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Charles Dickens: "Great Expectations". Essay

3143 words - 13 pages

Charles Dickens was born in 1812. His farther was a clerk working for the naval pay office. At age twelve he was sent to work in Warren's Blacking Factory, a dark and decayed warehouse over-run with rats. This was where he had his first experiences of child labour. Most of his time in the factory was spent sticking labels on bottles. Later in his life, he looked back on this time with bitterness and disgust.'Great Expectations' and many of Dickens' other novels were based around events in his unfortunate childhood and of those he saw around him. This idea comes through quite strongly throughout most of 'Great Expectations'. He had quite a few bad experiences in his childhood and he puts across the unfairness of his early life in some of his novels, for example, coming to terms with the truth and justice and the way that adults always let children down. He saw the lives of many children in conditions far worse than his while working at the factory.Dickens was given this theory from a very early age. Before he was forced to work in a blacking factory his family had been doing quite well and had plenty of money but this was lost when his father got himself into debt. He and his family were forced into prison except of Dickens who was sent to work in that disgusting factory. This was the main part in his life when he decided to look after himself and not rely on anyone else. This could be related to Pip, as his parents were dead, so Pip went to live with his sister and her husband. 'I never saw my father or mother...for their days were much before to days of photographs'. This relates to Dickens as after the family were sent to prison he never got to see his parents and had to find his own way in life.In Victorian society, there was a class system. The upper class, the middle class and the lower class. Dickens realised how unfairly people were being treated and how much poverty there was throughout the lower class people. He saw that there were three vulnerable sectors to society: women, children and the poor. To him these people were treated badly and came out worst in society. He showed in many places that he hates the way the poor are treated and the fact that they never got any say in anything, in the families, work or politicsWomen had control of the household but they were not permitted to vote and therefore have any influence on how the country was run. However, some women were influential for example, Queen Victoria. Being an upper class wife their role in a household was to look good on their husband's arms. They were not allowed to go onto further education like university as it was seen to hurt their brains and cause problems with fertility. In the lower class women were treated like slaves to the husband, and had to work long hours just for the food, usually for large families.Finally, Dickens despised the idea that the upper class children of his times were bundled off, shut away with a full time nanny, and hardly ever got to see their...

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