In the beginning chapters of Great Expectations, Dickens explores the class system of Victorian England. He discusses the criminals, peasants, the middle class, rich, and more. When Estella lays Pip’s food on the floor as if he were a dog, she is showing that she views herself as high above him on the status pedestal and that he deserves to be treated as less than her. Pip interprets Estella’s cruel insults as facts accepting that those of the higher class know better and are worth more and begins to reevaluate himself. This reminds me of Heathcliff, because he was ready to change his whole life to win over high class Catherine because he viewed himself as less than he was due to his status in society. Both characters come from a lower class and grapple with society’s views beginning at young ages. Once they see the higher-class lifestyle, they are left feeling confused, but also in a way enlightened about how the world works.
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