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"Great Expectation" is a book by Charles Dickens written in weekly
instalments between December 1860 and August 1861. Charles Dickens has
also written many other famous books such as "Oliver Twist", "The
christmas carols", and "David Copperfield".
When I read the opening chapters to a book, I like to read one with a
bit of mystery in it, keeping it realistic but still having a strange
and odd feel about it too. It must be able to give a mental image of
the characters. A bit of dialogue should also be used as a lot of
description can be very boring. To create a bit of action it should
end with a cliff hanger.
In "Great Expectations", Charles Dickens began by introducing the main
character Pip. Pip's family is described and then another character is
introduced. He is described with a lot of descriptive language which
helps to create a mental image of the person. His name is not
mentioned which creates a bit of mystery. The dialogue also tells us a
lot about the character. The end of the chapter leaves us wanting to
continue the story.
The main character Pip was introduced first. We find a bit about his
family. Pip's full name is Philip Pirrip, but he was called Pip. We
find out he was a orphan when he was young as he said, "I never saw my
mother or father." He had also lost five brothers but has one sister
who is married to a blacksmith.
Next, after Pip, a mystery man is introduced. We find out nothing of
the character except how he looked when Pip first saw him. He was
dressed in grey clothes and had an iron on his leg, which showed he
was a prisoner that was attached to a chain gang or ball. From the
language he used we can tell he was uneducated. At first he began by
threatening Pip, until he realised Pip could be a use to him, so the
convict asked Pip to help him.
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"The Opening Chapters of Great Expectation by Dickens." 123HelpMe.com. 02 Apr 2020
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Pip then goes home in which he introduces Mrs Joe Gargery, his sister.
Mrs Joe is introduced as harsh woman who bought Pip up by hand.
"She pounced on him and taking him by his two whiskers he knocked for
a little." This also shows she was mean and powerful.
Mr Joe is Mrs Joe's husband, a blacksmith. He is an
easy-to-get-along-with character. He can be easily bullied, (as we can
see from the way he is made to drink tar-water by Mrs Joe) and is very
nice to Pip.
The story "Great Expectations" was set in the same place Charles
Dickens had grown up in.
The opening chapter was set in the graveyard which was a flat, wet,
marshy land, which the sea can be seen from. Not much descriptive
language was used to describe the graveyard.
In the first few paragraph, when Charles Dickens had introduced the
main character he used a lot of emotive language to make you feel
sorry for Pip. He describes the setting in which the first chapter is
set in, and also a bit about the country.
After that another a character is introduced. I think he was
introduced very cleverly. He did not mention outright that this
character was a fugitive, a prisoner, but implied it when the
character was introduced. We can also be told a lot about the
character from the character's dialogue. Dickens showed that Pip was a
very respectful young man as he always called the man 'sir', and how
the prisoner was uneducated by the use of 'pints' and 'wittles' in his
Near the end of the first chapter Pip thinks maybe this man was just a
ghost or a pirate. The way Dickens style of writing was it once again
made as feel sorry for Pip.
A little passage is than written about Mrs Joe but we are told more
about her from the way she acts and talks.
At the start of chapter three an atmosphere of fear was created.
Dickens creates this by using a lot of descriptive language, similes
and personifications for imagery, the weather, first person's
narrative empathy and supernatural things. A lot of 'ands' are used,
along with long and short sentences for tension.
In chapter four we meet a number of other characters. Dickens uses
name to tell us about the character. For example, Mr Pumblechook makes
us think of a jolly, fat man who eats a lot and talks too much/
Overall Dickens style of writing is very interesting as he uses many
different techniques to create many different effects.
In the first few chapters of the novel Pip is met by a mystery man in
the graveyard, in which his parents and hi brothers are buried. The
man threatens Pip but then uses Pip instead. Pip helps the man. After
he gives the food he returns home to attend a Christmas lunch. At
Christmas lunch we meet a few characters who then introduce Pip to
Miss Havisham. We then meet Miss Havisham.
Finally I will like to say that as I enjoyed reading the opening
chapters of "Great Expectations", I think that the opening chapters
are successful in being good opening chapters.