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The Victorian Age Attitudes Between Social Classes

1229 words - 5 pages

The Victorian Age saw the development of intricate social classes. These social classes did not just hang over people’s heads, but was an important part of life in the Victorian Age. The classes continued to develop, and distinct classes began to show. The upper, middle, and lower class all emerged, with each class based on their income and style of living (Cody). The classes began to build feelings on one another. The lower class was left out of positions of power, while the upper class controlled most of everything. The upper class kept the lower class down by saying that they were causing their own demise by going against the system. Charles Dickens adds these differences in his books and shows the leisure and the despair of the upper and lower class. This paper will show that as the upper and lower class developed, attitudes between them sprung up to show the difference between their life-styles and how the lower class wanted to break free while the upper wanted to remain in control.
The upper class lived their lives in a luxurious way. They had large amounts of money they could do what they wanted with. Many of them hired maids, caretakers, or other people for around-the-house needs. These people were the lower working class who needed money to take care of their family. Most of the maids and helpers who did chores were lower class women coming after doing many other chores at their own homes (Wojtzcak). The upper class still showed ignorance to their underpaid, hard-working helping hands (Geroux). Ellen Geroux adds, “Little understanding, or desire to understand the needs of the working class existed.” The attitudes between the classes spurred from the upper class's lack of understanding. The upper class continued to not care about the lower class, even the lower class’s problems on the lower class (Geroux).
The lower class continued to do their work, even though the ignorance of the upper class hung over their heads. Being underpaid, overworked, and having unreasonable hours were all common to them. They just figured that they were put on Earth to work hard for the upper class and didn’t do much to break the class system (Wojtczak). Helena Wojtczak comments that, “This they had been raised to believe, was the way things were; and was God’s will.” They believed that they were put on Earth to do what they did, work and work. They were not completely lost, however. John Burnett claims that, “Within what seemed a closed and rigid social structure, the working class constructed their own exclusive world, remote from the acquisitive, accumulative impulses of the Victorian economy.” The working class people stayed in their own communities and groups, forming a “secret life” within society (Burnett) They stayed away from the upper class on their down time. The upper class claimed that the working class secluded themselves from society and used their resources, like the press, to prove their point (Geroux). The...

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