Dicken's Views on Victorian England's Class System

1084 Words Jul 8th, 2018 5 Pages
Great Expectations, a novel written by Charles Dickens during the Victorian era. This novel was set in early Victorian England at a time when great social changes were taking place. During the late eighteenth and nineteenth century, the Industrial Revolution had transformed the social landscape, allowing industrialists and manufacturers to accumulate huge fortunes that would otherwise have been inaccessible. Aside from the political and economic change which occurred, a profound social change took place. The populace seeking to better their lives, sought after employment in newly-formed industries. During this era, the society was categorized into three classes: upper, middle, and lower class and this system was the called the social class …show more content…
His feelings about Joe's arrival were: "Not with pleasure... I had the sharpest sensitiveness as to his being seen by Drummle." (Dickens 203) He was afraid that Drummle will look down on him because of Joe's lower class. Not only does Pip treat Joe differently, Joe also treats Pip differently because of their difference in social class. He begins to call Pip "sir" which bothered him because "sir" was the title given to people of higher class. Joe leaves and explains his early leaving, "Pip, dear old chap, life is made of ever so many partings welded together, as I may say, and one man's a blacksmith, and one's a whitesmith, and one's a goldsmith, and one's a coppersmith. Divisions among such must come..." (Dickens 223) He creates this metaphor than he is a common blacksmith and Pip is a goldsmith. So, this is another example of how Dickens criticizes the social class system. Other characters that were also judged by their social class were Magwitch and Compeyson. They were both on trial for the same crime but Compeyson got off easier compared to Magwitch because of his higher social class. The ending of the trial was solely based upon social class system.
Throughout the novel, Dickens explores the class system of Victorian England, ranging from the criminal Magwitch, to the poor peasants Joe and Biddy,
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