This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Class In Victorian Society Essay

2187 words - 9 pages

Class in Victorian Society

Victorian society was very different from ours. The age was in fact
revolutionary. Many writers's for the first time expressed their views
in writing and books were widely available to anyone with the money to
buy them. Despite this, most readers were still upper class and most
books were written for upper classes. This age in literary has given
us a very stereotypical image of the Victorians as they are for the
most part about the lives of the upper classes. The woman in white is
another example of the melodramatic Victorian novel that we are so
used to but through this many of Wilkie Collins own opinions on the
actual state of affairs in the class divided Britain of the 1900's
shine through.

The very first time that Collins blatantly allows himself to express
his feelings happens in the early stages of Walter Hartrights stay at
Limmeridge House when he meets Mr Fairlie. Whereas Walter is shown to
be active and sympathising with the lower classes, Mr Fairlie, who is
a much more aristocratic man, is shown to be a very feminine character
and despises the working classes. Collins show's this during the
meeting with Walter. During the meeting, Fairlie calls his servant an
Ass twice and he also calls the children of the village brats and
plebs. This portrayal of these characters perhaps represents Collin's
opinion of the upper classes, and more importantly, the aristocracy.
Collins doesn't stop with Mr Fairlies attitude to other people;
Collins also stresses the way Mr Fairlie treats valuables most people
would treasure. The priceless watercolours he shows Hartright in the
meeting he stored in portfolios as opposed to displaying them on
walls. Collins, who spent part of his life as a landscape painter, is
very critical of this and he uses Walter's character to express this.
By making Walter tell Mr Fairlie that he thinks that the paintings
should be displayed and then making Mr Fairlie do nothing, Collins
makes Mr Fairlie look very arrogant and this extends his stereotyped
aristocrat. This arrogance is directly linked in with Mr Fairlies

During the meeting, Mr Fairlie stresses the sensitiveness of his
nerves, but these nerves play no part in the story apart from
extending Collins continuing mockery of Mr Fairlie and thus the
aristocracy. Collin's make it quite clear that Mr Fairlie's 'nerves'
are really just an excuse to avoid society and problems. This is quite
probably a metaphor for the aristocracy, and perhaps Collins was
suggesting that the aristocracy did nothing when problems evolved.
From this small part of the novel, Collins appears to define the
aristocracy as undeserving weaklings bought up to feel superior. By
introducing Mr Fairlie before any other aristocratic characters
Collins makes Fairlie a standard Aristocrat for the...

Find Another Essay On Class in Victorian Society

Suitors and Courtship in the Lower Middle Class in Victorian Times

618 words - 2 pages Eligible Bachelors: Suitors and Courtship in the Lower Middle Class Trying for social advancement, single men and women of the lower middle and upper working classes sought to assume the Victorian middle class rituals of courtship and engagement. Accordingly, this aim joined with the poor finances key to these classes to lead to the complicated struggle of the bachelor. A Suitable Suitor To be considered an appropriate suitor to a lower

Class Systems in a Communist Society

1009 words - 5 pages Communism started around mid-nineteenth century. It is a political and economic belief. Communists work toward getting rid of any private owned property or any businesses that make a profit (“Communism”). Communists used the class system to try to work on eliminating any properties owned or profit’s made. But it didn’t work. In a communist society, the class system is the main reason why the society failed. Most communist parties are

Class in contemporary New Zealand Society

1459 words - 6 pages Zealand society almost two hundred years after they were first put forth. Karl Marx was writing at a time where issues of class, in particular the welfare of the working class was very much a prominent feature of social debate. The industrial revolution had just ended and the changes it had wrought in society were very much under the microscope. With this focus on working class conditions, Marx came to believe the working class would be the

Do Class Promote Progress in a Society?

