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Great Expectations - Discuss how the theme of class is developed through Pips visit to Satis House

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Discuss how the theme of class is developed through Pip's visit to Satis House 'Great Expectations' is a novel was written in the early 1860's.The novel was written in the early 1860's. The genre of 'Great Expectation' is a bildungsroman. This essay will be discussing how the theme of social class is developed through Pip's visit to Satis House. Dickens' aim was to show the corruption in English society at the time and he displays it through Pip's, the main character, visits to Satis house, a house owned by a mysterious, middle classed woman with a beautiful daughter that is bemused by Pip's appearance and lower class and therefore abuses him for it. Dickens portraits the upper class as evil, selfish villains in the novel and is on the lower class peoples side, always revealing the disgraceful riches the upper class owned while the poor got poorer."Great Expectations" portrays the great escalation in the social hierarchy of a young lad named Pip as he progresses in his life, Starting as an orphan and apprentice blacksmith, his horizons are widened through contact with the upper classes. He strives to better himself and make that most difficult of journeys across the boundaries of class. Great Expectations is a social commentary that gives a strong opinion on society. It will also discuss Charles Dickens' message of how he views the upper, middle and working classes. ...read more.


The setting of Satis House flabbergasts Pip so much, he can barely explain everything around him, "satins, and lace, and silks all of white..." The description brings to mind a very rich, selfish and stagnant person which is how Dickens represents all the rich and upper-class people. Pip is confused of how to prepare himself for his first visit to Satis House, "I was not at ease regarding the manner in which I should acquaint myself under that lady's roof." This shows that the poor scarcely get in contact with the rich and are bewildered with how to present them. On the other hand, Estella proudly calls Pip by the name "boy" and mocks his clothes which in turn makes Pip realise his "lower class" so he therefore begins to clean and pamper himself after the suffering. Dickens builds up tension by describing Satis House as decayed which is a reflection of Miss Havisham's odd personality and it's a bit bias to be honest, because all Dickens' fantasies about the rich being evil, rude and a bit crazy are fitted into one character especially and her house. One time, Miss Havisham questions Pip in such a way at one point, that he gets scared out of his wits and his answers to her spiteful questions are all monosyllabic, "who is it?" ...read more.


We can see that he has sympathy for the rich as Dickens makes Satis House like a prison and Ms Havisham like a sad old hag that exists inside the walls of the prison, he is also showing the reader that even though she is rich and has money she is sad and imprisoned within her home and her sorrows, I think this is how many higher class people and families lives feel, so this is why he feels sympathy towards them. The bildungsroman genre is a story in where a character grows up and has higher understanding of the world. Pip's visit to Satis House fits perfectly into the bildungsroman genre, this is due to the fact that after Pips visit to Satis House he grows up, not necessarily in age but he grows up inside; he becomes more mature and also gets a higher understanding of his class and place in society. The Visit to Satis House also reveals that in this world, materialism is a very common trait that presides in the hearts of all individuals, hearts which can forget their closest friends and even family for a chance at an elevated class in life. Finally Dickens is also leaving his final message that you don't need all the riches to become an ethical person leading a prosperous life. This is the thought that Dickens wishes is engraved in the minds of all who read the novel. ...read more.

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