Saturday, December 28, 2019

Guilt and Corruption in Great Expectations - 1598 Words

Guilt and Corruption in Great Expectations The Victorian era is often cited as England’s golden age; however, beneath the trappings of silk and gold lay a society of greed and corruption. The rich lived a lifestyle of luxury and indulgence by exploiting the labor of the poor. Charles Dickens saw the injustice of the class system in Victorian society and worked to highlight the immorality of the upper class through his literature. Because Dickens himself had experienced both poverty and wealth, he recognized the inequality prevalent within the established class system and sought to expose the truth to others through Pip’s journey towards becoming a gentleman. In his novel Great Expectations, Dickens uses symbolism and imagery to develop†¦show more content†¦Parkinson continues, adding that â€Å"what [Mr. Jaggers] knows...eats like dirt into his mind, corrupting the honorable traits he might once have had,† further emphasizing Dickens argument that being part of the â€Å"traditional† upper class, a status gained through birth and luck, eventually corrupted the traces of decency and humanity. Pip’s growing knowledge of card games symbolizes the loss of his innocence and his increasing similarity to the arrogant upper class that he has become a part of. Parkinson highlights the connection between card games and corruption by stating that â€Å"the characters associated with successful card playing are revealed to be desperately unhappy and morally corrupt,† suggesting that the upper class, which is skilled in playing card games, is dishonest and immoral. In addition, â€Å"at the beginning of the novel, Pip knows only one card game. His inability to play games...suggests straightforwardness and honesty† (Parkinson). By examining this statement, it is clear that Dickens intends to establish Pip’s initial innocence in order to show his increasing moral impurity as a result of his association with wealthy characters such as Estella and Miss Havisham. It is also important to note that it is Estella and Miss Havisham, figures of the upper class, who pierce through Pip’s innocence and succeed in corrupting his previously sound morals. Through his connection with theShow MoreRelated Great Expectations: Gods Law Vs. Human Law Essay1164 Words   |  5 Pages Great Expectations: Gods Law vs. Human Law In his book Great Expectations, the problematic nature of moral judgement and justice that stems from a conflict between Gods law and human law is one of several topical themes that Charles Dickens addresses. 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