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.
Society has developed the concept of social classes to classify and categorize people based on many attributes such as their income, reputation and even their appearance. At first, the many ways that society is divided up by can impact the way one’s status quo is formed by in relation to society. Social classes can determine your whole life, but only if you let them rule the decisions that you are destined to make in life. This can lead to the prevalent interactions that occur between people of different statuses in which the individuals that are involved gain a greater comprehension of the society that they live in. Such scenarios take place in the novel Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Another book filled with social classes and social norms is To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is also a superb example. The existence of social classes can alter and affect many areas in your life, such as one’s wealth, physical aspects, and even stature.
Soon after the incident in the graveyard, Pip is introduced to a class of people deemed superior to his own only by virtue of their wealth. From them, Pip learns to judge others, and himself, by the quantity and quality of their material possessions, rather than the quantity and quality of their humanity. Thus blinded by the tangible, or material, Pip adopts the values of this better class and goes off in blind pursuit of such possessions as will make him an acceptable member of their numbers.
In Charles Dicken’s Great Expectations Pip does not appreciate the surprise fulfillment of his dreams and only becomes selfish and condescending toward those not as fortunate as he. Pip’s character deration as a result of his inheritance is evidenced by his desire to serve “a gallon of condescension, upon everybody in the village” (Dickens 151). Dickens uses Pips ungrateful attitude toward his home town to illustrate the corruption of aspirations when one did not have to work for his success. Pips continued under appreciation of his success and subsequent failure allow Dickens to rebuild Pip through hard work to and achieve “happiness “and fulfill his dreams meaningfully (Dickens 487). Dickens informs the reader that meaningless wealth and success is worthless, and that true success comes from hard work and passion.
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
This shows that Pip unconsciously understands that wealth does not bring happiness to a person. It can make someone a better person if one chooses to be generous and kind towards others. Pip contributed to a poor person’s happiness. He is not happy with his sister’s behavior and his tasks, but he rejoices after seeing the excitement on the convicts
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.
Charles Dickens’ aptly titled novel Great Expectations focuses on the journey of the stories chief protagonist, Pip, to fulfill the expectations of his life that have been set for him by external forces. The fusing of the seemingly unattainable aspects of high society and upper class, coupled with Pip’s insatiable desire to reach such status, drives him to realize these expectations that have been prescribed for him. The encompassing desire that he feels stems from his experiences with Mrs. Havisham and the unbridled passion that he feels for Estella. Pip realizes that due to the society-imposed caste system that he is trapped in, he will never be able to acquire
Pip no longer wants to be common; he wants to be educated and have a job that's higher than being a blacksmith; to conclude, he wants to impress Estella and win her over by turning to a different social class.
For instance, this quote shows that Pip has not been aware that he is of a lower class. Being in the Satis house opens the door to the possibility of achieving a higher social status. Pip has a void in his life, and it is based on the shame he feels about his social standing. This realization is what will start Pip on his social-climbing journey. As time passes, Pip acts on these feelings of incompetence, which are his “particular reasons for wanting to be a gentleman” (130). To clarify, this evidence proves that Pip is attempting to escape his void of shame with the power of a higher social class. He is trying to stop being ashamed of his origins by leaving them behind. Pip is using higher social status as a means to get away from his problems. For Pip, becoming a gentleman is his escape from the shame he feels. In contrast, at the end of the novel, Pip realizes that working “pretty hard for a sufficient living” is what truly makes a man “do well” (496). To further the point, this citation illustrates that Pip realizes that striving for social class is actually making him more unhappy. His constant reaching does not make his shame go away, it only makes it worse. Pip then realizes that an honest, hardworking lifestyle is the only way to make the shame
In Dicken’s novel Great Expectations, which is set in the Victorian era, Dickens uses the social classes to reveal that change is often driven by societal expectations and can often cause sacrifices to be made which often lead to an unhappy life. In this era status was important. Those who were in lower classes strived to move up, and those in higher classes lived lavish lives of elegance. Dickens reveals these ideas though the actions of other characters as Pip receives his expectations. Uncle Pumblechook, who wanted nothing to do with Pip before he had received his expectations, says, “To think, that I
Education is provided to people who come from all economic backgrounds. However, not everyone is able to use the education system to the best of their abilities. For example, children who live in poor situations might not be able to focus only on their studies such as taking up a job to help support their families. Moreover, it’s a fact that the areas that have a higher income generally often have a better schooling system. This might be arising from donations from local families and from a better economic structure in the area. A higher social class has advantages to access to resources such as tutors, private lessons, private schools and higher quality public schools. On the other hand, children in lower socioeconomic classes might live in impoverished, stressful environments with fewer resources.
The ones who seem to be most affected by society’s beliefs about class and social order are Pip, his family, and his friends, who would definitely fall under the “lower” part of the socio-economic ladder. Throughout the novel, the “lower” characters have a heightened and even a bit unhealthy obsession with
Class is one of the many issues we face in this world, and often some of the worst traits are found in people of high social class. Now, some believe that this is how they were brought up, others believe it is their personalities, or a combination of the two. In Great Expectations, Pip is often made out to be not the kindest or most caring of people. Some attribute this to his social class, however, this is not the case. Pip pushed his old friends out of his life because of his lack of empathy and maturity in regards to his position in life, not solely because his new social standing pushed him towards these conditions
In Great Expectations, Charles Dickens rejects conventional Victorian class stratification, using Pip 's Bildungsroman to demonstrate that social mobility can be achieved through moral education, experience and personal development, rather than the simple acquisition of wealth. The compassion Pip learns from Joe leads him to assist Magwitch, which ultimately results in Pip becoming a gentleman. The secondary characters in Pip’s Bildungsroman help him to find a place within society where he can finally feel happy and fulfilled. Although Pip receives wealth from Magwitch, Dickens demonstrates that his success in migrating from the poorer working class to the newly developed middle class is actually the result of his more educated view of the