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Great Expectations And Social Structure In The Victorian England

1305 words - 5 pages

The Victorian Web, Soldahl, Mitchell, British Library, and Morgan prove the varying habits of social class. Furthermore, the ranks of social class also prove if one had to do laborious tasks based on their wealth. The possessions that each class had given society an outlook on how rich one was. Pertaining to the rise of social class through industry and possessions in the Victorian era, Dickens’ shows that the idea of materialism can lead to a high status into society and that a life without industry can lead to a life of irresponsibility.
Wemmick and Mrs. Joe prove the idea of middle class possessions by introducing the financial aspect of portable property to Pip. Mrs. Joe first shows the idea of portable property to Pip as she visits Miss Havisham for the first time. Pip implies, “We walked to town, my sister lending the way in a very large beaver bonnet, and carrying a basket like the Great Seal of England in planted straw, a pair of pattens. A spare shawl, and an umbrella, though it was a fine bright day. I am not quite clear whether these articles were carried penitentially or ostentatiously; but, I rather think that they were displayed as articles of property” (Dickens 99)) Pip infers that Mrs. Joe is taking portable property with her because she wants to “show them off” to Miss Havisham. By “showing” Miss Havisham her portable property, it means that Mrs. Joe has wealth based on her possessions and is in control of her financial assets. Furthermore, even Pip uses a simile by comparing the Great Seal of England to Mrs. Joe’s basket. When an individual compares something to the Great Seal of England, it means the item being compared is important because the Great Seal of England is needed to pass English laws. Furthermore, Wemmick emphasizes the importance of middle-class property again to Pip. Wemmick states, “It don’t signify to you with your brilliant look-out, but as to myself, my guiding-star is, ‘Get hold of portable property”(Dickens 201)) Individuals in the middle class needs to prove its superiority, and proves it by having portable property that one can “show off” to other people. Wemmick wants to teach Pip that money is tied to possessions. Wemmick only wants Pip to understand that one should keep hold of his wealth by carrying portable property. To have a numerous amount of portable property means that the person must be rich and keeps hold of his financial assets. Moreover, Wemmick and Pip have a conversation about the possessions that Magwtich gave up. He states, “Yes, to be sure,” said Wemmick. “Of course there can be no objection to your being sorry for him, and I’d put down a five-pound note myself to get him out of it. But what I look at, is this. The late Compeyson having been beforehand with him in intelligence of his return, and being so determined to bring him to book, I do not think he could have been saved. Whereas, the portable property certainly could have been saved. That’s the difference between the property...

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