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Historically, industrialization changed nineteenth- century
England. The rich invested in machines and factories, and the poor
were willing to work twelve to fourteen hour shifts for
little money. Women and children were the most vulnerable because
they could be easily intimidated and didn't join labor unions.
The theme of expectation and ambition is seen in many of the
characters, but especially Pip. He wants to improve his status at
first to be worthy of Estella. Dickens uses Pip to show how
superficial the class system and the upper class are. Education is
a major part of improvement, and this was denied to the poor,
making it hard for them to ever get ahead. Pip also learns how to
be a moral, thoughtful person in his efforts of
Dickens makes it obvious that ambition without morality is
dangerous. He shows the wealthy to be insensitive to the
plight of the poor. Their snobbery makes them look foolish, and
their behavior is ridiculous.
Enotes has a full biography about Dickens as well as all of the
other information you need. On the right, click on "Historical
Context", "Characters", and "Themes" to get full details.
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