This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

How Effective Is The Opening Chapter In Charles Dickens' Great Expectations?

1536 words - 6 pages

During his early childhood Charles Dickens travelled Great Britain due to his father’s job. H lived in mainly coastal towns as his father was a naval clerk and therefore became familiar with the scenes reflected in Great Expectations. Dickens has used memorable scenes and characters from his childhood; the marshes representing one of his youth time homes and many of the characters being written in the reflections of family members. Great Expectations seems to have been produced using the memories of Dickens’ life. When he was younger his whole family was imprisoned for debt except for Charles; he was old enough to get a job in a blacking factory. Pip may be an image of Dickens because he too was left by his family as they all passed away when he was very young. Pip’s family was also large just like Dickens’: there were eight children in Dickens’ family and seven in Pip’s. If anybody wanted a depiction of what Dickens’ life was like then they may well read this novel as it represents what life was like living in Dickens’ time so much better than facts and figures would. The novel resembles Dickens’ life in so many more ways as well. From background reading I know that Mrs Joe Gargery was written in the image of Dickens’ mother. Mrs Gargery has had to be a mother figure for Pip since he was a young boy. She appears strict and quite harsh on Pip.
     From the beginning, Pip appears to be childlike. He is still calling himself “Pip” which is all that his “infant tongue could make of” his two names Phillip Pirrip. This makes Pip appear naïve or simple because he hasn’t yet grown up to be called his proper name of Phillip. The naivety of Pip seems to be a running theme through this extract. The way he determined the characters of his deceased parents and siblings from their tombstones is immature. The reasons for this may be because Pip had no-one around his age to grow up with and so has been kept as a child by the over-powering presence of his sister and the playful antics of his brother-in-law. Soon sympathy for Pip develops as he seems helpless. He has gone to visit his parents, maybe in the hope to feel close to them, yet he is left alone and feels isolated. Pips isolation and vulnerability is revealed when he describes himself as “bundle of shivers”. These three words produce powerful emotions, for me, because I would associate them with something as defenceless as a puppy or a kitten.
As soon as Magwitch appears Pip is frightened of him. When Magwitch threatens him he starts to plead “in terror”. His dialogue is pleading and he “prays”. This makes it seem as though in times of desperation, Pip’s faith is still strong. This is representative of the time as most people were God-fearing and regularly attended church. Sympathy soon develops for Pip because he has this intimidating man bearing down upon him, threatening to eat him. The sympathy soon turns into empathy because Pip describes himself as “undersized” and “not...

Find Another Essay On How Effective is the Opening Chapter in Charles Dickens' Great Expectations?

The Significance of Chapter 1 in Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

3826 words - 15 pages 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

Charles Dickens: Great Expectations Essay

1554 words - 6 pages 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

Charles Dickens' Great Expectations

1429 words - 6 pages used. A Bildungsroman should contain education Charles Dickens has shown this through out the text. As Pip gets older his understanding of Victorian life becomes clearer to him. Ancestry is emphasised in the beginning of the novel when Pip talks about his family’s history. The social conditions in “Great Expectations” is revealed through Charles Dickens use of language. Pip is an orphan and is in a blacksmith family In Chapter 1 we are

Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations

1438 words - 6 pages The perennial pursuit of humankind is finding and establishing a unique identity while still maintaining enough in common with others to avoid isolation. This is the central pursuit of many of the characters in Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, and it shapes the way that characters feel and interact in profound ways. Those who are certain of their selfhood are the most successful, and the acquisition of an identity is fundamental to achieve

Charles Dickens' Great Expectations

2361 words - 9 pages Charles Dickens' Great Expectations Charles Dickens' novel Great expectations is set in the Victorian period and is highly related to the state of poverty that Dickens encountered on his rise to fame. It concerns the young boy Philip

Charles Dickens' Great Expectations

1588 words - 6 pages Charles Dickens' Great Expectations In chapter eight Dickens begins with a detailed description of Satis House, we are given a vivid idea of what is in store for Pip right from the beginning. The language and phrases used emphasise the darkness and forbidding nature of the house. When Pip first enters the house he describes it as having, 'old bricks, and dismal, and had a great many iron bars to it. Some of the windows had been walled

