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Essay on Social Class in Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

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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.
Pip, the main character is a
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In addition, Pip’s improvement changes the outlook that is perceived by others of him. For example, after Pip learns how to be a gentleman, Biddy began to address Pip as “Mr. Pip”. Also, The Blue Boar, a local inn treats him differently by how when he was affluent, he was accommodated with the best room. On the other hand, when he had lost all his riches, the Blue Boar only provided him with an indifferent room among the pigeons.
Wemmick is considered to be a strange, middle class man, who serves as a clerk for Jaggers. When the he first meets Wemmick, Pip characterizes Wemmick as an uptight, insensitive man. However, later, when Pip goes to Wemmick’s house he realizes that he is a funny, family-friendly man. Given that he is in the middle class, he is not affected by money. Additionally, he is less concerned about amount of money he has and just concerns about his father, known as The Aged, and his wife, Miss Skiffins.
In contrast to Wemmick, who can live in a jailhouse and his own middle class home, Estella, another character in Dickens’ novel, can only function in an enhanced civilization. She is represented as one of the higher society since she is adopted by a wealthy, aged woman, Miss Havisham. Ironically, her true father is a convict and her mother is a servant for Jaggers. Because of her affluence, she treats others, of lower status,
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