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Examples Of Apitalism In Charles Dickens Great Expectations

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apitalism in Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations: A Critique Isam Shihada

Introduction: In England, the years spanning 1780–1840 witnessed rapid economic changes, which propelled English society decisively towards industrialization. (Lloyd-Jones & Lewis, 2014) The Industrial Revolution (1) transformed England from an agricultural to an industrial society where the machine had replaced manual labor. This may have led to the rise of mass unemployment and the exodus of workers from villages to cities in search of economic opportunities to survive. This also accounts for the increasing number of slums along the Thames River and the exploitation of women and children at the factories for extremely low wages. (Calmon, 1994) The Industrial
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. . all of one piece and consistently truthful as none of his other books are.” (1937,p.xii) That period witnessed the growth of capitalism accompanied by cycles of booms and drawbacks. Dickens’ Great Expectations refers to the manipulation of the bourgeois employers, assisted by the government, against the working class. They were not only used as machines by their employers, but were also victimized by them. The working class’s exploitation stemmed solely from materialistic purposes, which resulted in a series of destructions such as the transformation of innocent characters into evil ones. Within this context, Peter Childs and Nicolas Tredell argue that Dickens’s Great Expectations renders a world in which “the individual human freedom and fulfillment is frustrated by what are usually promulgated as society’s ‘great expectations,’ and those values usually associated with progress, civilization and modernity.” (2006,p.167) Charles Dickens harshly reviles the capitalist system that would create and transform human beings into greedy creatures.(Houston,1992) He sheds light on the impact of the Industrial Revolution and its capitalist system in transforming characters into pitiless, selfish people devoid of emotions and on how it destroys all ties of affection and love and nourishes feelings of snobbishness, selfishness, and
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