of himself, wishing to become someone of high social class - as this was set and written in the Victorian era when social class was a huge factor of society - and when he ends up visiting an eccentric woman called Miss Haversham he meets a beautiful young girl called Estella who becomes more important later on....   [tags: Great Expectations Essays]

Strong Essays
826 words (2.4 pages)

Great Expectations: A thematic analysis Essays

- Great Expectations: A thematic analysis As the reader begins the book, Dickens instills in the reader a bond with Pip as it is through his eyes in a first person narrative. Dickens’ use of Pip as the narrator is very significant to the telling of the story. We are able to see the progression of Pip as he grows up and his views on the characters in the book. We form an idea about someone from their outward appearance, so having Pip as a narrator it creates a one-sided view about a character because we only see the world from Pip’s eyes and we feel most strongly what Pip is feeling and we feel, about other character what Pip feels about them....   [tags: Great Expectations Essays]

Free Essays
3815 words (10.9 pages)

Essay about Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens

- Great Expectations. From pages 60-61 the history shows us that what they wore sort of reflected on what they were selling like when Pip describes the corduroys that the shop keeper is wearing to the seeds in one of his draws because he sells seeds it says about this " I hardly knew which was which". Also the shop people have longer hours of work they run from 7:00am to 8:00pm. What Pip also found strange is that all the shop owners used to look at each through there shop windows apart from the watch maker who is always getting on with his work because of all his customers he had....   [tags: Great Expectations Essays]

Free Essays
1111 words (3.2 pages)

Charles Dickens: Great Expectations Essay

- Charles Dickens: Great Expectations Describe how Dickens creates atmosphere and introduces characters in Chapter One of Great Expectations. In this essay I am going to describe how Dickens successfully uses tension and drama to create atmosphere and to introduce his characters status, emotions and identity in the opening chapter of Great Expectations. The central character, Pip, is followed from youth as he makes the journey from poverty to riches and back again as he attempts to fulfil his own great expectations....   [tags: Great Expectations Essays]

Strong Essays
982 words (2.8 pages)

Jane Austen's Great Expectations Essay

- Jane Austen's Great Expectations Great Expectations is a story about the impact that money can have on people's lives. Money can change anybody and Pip was no exception. When Pip is poor he truly wants to be a gentleman, he has "great expectations" for himself. He loses friends, family and parts of himself all to be a true gentleman and forgets about the true values of life. Eventually he realises that letting money rule your life can have harmful effects. There are many themes that run through this novel....   [tags: Great Expectations Essays]

Strong Essays
2152 words (6.1 pages)

The Opening of Dickens' Great Expectations as Compelling Essay examples

- The Opening of Dickens' Great Expectations as Compelling 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....   [tags: Great Expectations Essays]

Strong Essays
781 words (2.2 pages)

Essay on Sympathy for Pip in Dickens' Great Expectations

- Sympathy for Pip in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations The settings of Great Expectations have an important bearing on the storyline; the settings also echo the characters in personality and circumstance. The theme of the book seems to run parallel with the settings in some respects, such as the plain but wholesome life-style of Rochesterand the beckoning but ultimately shallow habitat of London. Throughout the book comparisons and relationships between story and setting are made, many subtle and not evident unless reflected upon....   [tags: Great Expectations Essays]

Strong Essays
3254 words (9.3 pages)

Great Expectations Essay

- Great Expectations The novel great expectation was finished for the first time in 1860; it was created in weekly instalments in a weekly journal called “all year round”. The story went on for 36 weeks. This gave the author Charles Dickens few challenges he had to beat to keep the readers interests up. He used cliff hangers and other ways he needed to grab the reader’s attention. Dickens grew up in a small house in Landport, by Portsmouth, on the 7th of February. John his father was a clerk. Charles had a rough childhood, and wasn’t liked by other students due to his fragile body....   [tags: Great Expectations Essays]

Free Essays
1213 words (3.5 pages)