An Examination Of Class In Jane Eyre — страница 2

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illegitimate child; none of them possess any independence. They are all dependent on the men in their lives. The only exception might be Miss Ingram. Although it was believed that she and Mr. Rochester were going to be married and that Mr. Rochester was a ?suitable? match for her social class and status. When Miss Ingram thinks that Rochester is going to not have any money she changes her mind about marrying him. This change of mind tells Rochester that Miss Ingram is not the woman for him. In Great Expectations, similar events occur. Pip is orphaned as well and needs to make his own way in the world. Little Philip Pirrip is known as Pip, lives in the marshes of Kent with his sister and her simple, kind blacksmith husband Joe. At the beginning of the story Pip is terrified by the

appearance of an escaped convict who threatens him with awful things unless some food and file for his shackles are brought to him. Pip manages to hide some of his own supper and then he steals more food from the cupboard. The convict is later captured and says that it is he who stole the food. Later Pip is taken to see Miss Havisham, she is a middle-aged woman who chooses to live perpetually in the bridal dress she wore on the day she was stood up at the alter. She hates all the male she sees and has sent for Pip just to watch him being tormented by Estella. When Pip is old enough Miss Havisham gives Joe twenty-five guineas as a premium for him and he becomes an apprentice blacksmith. Pip?s sister is attacked and severely injured by an unknown attacker. After Pip?s sister is

attacked, Joe takes in a young orphan, named Biddy, as his housekeeper. Pip tells Biddy that he wants to be a gentleman. Pip is unhappy and disgusted at the idea of being a blacksmith all his life. Biddy thinks that this idea is all about Estella but Pip never says so. Pip later finds out that he has received Great Expectations from an unknown benefactor. He is told to never try to figure out who it is. He is going to be brought up as a gentleman. Pip buys some new clothes and says goodbye to Miss Havisham and leaves for London. Pip later finds out that his expectations are from the criminal Mr. Magwich and not from Miss Havisham like he had at first thought. Mr. Magwich wanted to thank Pip for the help a long time ago. He had gotten rich from sheep-farming and then devoted all

his wealth to Pip. Pip also finds out that Magwich and his partner in crime, Compeyson, were tried jointly but Compeyson was let off with a seven-year sentence because he looked like a gentleman and had a refined speech. Magwich received a fourteen-year sentence for the same crime. Pip also discovers that Magwich is Estella?s father and that her mother is a murderer. Later in the story Pip is seriously ill, he realizes that since he became a ?gentleman? he has viewed Joe poorly, and has been ashamed of him in public. His Great Expectations have done him no good, he is glad to be rid of them. Dickens shows his ideas about his characters, the folly of pretended gentility, Pip trying to be better then Joe, the impossibility of manipulating a human being into becoming a different

personality for one?s own pleasure. Miss Havisham tries to manipulate Pip into falling in love with Estella just so that her coldness?ll hurt him. The ease with which wealth can corrupt, and the essential goodness of simplicity that we see in Joe. Also evident are Dickens? ideas about a ?respectable? middle class. ?.. The important thing is that people like the Cheerybles and Pickwick represent a stage of capitalist development in which the capitalist is normally an active member of a fairly small firm — that is also what Nicholas [in Nicholas Nickleby], Pip and Arthur Clennam {in Little Dorrit] become?a man whose work bears a relation to his income similar to that of professional people to theirs. Such people as this (together with the professional) were the basis of the

?respectable? middle classes that Dickens represented. (House 164-166) ?The speculation mania of 1825-1826 and 1837 on the whole endorsed the morality behind this view of society, because they were followed by economic collapse, meaning loss and ruin for people like Mr. Nickleby. The railway boom of 1845-1846 meant ruin, too, for many, but it meant success for others, and by establishing the joint-stock company in a number of enormous undertakings pointed the way to the later developments of investing. By an act of 1844 all joint-stock companies had to be registered. And the principle of limited liability was first recognized in the legislation of 1855-1856. The years between 1850-1860 were marked by a great increase in the number of small investors, and the later part of the