Great Expectations by Charles Dickens Essay

860 Words 4 Pages
The Victorian Era started in 1837, the year Queen Victoria was crowned. The Industrial Revolution also started in this era. Cities started to form and become heavily populated. In the novel, Great Expectations, Charles Dickens had the main character, Pip, live in two different life styles in the Victorian Era. Pip lived with both the poor and the rich population. Both life styles are very different and placing Pip in both societies helped to show that, while the wealthy people benefited from the industrial revolution, the poor people often paid the price.
The abominable living conditions of the Victorian Era caused many young deaths. The country was so filthy and unorganized; they literally had an open sewage system that flowed through the streets. Pip describes a scene of filth as, “A frouzy mourning of soot and smoke attired this forlorn creation of Barnard, and it had shewn ashes on its head, and was undergoing penance and humiliation as a mere dust-hole. Thus far my sense of sight ; while dry rot and wet rot and all the silent rots…” (Dickens, 186).Victorian children were at a high risk of a wide variety of diseases that are easily medicated and controlled in the 21st century. The now curable diseases that were deadly in the Victorian Era were smallpox, measles, whooping cough, diphtheria, and dysentery. Death was prevalent in the Victorian households. The younger the children were the more vulnerable to the diseases. This was evident in the book when Pip starts to…