Tension in the Opening Chapter of Great Expectations Essay

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Charles Dickens’ world applauded novel of Great Expectations creates tension to grab the audience’s attention instantaneously because of the language devices he delicately lays out throughout the novel. This persuades the reader to go on and find out about what Pip would get up to, what sort of situations he will come across, and what his reactions would be towards the story. He does this in order to inform the audience of the daily problems that occur in the Victorian society and the conclusion the characters come to such as, becoming a gentleman, then changing completely, like Dickens says ‘snob’.
The opening chapter is set in a graveyard, this immediately hints at an air of anxiety because it is desolated and sinister, representing the whole story in only the first few paragraphs of the novel. The opening chapter is set in the middle of the “marsh country, down by the river, within … twenty miles of the sea”. Dickens creates a rough surrounding throughout the first few paragraphs by using harsh vocabulary, such as “…raw afternoon, towards evening”. Immediately this sets the reader in the mood and prepares them for an excellent novel.
However this is not carried out throughout the whole of the chapter because it uses extremely simple language which isn’t enough to catch the reader’s attention. The opening chapter wants us to read on; on the other hand the basic vocabulary used throughout the chapter puts the novel down. A wide use of vocabulary would have boosted the story’s tension up and made it even more spectacular. However, its elementary vocabulary gives us enough information to be informed of who looks like whom. For example ‘curly black hair’ throws an image of a man with very dark, curly hair, a very ordinary man. St...

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...e again engaging the reader to the novel, wanting to carry on, and seeing if Pip will do what the convict demands, which in the end, does happen because the following day, Pip brings food for the convict.
And so it can be seen, that Charles Dickens’ world applauding novel of Great Expectations clearly shows that spontaneously, the opening chapter is ready to buckle the reader’s eyes to the chapter, and keep them glued to the novel, taking them till the very end. The amazing techniques he manages to bombard into only eight pages, is charming and bewildering. The use of basic vocabulary, yet very successful, creates sympathy for Pip, which is very intriguing, not letting, but forcing the reader to find out what will happen to whom. He manages to highlight the words that have double meanings of the opening chapter in a very intelligent way, making him a unique writer.

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