‘Great Expectations’, written by Charles Dickens during the Victorian era while England was adapting to the industrial revolution, is a life-long story of a boy called Pip. This was a period where England was experiencing major social and cultural changes, and society was unstable – there were clear hierarchies and a gulf between the rich and the poor, and children were not treated with respect or care. Despite the fact that England was a powerful and a formidable nation, Dickens criticises English society throughout this book. Pip in ‘Great Expectations’ grows up later to suddenly receive a huge sum of money. He also fulfils his expectations of being what he thinks is a ‘gentleman’, only to later realise how foolish he has been and how wrong
The difference in class structures of Victorian England was dependent on the lifestyles and jobs of individuals. The Victorian era of England lasted from 1837 to 1901. The Victorian England hierarchy was divided into three different classes; the upper, middle, and lower class and was reliant of occupational differences. The hierarchy was very rigid and there was little social mobility, because of the fact that normally a person was born into their class and even their future career. In Great Expectations, Charles Dickens displays the model of class structure through the character Pip Pirrup. Pip struggles to find his place within the hierarchy. Throughout the novel, Dickens writes about the different classes in England. Pip belongs the working class due to his family and is set to be a blacksmith, but finds himself in the societal shift that occurred in England in the nineteenth century. Pip wants to achieve his great expectations and change the path that his life was going on. He wants create a better life for himself than what he would have had if he followed in the footsteps of his family. Dickens also creates various characters in the different classes to expose the relationship between each class. An individual’s class was a dominant factor in creating an identity. People of the upper classes thought very little of the people “below” them. Throughout his journey, Pip reveals information about how the different social classes lived and how members of each
To begin with, Pip shows the danger of only pursuing class, as he realizes that money does not make him happy. To illustrate, Charles Dickens begins Pip’s awareness of social class in his novel, Great
The Victorian Era or the romantic period was a time in which Queen Victoria ruled the throne. The Victorian period formally began in 1837 the year in which Victoria became the Queen of England and ended in 1901 the year in which she was laid to rest. In this paper, I will discuss Queen Victoria’s life or what we all know to be “The Victorian Era.” I will highlight some of the most powerful events that occurred during this time, the many reforms that were passed during Queen Victoria’s ruling, I will discuss the political, cultural, and social developments of this time period. I will speak about some inventions of the Victorian Era, and the two main political parties better known as the Tory and Whigs that were popular during this age. You will discover what imperialism is, the commonwealth, The British Monarch and why and how Victoria was such a remarkable monarch. I will even tell you some of the most interesting facts that I have learned to be true about Queen Victoria.
Throughout time society as a whole has greatly changed and developed to what it is now. One major part of the society is the social class structure. In Charles Dickens’ novel, Great Expectations, Dickens expresses his beliefs on that structure in many ways. Since Dickens wrote the novel during the Victorian Era it reflects and evaluates the beliefs and values of the time. For the most part ones place in the social order was based on wealth and the reputation of ones relations. In general, the member of the higher class were unhappy and those in the lower class were joyful. He does this to show that wealth isn’t everything. He continues to display that idea throughout the book and he displays its
Mine came from Mark Cross, and they were genuine cowhide and all that crap, and I guess they cost quite a pretty penny” (Salinger 108). Salinger uses diction such as “pretty penny” to emphasize how Holden considers his own suitcases as less significant than how Dick views them. In G.E., Pip becomes overly influenced by Miss Havisham’s world and begins to deeply examine his “coarse hands” and “common boots” through the lens of the wealthy (Dickens 60). Pip gradually starts to become self-aware through his introduction to society’s value system. Society’s tendency to judge individuals’ intelligence and character based on the amount of wealth and status one has causes individuals to stoop down to desperate measures in hope to be part of the higher financial or privileged class.
