We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

How Does Dickens Engage the Reader in “Great Expectations”? Essay Sample

The whole doc is available only for registered users OPEN DOC
  • Pages:
  • Word count: 667
  • Category: dickens

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues.

Get Access

How Does Dickens Engage the Reader in “Great Expectations”? Essay Sample

Dickens uses an extensive variation of techniques to engage the reader. Arguably, unanswered questions are the most effective, however this essay will discuss many other techniques. The title immediately engages the reader as it instantly creates unanswered questions and sets expectations on the part of the reader.

The complex relationships between the characters draws in the reader. The reader becomes emotionally involved with the characters from Pip’s perspective due to the fact it is a first person narrative from Pip’s point of view. A third person narrative usually describes characters in a detached way whereas the first person narrative is more personal as it is the thoughts and feeling of one of the characters in this case Pip. Therefore the reader will experience vicariously Pip’s emotions and feelings as an individual himself and towards other characters. This keeps the reader interested as they empathise and also feel that they are enduring Pip’s hardships.

For example when Estelle repeatedly refers to him as ‘boy’ the reader sympathises with Pip as he feels insulted, and therefore like him, the reader dislikes Estelle. The relationships of his sister and her husband are complex which is refreshing for the reader and therefore the reader finds it interesting and engaging. Although stereotypically his sister is supposed to be kind and helpful to him however she is actually the punishment bearer and the beater quote, this is supposed to be the husband’s role since he is almost a stepfather to Pip, however they have a relationship of a brother quote and they rarely have secrets. This surprises the reader as the role of husband and sister is almost reversed. The contemporary reader would find this even more strange as they strongly believed that the husband was the dominant member of the household whereas the wife took a more subservient role therefore they would be reading the story with more interest as they are interested to see how this dysfunctional family develops.

The structure Dickens uses creates anticipation and suspense to ensure the reader reads on. Originally ‘Great Expectations’ was serialised and two chapters were released at a time. To make sure the next two chapters were purchased Dickens had climatic endings after every two chapters. Once Pip had stolen some food he becomes paranoid which culminates at the end of chapter four he runs “head foremost into a party of soldiers.” This creates suspense for the reader as they are left wondering whether Pip has been caught as they wait for the next instalment of the story. Furthermore Dickens varies his sentence structure in order to create tension and anticipation. For example when beginning chapter three the first sentence Dickens uses “it was a rimy morning and very damp” This is a typical example of his use of short and concise sentences to create dramatic effect as they have impact, and it also quickens the pace of the narrative building tension quote – analyse

Dickens also uses complex sentences quote to decrease the tension, so that when tension is once again created the use of short sentences will have more of an impact on the reader.

The use of comedy and irony provides relief from the tension that is created for example

Dickens also uses unanswered questions to create suspense and interest in the reader so that they continue to read the story as they want to know the answers to these questions. Chapter seven finishes with the intriguing question asked by Pip “what on earth I was expected to play.” As Pip is suddenly and unexpectedly invited to play cards by Miss Havisham which creates suspicions as he does not know her and immediately causes the reader to ask questions. However suspense and anticipation is created as these questions are not answered instantly at the beginning of chapter eight instead Dickens gives a long description of the High Street. This ensures that the reader continue to read the book until their questions are answered.

We can write a custom essay

According to Your Specific Requirements

Order an essay

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

How Does Dickens Create Suspense in The...

The Signalman written by Charles Dickens in 1866 is a short story that falls into the gothic fiction genre. This particular style of writing combines elements such as the supernatural, castles, darkness, madness and the unknown. At the time the story was being written, the industrial revolution was in full force. This had a huge impact on society at the time. It improved the standard...

An Exploration of the Relationship Between Pip...

Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth in 1812. Dickens was sent to school at the age of seven, this proved fairly pointless as Dickens' father, John Dickens, soon fell into debt and was put into prison, the rest of the Dickens family, due to finances were forced to join their father in prison, although Charles was made to work . So at the age of...

"The Signal-Man" by Charles Dickens and "The...

In your answer you should consider: * The use of setting * Presentation of characters * Contextual information * Anything else you think is relevant Suspense can incorporate tension, anticipation, fear and also anxiety. Charles Dickens wrote 'The Signal-Man' when the stream engine was a piece of cutting-edge technology and he himself was involved in two train accidents, during one of which he was in...

"Oliver Twist" by Charles Dickens

On the edge of London, was a compact housing estate with lots of children. The houses were quite small but everyone knew everyone and there was a big green in the middle of the estate where the children could come together and play what ever they wanted. Tucked away in the corner of Whinlatter Drive was the house of Oliver Bates. Oliver Bates was a...

Sympathy Towards Pip in Great Expectations

In Great Expectations Dickens uses different techniques to deliberately create sympathy for the character Pip in his opening exchanges with Miss Havisham and Estella. This essay will analyse and reflect on the ways in which Charles Dickens does this. The first meeting between Pip and Miss Havisham is arranged by Mr Pumblechook (Pip's uncle) when he hears that Miss Havisham wants a boy to go...

Get Access To The Full Essay
Materials Daily
100,000+ Subjects
2000+ Topics
Free Plagiarism
All Materials
are Cataloged Well

Sorry, but copying text is forbidden on this website. If you need this or any other sample, we can send it to you via email.

By clicking "SEND", you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy. We'll occasionally send you account related and promo emails.

Your Answer Is Very Helpful For Us
Thank You A Lot!


Emma Taylor


Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?