Great Expectations, Life of Pi and the Great Gatsby

1266 words 6 pages
English Literature Summer Task

The Great Gatsby, Life of Pi and Great Expectations: The Opening Chapters
The opening chapters of each of these three books are both similar and different in many ways, and succeed to keep the reader interested enough to carry on their journey with Pip, Nick or Pi.
The way characterisation is put forward in these three novels is rather similar, in the fact that all three are written in the first person, giving the impression that the character in question is telling their story directly to you, the reader. Similarly, all three characters open with a description of themselves and their lives; Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby stating facts of his childhood and education before going on to talk about his
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The strange request made by the man creates, again as in both novels previous, a state of curiosity as to where the story is going to go. What does this man want with such things? Why is he acting in such a way? The fact that Pip is visiting his parent’s graves is an example of emotive phrasing and language, and causes the reader to feel sorry for him, as with Pi’s incident and Nick’s uncomfortable experience with Tom, Daisy and Miss Baker.
The language used in each of the novels differs, mainly because of the time in which they were all written. However the effect language has is an untimely thing. Words used in the opening lines of The Great Gatsby such as “vulnerable” and “unjust” create powerful images in the readers mind. The repetition of Gatsby’s name shows that he will play an important part within the book. Repetition has a high impact, and is often used to reiterate a point. The way Nick Carraway talks suggests that he is speaking as if to a friend or an acquaintance, and is simply recounting his tale. The language and phrasing is very reflective of that of the 1920’s. In the beginning of Life of Pi, Pi speaks in short, detached sentences, which immediately create a strong impact. His detailed descriptions of sloths give the impression that he is intelligent and reflect his extensive knowledge. Similes are used frequently. For example, “muddled agnostics…reminded me of the three toed sloth;