I cannot but thoroughly criticize the lackadaisical social and moral abuses in this country. The will to take action has urged me to write Great Expectations in order to assail the abominable conditions that exist in England. In this novel, my dear characters are idealized in order to heavily contrast with the ugly social truths that I reveal. For it is fully my intent to raise the awareness of these corrupting and unjust conditions that we so nonchalantly live with. Oh what a pity! A grief indeed, that the once innocuous and simple Pip may be transformed into the snobbish and opinionated character he becomes. For what was the reason for Pip’s unexpected transformation? Of course, it is naught but the social-class division that feeds the desire of selfish ambition.
Here in England, the social-class determines how a person is treated and his access to education. This most discriminatory attitude is displayed when the otherwise indifferent tailor servilely attends to Pip after hearing of his fortune despite turning a cold shoulder to him earlier. Is money enough to turn a man into a mouse? Why is it that charisma does not command respect but pounds and shillings? After attaining a vast amount of wealth, Pip even begins to treat his closest friend and protector, Joe, with a superior air. Was Joe not plenty a’ gentle and fair to Pip? Had Joe been an inadequate friend? Absolutely not, twas’ being Pip now belonged to a higher social class. Not only does social standing determine how one was treated daily, but also played an unfair and villainous part in court reasoning in our society.
In the case of the two convicts, the main perpetrator, a gentlemen, stated in his defense speech “”..here you has afore you, side by side, two persons as your eyes can separate wide; one, the younger, well brought up… one; the elder, ill brought up… which is the worst one?” The most incredulous and vile aspect is not the use of an ad hominem, but the court promptly basing the entire decision of the trial strictly on this statement regarding social appearance. I assure you, this is not uncommon at all in this country. Trials and disputes are unfairly biased and integrity comes arm in arm with class and money rather than logic and proof.
Ah! Though it is true that social class plays an enormous role in everyone’s lives, it all but affects one’s character. One’s character is still left intact despite the obstructive society divide. An honest but poor man today shall unquestionably hold more truth than a sly rich man. Alas’, sadly this is far from the case today. The secondary reason that had prompted me to write this novel was the physical condition of London. Being a local resident of London, I bore firsthand witness to the effects of industrialization. At the cost of clean air and green living space, London transformed into a merchant city full of jobs and people.
O how I do miss the crisp clean fields of the countryside. This sentimentality was the reason that provoked me to write about the descriptive settings and bustling activities within the city. Not to mention the crowded condition people lived in, primitive sewage and poor working conditions. As a result, I am not particularly fond of aristocrats and express this through my characters. Through them, I expose the malignant social norms such as Magistrates courts and the social divide. As well, my reminiscent memories of familiar settings and my want to explore the conditions in the city have compelled me to write this novel. The end product cannot help but evoke a sense of awareness and social conscientiousness from the reader.