Social Class Of The Victorian Era

1282 Words May 6th, 2016 6 Pages
When Queen Victoria took control of England in 1837, the country was undergoing many social changes. Social status was no longer based on lineage and was now determined by an individual’s financial status. Lower class individuals were shamed and judged by members of the elite social classes. Things like fashion and language were used to categorize people into certain social classes. This categorization came with the prejudices and stereotypes that were common among members of a certain class. This culture gave the members of the elite social classes a sense of entitlement that lead them to judge the mistreat members of the lower classes. From this harsh and strict social system emerged a group of social reformers. These reformers came in the form of writers, journalists, photographers, etc. and they worked hard to expose the social class system for what it was. One of the most important social reformers during the Victorian Era was Charles Dickens. Growing up in a poor, working class family, Dickens knew about the harsh realities that spawned from the social class system present. His writing reflects these experiences and attempts to expose this harsh system and other big problems prominent in Victorian society. Pip is a character that experiences some of these realities in Great Expectations. Pip initially lets his social status define him and must then go through a spiritual journey to discover what truly defines an individual. In Great Expectations Charles Dickens uses…
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