The Shallow Society of England as Seen by Dickens - Cartier Thamzi

Essay by playmateHigh School, 10th gradeA, May 2004

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"Money is what makes the world go round". Great Expectations is a model novel that reveals this statement. Throughout the novel Dickens' demonstrates his views on social class through the ideas of that the occupation you hold, along with the income that you receive is the threshold for defining classes. Dickens' suggests this by showing class mobility, the constant arrogance and other defining tools displayed by the "upper" classes, as well as the fact that love, which is known as the ultimate force, cannot break the class system barrier.

In Great Expectations, Dickens' cleverly uses the Australian economy, and social system to contrast that of the English beliefs of placement. He does this by using Magwitch as an object that demonstrates how mobility can change the system you are placed in. Dickens' obviously had a very critical view of the social society in England, for he shows an immense change in social indifference, by the move of Magwitch to Australia.

In England, Magwitch was the low-class convict, and in Australia he was of an upper-middle class making earnings and treated with respect. This would have never taken place in England for the social classes are so gravely defined that your place in life is set for you unless you catch a once in a lifetime break. When Pip and the convict first met, Pip was the only person who showed the convict care, and that was never forgotten, because for the position he held in England's society was regarded as low as "mud"(commonly used when talking about lower-class patrons). Once Pip displayed that disregard for his place, Magwitch never forgot that act of kindness for it was too seldom, back then. In Australia Magwtich was no longer considered as "mud" but as a temporary gentleman. Alas, no matter what efforts...