Charles Dickens' Great Expectations

2243 words - 9 pages The novel, Great Expectations, deals with the concepts of a ‘true gentleman’; where the Victorian idea, which is based upon birth, wealth, social status and apparel, contrasts to Dickens’ portrayal of a gentleman who is a person of kindness, humility and generosity. Dickens upbringing and early life allows him to understand the position of the poor due to their humble upbringing, which keeps them in the lower social class. His didactic message

Charles Dickens' Great Expectations

6478 words - 26 pages Charles Dickens' Great Expectations Look again at chapters 1 and 8 where Pip first meets Magwitch and Miss Havisham and chapters 44 and 56 his final meeting with Magwitch and Miss Havisham. Compare Pip's relationship with these two characters. In this essay I am going to look at and analyse Pips first and last meetings with Miss Havisham and Magwitch. I will also discuss how these meetings affected Pips character

Charles Dickens' Great Expectations - 1941 words

1941 words - 8 pages Charles Dickens' Great Expectations Great Expectations was one of numerous novels written by Charles Dickens. The novel was written in 1860-61 in the Victorian era. Charles Dickens establishes the identity of young pip at the start of the novel. Pip is the protagonist in the novel. Pip of the working class wants to improve himself and desires an education to be good enough for a girl from the upper class called Estella

Charles Dickens' Great Expectations - 1097 words

1097 words - 4 pages . A title serves to inspire the reader’s interest, while at the same time, to convey its central theme. Charles Dickens’ decision to entitle, what has become his most famous and celebrated work, Great Expectations, was a wise one, for it continues to communicate the book’s powerful and relevant theme, over a century after it was first published. The book’s title, Great Expectations, expresses the central theme of the novel, which is that

Charles Dickens' Great Expectations - 1410 words

1410 words - 6 pages transcend social class. However, the reality is that money is still a symbol of worthiness. It is not until wealth and nobility are separated that true progress can take place in the world. Works Cited Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations. New York: Knopf, 1992. Print. Parkinson, Kristen L. "What Do You Play, Boy?; Card Games in Great Expectations." Dickens Quarterly (2010): 119-37. Web. Campbell, Jessica A. "Beauty and the Beast in Great Expectations." Dickens Quarterly (2014): 32-40. Web.

Similar Essays

How Does Charles Dickens Create An Effective Opening To "Great Expectations"?

1339 words - 5 pages Charles Dickens must create an effective opening because these stories would be serialised, so the opening was most important because there would be long gaps between the publications of these chapters, so therefore he had to keep the readers attention enough to make them want to read the following publication. This would be successful if there was enough tension built in the first chapter/publication.The beginning introduces the characters

How Does Charles Dickens Create Character And Setting In The Chapter 1 & 8 Of Great Expectations

1001 words - 4 pages How does Charles Dickens create character and setting in the chapter 1 & 8 of Great Expectations. Charles Dickens was born into good fortune on the February 7th 1812. At the age of 9 he went to school, but this was shortly ended as his family were sent to work for becoming into bad debt. Charles Dickens wrote many novels and in 1860 at the age of 48 he started his 13th novel ‘Great Expectations’ from then on he became a very popular novelist

Vivid Images Of Character And Place In The Opening Chapter To Dickens' Great Expectations

1376 words - 6 pages Vivid Images of Character and Place in the Opening Chapter To Dickens' Great Expectations The opening chapter to Great Expectations introduces Pip who is the main protagonist in the story. He is an orphan and lives with his sister Mrs Joe Gargery and her husband who is a blacksmith. The story is set in the graveyard in the time of the Industrial Revolution. In the opening chapter we also see Pip being introduced to a

How Does Dickens Engage The Reader In The Opening Five Chapters Of Great Expectations?

2197 words - 9 pages Charles Dickens was and still is a very popular and influential author. He was born almost 200 years ago and his stories were often based on the lives of the unfortunate in the 19th century in Britain. He created a great variety of characters and settings to produce work that is still adored today. But why was his work, I am especially focussing on Great Expectations, so engaging and how did the opening five chapters of Great Expectations