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The Importance Of The Upper Class In The 19th Century

Decent Essays
The upper class in the 19th century both valued possession as an indicator of wealth and prestige. Each literary work took into account the possession of things, size and location of estate, and total wealth per year. In “The Importance of Being Earnest,” it was mentioned that when Algernon came to visit Cecily, he showed his wealth by bringing “three portmanteaus, a dressing-case, two hat- boxes, and a large luncheon-basket” (p#). Jack also criticized Algernon for always being “over-dressed” (p#). In “Pride and Prejudice,” the neighbours heard about Mr. Darcy’s bringing of “a chaise and four to see the place” he was going to be living in (p#). This cultural value of the upper class did not change because in the upper class in this century was meant to show off wealth and display it in order to attract respect and gravitate people…show more content…
Lady Bracknell was always very nosy about how much Jack had, explicitly asking him “what is your income” and also how much Cecily had “in the Funds” (p# p#). “Pride and Prejudice” may have never explicitly asked someone for their income, but never failed to mention that the new “single man of large fortune [made] four or five thousand a year” (p#), and that Mr. Darcy “drew attention of the room” by “having ten thousand a year” (p#). The last way that both “Pride and Prejudice” and “The Importance of Being Earnest” displayed their wealth was by their possession of estate and its worth and location. Jack tried to display his wealth by telling Lady Bracknell that he had three estates, including a country house, and told her how large it was (p#). In “Pride and Prejudice” there was talk about Mr. Darcy’s “large estate in Derbyshire” which was one of the only indicators that he was of high class since his manners were not impressive to upper-class
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