Great Expectations was a novel written by Charles Dickens. It was first published in serial form from 1st December 1860 and then further on was released in book form in August 1861, although was previously issued by David Copperfield in 1849. This novel reworks his own childhood as a first-person narrative; Dickens was fortunate and had an advantage of writing Great Expectations due to him living in the Victorian times, and he related his life experiences with the main character of the play, ‘Pip’. Charles opened the play with the character Pip; his name was short for his Christian name Philip. In the Victorian times there were 3 different classes, these were known as the upper class, middle class and lower class. Pip belonged to the
After William IV died, his niece, Victoria, became the Queen of England, starting the victorian era. In Victoria’s reign, the British Empire came to cover over ¼ of the world. The Industrial revolution is created during her reign, producing more products available to the common people of England. On the down side, people working in the mill had a hard life.
In the novel “Great Expectations”, the author, Charles Dickens, shows the views of the people of different social classes. The main character, known as Pip, shows these many views throughout his own life. Pip’s misguided interpretation of what it is to be a gentleman leads him to push people away that matter most to him, follow deceptive dreams, and reject the love that is continually shown to him.
The Victorian era class system was founded upon three distinct social classes – upper, middle, lower – with marginal upward mobility granted to those of the lower and middle classes. Society in 19th century England determined an individual's value largely by the social class that individual belonged to, and by extension how much power and wealth that individual held. Naturally, primitive lower classmen such as Pip would struggle to find a respectable identity in a society founded upon social titles. Through a refusal to accept that social worth is determined at birth, Pip defies the predated victorian-era class system and proves to himself that hard work and self improvement is the true measure of self worth.
Charles Dickens, author of Great Expectations, provides a perfect example of the hope of class mobility. The novel portrays very diverse and varied social classes which spread from a diligent, hardworking peasant (Joe) to a good-natured middle class man (Mr. Wemmick) to a rich, beautiful young girl (Estella). Pip, in particular, elevates in the social pyramid from a common boy to a gentleman with great expectations. With his rise in society, he also alters his attitude, from being a caring child to an apathetic gentleman. During this process, Pip learns how he should act and how to become a real gentleman. Social mobility and wealth, furthermore, carves a disposition and how a character is looked upon.
When Pip first meets Estella it begins Pip’s extremely interesting journey up the social ladder. Pip wants to show Estella that he is a gentleman with class; he does not want to be known as a common boy. This is an example of trying to impress people with their social status and class. Pip is ashamed of his “thick boots” and “coarse hands” because they make him just a “common labouring boy” (Dickens 61, 62). These decisions show Pip’s ungrateful and ashamed of who he is and where he came from.
Charles’ father is a perfect example of this shift in power, more to the rich and less to the poor. “One of the important perceptions of Dickens’ fiction is of Victorian society as one in which the weak support the strong, the starving underwrite the satiated, the poor prop up the rich, the children sustain the parents- and the female holds up the male” (Houston 13). Dickens was leading a kind of social revolution, trying to reenergize the presence of the working class not only in politics, but in society as well. Pip in Great Expectations is a warrior used to fight in this social clash, showing that the true gentleman is not rich with money, but rich with satisfaction and happiness. Dickens is trying to show that when Pip is thrown into his expectations and becomes a “gentleman” he is not a gentleman at all, it is only by the end of the novel when the true gentleman is shown through Pip.
The settings of Great Expectations are Pip’s homes, one home that he lives in during his childhood in Kent, England, and the other that he lives in when he is grown in London, England. Social status was a big deal in the mid-nineteenth century. The rich were highly respected and liked by all, and the poor were treated unkindly and were sometimes made fun of. The rich could have any job that they liked, but the poor would almost always take over the job that their father had. The narrator of Great Expectations is Pip. If the novel were narrated from any other point of view, it would not have the same effect as it does now.
The next class during the Victorian Era was known as the middle class. This was the class to which novelist H.G. Wells was a part of. The middle class consisted of factory owners, lawyers, engineers, merchants, traders and other professionals (Bishal, 2008). While the individuals within this class received more money and more rights as citizens, they were still considered to be of no importance compared to those of the higher class.