Great Expectations

Money and Social Class in Great Expectations and Pride and Predjudice

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations focus on the themes of money and social class. In both novels, money plays a significant role in shaping and directing human motives and actions. A direct connection can be drawn between the two protagonists Pip and Elizabeth Bennet. Pip is lower on the social scale than Elizabeth, but both characters climb a metaphoric ladder to find happiness in society. Elizabeth rebels against her options to escalate in the social world through marriage and Pip embraces his chances to rise to the level where a marriage with Estella would be feasible. The characters start off in different directions, and both veer from their set courses as the novels progress. Elizabeth eventually embraces a life with her social superior Mr. Darcy, while Pip accepts a life without Estella and high society by realizing what is truly important in life: love and connections, not wealth and money.

Another connection can be made between Mrs. Bennet and Miss Havisham. Although the techniques used to create Miss Havisham and Mrs. Bennet differ, the two characters share several traits. Mrs. Bennet is clearly not an exemplary female role model. Because of her station in the leisure class, she is...

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