632 words - 3 pages . Labor unions are created to empower a person’s political voice and help benefit others financially. Classes have always been a problem in society. Placing someone in a group according to their economic value is discriminating. Classes in my opinion do not promote progress in a society. Take this example for instance. Someone living in a low class area, with no college education, most likely isn’t going to contribute to the growth of our

The Repression of Women in Victorian Society as Shown in 19th Century Literature

1283 words - 5 pages The Repression of Women in Victorian Society as Shown in 19th Century Literature 19th century literature reflects to a certain extent, several ways in which women were repressed in Victorian society. They were considered inferior to men, and given a stereotypical image, showing them as gentle, loyal and angelic. They were rejected of any personal opinions or independence, for

Role of the Victorian Society in the French lieutenant's woman by John Fowles

757 words - 3 pages is attempting to be realisticabout their situation. He is obviously concerned about the role of women in Victorian England and society'streatment of them. As is apparent women of all classes right from the aristocracy to the prostitutes wereexploited by society which was largely patriarchal and this practice continues even today.The aristocrats were a dominant class once upon a time in England yet it is during Queen Victoria's time thatthe class

The conditions of women during the Victorian Era in England. Used in a class presentation in 2nd year of Philology

542 words - 2 pages We chose Act 3 for our presentation because it reflects women's lifestyle during the Victorian Era. Women of the mid- 19th century had no choices. Most lived in a state little better than slavery. They had little choice but to obey men, because in most cases men held all the resources and women had no means of subsistence. A wealthy widow or spinster was a lucky exception. A woman announcing her intention to remain single would attract social

Hard Times Depiction of the Position of Young Women in Victorian England Society

1249 words - 5 pages advancement of their husbands and sons” (Black 94). With the application of Ellis’s opinions in The Daughters of England it seems that Dickens may have had a similar opinion on the ultimate role of women within Victorian Society. In Hard Times the characters of Louisa and Sissy, who are two daughters of England, experience very different endings within the novel as a result of their choices post-education. Dickens novel depicts a very sad and

Use of Ghosts to Change Victorian Society in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

5204 words - 21 pages nephew's words may strike some twenty-first century ears as excessively sensitive to class, readers can see from his words that class distinctions mattered in Victorian society. People did not normally move between social classes as freely people do in a modern society. Fred's words represent, therefore, an attack on his class-conscious society, recognizing its faults and trying to overcome them on a small scale, at Christmas

How does class influence identity in contemporary society?

766 words - 3 pages Introduction:Part (b) In order to answer this question we must compare the influence of class in contemporary society against that of earlier times. The earliest time we can do this is from the point when the concept of class first emerged (Marx and Weber). We must also understand what 'class' is.Social class is a very significant as it can provide us with a sense of belonging. It is however a highly disputed concept within social science. The

How does class influence identity in contemporary society?

812 words - 3 pages Social class is a very important and highly contested concept within social science. The meaning and measurement of social class is a subject of continual arguments. However the concept of social class is dominated by two distinguishing traditions of thought - Marxism and Weberianism.Karl Marx produced his theory of class in the nineteenth century when the European and the British society was going through the 'Industrial Revolution'. His theory

Similar Essays

Working Women In The Victorian Middle Class

612 words - 2 pages gender roles through participation in the labor market as business and property owners, and tradespeople. Not all Victorian women were enchanted by the idea of the lady at leisure and all of the trappings that came with Victorian “proper” society. Many women had a larger awareness and felt a larger capability than the Victorian middle-class at large, as The Ladies identified: “The rampant vice in English society--all men know it, and women too

Gender And Class In Society Essay

1428 words - 6 pages ‘‘The family, in Ireland, as elsewhere, has been identified as ‘an important symbol of collective identity, unity and security’ (O'Connor, Emergingvoices: Women in contemprary Irish society, 1998, p. 89). It is seen by many as the ‘natural’ basis for society. Gender and class play a huge role in shaping family life for both the parents and for the children. Gender refers to the meanings that arise of sexual classification and to the socially

Attitudes Toward Victorian Society In Great Expectations By Charles Dickens

1145 words - 5 pages Great Expectations 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

Jane Eyre: The Pursuit For Identity In Victorian Society

1777 words - 8 pages , which frequently conflicts with her intuitive sense of self” (Kelchner). Jane’s “self-reliance, and personal ethics allow her to recognize the unfairness of many societal conventions,” (Kelchner) especially that of gender equality. Jane argued with the social hierarchy in Victorian society, in which women are ranked as subordinates to men, obligated to conform to the traditional role of wife or servant. Despite societies gender standards, Jane