The Significance of Social Classes In Great Expectations

Social Classes play a big role in society in Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. A person’s class determined the way they were treated, and generally their level of education. However, class never defined a person’s character, as proven over and over again throughout the tale.

Many characters throughout the story were treated differently because of their level of importance in society. The contrast of the treatment of poor people versus the treatment of the wealthy will help explain why classes mattered as far as treatment. In chapter twenty-seven, Joe treats and greets Pip as a gentleman, for that is what he has become. Pip’s feelings about Joe's arrival were, "Not with pleasure... I ...

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209). Joe creatively uses this metaphor to show the distinction between himself and Pip. he being more like a blacksmith, of a lower, more common class, and Pip, being more like gold, in reference to his height in society. Another example of class playing a role in the treatment of characters in the story is the scene of the trial of Magwitch vs. Compeyson. Magwitch gets along easier because of his position in society. Magwitch describes Compeyson's defense speech, ."..here you has afore you, side by side, two persons as your eyes can separate wide; one, the younger, well brought up... one; the elder, ill brought up... which is the worst one?" (p. 325). As the trial concludes, the results of are based upon class, not evidence. Social class has a tremendous influence in the way characters of the story are treated.

Classes not only determine the way someone is treated, but also define the level of education one receives. It is important to understand the aspect of education, in ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 3/20/2011 05:44:44 PM
Submitted By: j_kerstell
Category: Book Reports
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 627
Pages: 3

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