Attitudes about women and class

One similarity I noticed when reading through Great Expectations is that the way Mrs Joe Christmas is described is very indicative of the overall attitude towards both women and the lower class in Victorian England that we’ve talked about in the past. One of the first paragraphs of the chapter is a slight joke about her social status and situation, stating that her position as a blacksmith’s wife is the same thing as “a slave with her apron never off”. This heavily reminds me of the way Carlyle spoke of the ‘lowly black woman’ in the passage of his we discussed far earlier in the semester. One interesting difference I see however, is that while Carlyle seems to look on in pity and admiration at the lower class woman he discusses, Dickens, or more accurately Pip, seems to do no such thing, playing her misfortune off for laughs.

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