Victorian London In Charles Dickens Great Expectations

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During the Victorian Era, London became a thriving metropolis; its population grew by millions, the economy was booming, and the streets were hustling and bustling with excitement. Because Victorian London became a place of growing wealth and development, many popular Victorian novelists, such as Charles Dickens, reflected on the advancing city in their novels to show readers and citizens the immense amount of change present. Victorian London was an exciting and dynamic metropolis with many positive changes in society, and some negative, that resulted in social reform.
The ever-growing population of London caused various problems, such as housing shortages and dirty environments; however, these negative outcomes all eventually lead to prosperity
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Dickens first comments on London when Pip arrives after receiving his “great expectations” and says, “It was not rather ugly, crooked, narrow, and dirty” (Dickens 144), which shows readers how early Victorian London was an utter disappointment. Dickens’ harsh comment shows readers the realities of London and associated disappointments. Additionally, when Pip and Mr. Wemmick are walking around London, Pip notices “there were some people slinking about as usual when we passed out into the street” (Dickens 188). Here, Dickens comments on the overcrowdedness in London and its consequences. People are out on the streets and constantly wandering around because of the housing shortage. Even though in Dickens’ time, the wandering and overcrowdedness continued, it was later extirpated by the government to help make London cleaner. Lastly, Dickens not only comments on, but bitingly satirizes the class systems present in not only London, but the Victorian Era, when he chooses to name the higher class characters with more snobbish and peculiar names such as “Uncle Pumblechook” or “Bentley Drummle”, whereas the lower class characters have more common and compassionate names, such as Joe. By creating silly and supercilious names Dickens implies the higher class acts more arrogant and conceited, as the names he helps create satirize the characters and their prospective classes. Charles Dickens was just one of the many popular novelists who weighed in on the new London during the Victorian

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