• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How far do you agree that Great Expectations is a condemnation of Dickens contemporary society?

Extracts from this document...


How far do you agree that Great Expectations is a condemnation of Dickens? contemporary society? I believe that to quite a large extent, this statement appears to be true, because in the novel, Dickens? condemns the justice system and the class system, to show the injustice that is present in Victorian society. Firstly, Dickens shows his condemnation of the justice system by presenting the excessive influence of lawyers within the system; Jaggers made ?magistrates shiver under a single bite of his finger? which on the face of it is very concerning, because these people who must make a decision on whether a person is guilty or not, and so if a person has such great influence that they can make people ?shiver? with fear if they disagree with them, then something can be said to be wrong with the system, as everybody should be equal and not be threatened. ...read more.


Furthermore, the fact that a defence on the part of Compeyson was ?he you has afore you, side by side, two persons as your eyes can separate wide? always wi?his guilt brought home? is also interesting, because his lawyers are using their physical appearance and known stereotypes as defence, and this should not be present in a respected legal system, because a stereotype is a generalisation, and so cannot be true about everyone. Dickens condemns the fact that people can be made guilty just because of the social class that they belong to. Moreover, through the character of Pip, Dickens has shown just how influential the class system is, as his behaviour changes so distinctively after he has become a gentleman, so much so that he has begun to reject those who have always been there for him, like Joe. ...read more.


Although on the face of it, it seems that Pip?s rejection of Joe is unfounded, we can understand it better through a Marxist perspective, as it rejects ?determination of social decisions in accordance with private profits rather than human needs? and so from a Marxist perspective, the novel simply condemns that this social divide exists. However, other writers have discredited this view, as they argue that Pip?s guilt is just down to the fact that Dickens? later novels would be obsessed with guilt. Taking into account both of these ideas, there is definitely some credit in order for both, as on the one hand, the grotesque character of Miss Havisham and the rude character of Estella do show the upper classes alongside Pip?s behaviour, although the character of Orlick shows that the lower classes are still problematic. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Charles Dickens section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Charles Dickens essays

  1. Free essay

    Presentation of Estella

    so as we only know the story from a narrative view, we are not sure that this is what was actually said, but what Pip thinks it is.

  2. What Techniques Do Authors Use To Present the Female Characters? using extracts from Great ...

    This is because marriage was still not necessarily about love, but about respectability as in the 1800s and "In no way did Teresa love him". This quote meant that (even doe Teresa wasn't in love she was forced by her family)

  1. Both stories studied concentrate on how people appear to others. Discuss the way ...

    The thought of Mr Coombes actually taking drugs in itself was unusual. Mr Coombes is a representation of a wimp, a person that will never do anything inconsistent. He does not seem as the 'sort of person' that would take drugs to solve his problems.

  2. Discuss how Dickens creates sadness in Book the Second

    She seems to be in the crossfire of everyone yet she is one of the most innocent of all. As she has rarely experienced emotions due to her "ology" filled bring up, she does not know how to react to Mr Harthouse who except in kindness as she believes he is being kind and honest to her.

  1. How does Dickens use language in chapter 50 of Oliver Twist to show the ...

    Id give him up if he was to be boiled alive. Murder! Help! If there's the pluck of a man among you three, you'll help me. Murder! Help! Down with him!' this speech is so inspiring and heroic that the reader gets really excited at this point and is left

  2. 'A central issue in Victorian novels is the place of women in society'. Discuss ...

    It is soon obvious that his friends agree with him so because they are of similar thinking. The opening of the novel depicts a meal at which both Sir James Chettam and Mr. Casaubon are guests of his, and they both seem to be similarly inclined as far as their

  1. The two Rivers

    The low expectations and low self-esteem that Veronica has for herself, compared to the high expectations that Okeke has, show that it is a male dominated society. Even if Veronica had gone to the city, the opportunities open to women are very different to the opportunities open to men, as

  2. Explore Joe Gargery's role in Great Expectations

    This is a very backward way of saying it, a way we don?t normally use, showing Joe?s childish innocence. He avoids the subject of death again, when Pip asks him if he had heard of Magwitch?s death. Even though Joe never knew him personally, he avoids saying the words, instead

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work