Explore some of the ways in which Dickens’ attitudes to Victorian society are presented in the opening chapter of Great Expectations.
For this essay I will be focusing on the opening chapters of Great Expectations, a novel written by Charles Dickens. I am going to consider the Victorian society at the time and dickens’ use of language to express themes, settings and characters.
Charles Dickens wrote this story in the Victorian times. Hence we seem to think what ‘does he mean’ by “Great Expectations”. By us the readers, knowing and understanding what it means, we can get a rough idea of what the story is like. By Great Expectations we mean having high expectations for life, class and dreams for a better life. Dreams that a person really wants for it to come true. Hoping or expecting more than you have. This lays quite an effect on the reader, this is because the title “Great Expectations” doest say much. The title itself can give ideas to us the readers as to what the story will be like. For example they can suppose that the story is about someone’s great expectations in life, of a job, of a person and even of himself or herself. This story was set in the Victorian times, which was actually in the mid 1800’s and Charles Dickens wrote it in the 1860’s. So life back then is very different as to how it is now. If we compare today to the Victorian era, we see people lived very different lives in many different ways. A few had access to educations, some didn’t. Some were able to get a good high standard job and some didn’t.
At the time of Charles Dickens a lot of the people were poor, many suffered from poor health and had to work all day late into the night. The few that were rich thought they were better then everybody else and the rich thought that the poor were just put on earth to serve them, all they think about is having entertainment. They always want to look better then their friends and most of the time they didn’t understand what was happening in the real world with the poor people.
Charles Dickens came from a working class background and was taken away from his family to work in a dirty, filthy warehouse. Some of his brothers and sisters died when they were young. He did not have a good childhood. All his work, his novels were based on the main characters being poor, working class, uneducated with some sort of disability.
Dickens through his books wanted people to realise that children have needs, they need loving homes, not to be hit, gets a education and be allowed to think for themselves. He thought that if he wrote about poor children’s problems then maybe wealthy readers will do something about it.
Great Expectations was one of the first British soap operas, published in a weekly magazine showing the minimum of one or two chapters. “Great Expectations’’ appeared in a weekly magazine called “All the year round”. The story ran for thirty six weeks. Plus another reason is so that the poor can get a...