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Charles Dickens Capturing the Readers Attention

  • Date Submitted: 04/14/2012 05:19 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 35.4 
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How does Charles Dickens capture the reader’s interest in the first chapter of Great Expectations?

At the start of Great Expectations Pip is the narrator as an adult but telling the story from Pip’s childhood point of view. Pip was wondering alone in the churchyard, where his parents and five brothers are buried,Pip is weeping for his dead family, establishing him as an orphan for whom we feel sorry for, when he has a terrifying encounter with an escaped convict who demands Pip to bring him food and a file or else he will slit his throat and rip his liver out and roast it in front of him, The plot of chapter one is directed around this mysterious event which is key for Charles Dickens to maintain his reader’s interest, because the reader is left with an uncertainty of who Magwitch is and if he is capable of doing what he has threatened to.   The chapter keeps the suspense as to whether Pip will get the food and survive or not, however it’s ironic as we already know that Pip must have survived as he is telling the story which makes it more interesting about what happened next. Chapter one is important as it is the beginning of the story and it will reflect the rest of the novel so it has to have a meaningful plot and atmosphere to draw reader’s interest to begin with and this must become more dramatic through out to keep readers interest.
Dickens’s structure of the story keeps the reader interested by presenting it as an autobiography, because of this the reader can understand how Pip is feeling, the story being in the first person also helps the reader to believe it and relate to the characters, especially Pip. Dickens uses a detailed description of the setting which can reflect the character’s feelings, the use of pathetic fallacy in chapter one symbolizes the characters emotions for example: Pip is in the churchyard where it is “cold…dark and colorless” this demonstrates how Pip feels, “cold, lonely and unprotected which then leads the reader to become...


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