First of all, it is worth noting that Dickens was raised in a poor background. Dickens writes that “Ours was the marsh country, down the river” (Bloom 3). This is because his parents were from the country-side and did not have enough wealth for Dickens to inherit. Dickens’ father often got into problems with the law due to the accruing of high debt levels. Dickens explains that “We need never be ashamed of our tears” (Bloom 39). Despite these challenges Dickens receives classical education which makes him marketable in the British economy at the height of the industrial revolution. Dickens’ high education enables him to become a law clerk in London. Despite education being of the reason why Dickens is able to ascend to a descent employment opportunity, it is important to note that Dickens’ ambition plays a great role in his success. Dickens’ uses the character pip to illustrate the contempt that he got from other children as a result of him working in a low paying job in rural areas. This contempt does not cause Pip to give up his dream of ever achieving in life. Pip continues to work hard and is eventually able to get a better job, which allows him to get a better lifestyle. In spite of using himself as the protagonist in the Novel, all the things that Pip goes through in life are the same things that Dickens experienced. This means that the novel Great Expectations is an autobiography of Dickens life and the way he was able to ascend to a high social status.
The idea of social status dough-tails into the second theme of brought out in the novel Great Expectations. This theme is social class. One thing that is important to understand is that the industrial revolution created a society that had a wider wealth gap. This is because the high-skilled laborers in the urban areas were able to get higher wages compared to those laborers that were considered unskilled because of the lack of adequate educational attainment. This wealth gap created different social classes that were based on wealth. Different social classes had different values, attitudes, and lifestyles. This meant that when Pips transitioned from a country laborer to a highly paid law clerk, he had to acquire different lifestyles. Dickens writes that “Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but - I hope - into a better shape” (Bloom 49). He had to change of the ways that he lived and interacted with the people before he ascended to middle class. This social hierarchy brought out in this novel is a clear demonstration of the social stratification that resulted from the Industrial Revolution.
In conclusion, the novel Great Expectations was authored by Charles Dickens. This literary work was written in the modern era at the height of the Industrial Revolution. Unlike many other novels, Great Expectations is based on Dickens’ own autobiography. The key themes presented in this literary piece are the role of ambition in the process of life improvement and social-class mobility resulting from the Industrial Revolution.
Bloom, Harold. Charles Dickens's Great expectations. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1996. Print.