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Classic English Literature

Characteristics of the Victorian Period

Introduction

One of the most representative authors of depicting life in the Victorian age is Charles Dickens and, in particular, the novel ‘Great Expectations’.  This is viewed as an autobiographical novel of Dickens through the character of ‘Pip’. The novel focuses on themes of guilt and punishment and how as a miserable child, ‘Pip’ endeavours to rise above his misery, having great expectations to become a gentlemen.  This is a significant reference to the importance placed on a person’s class and position in society that was prevalent in Victorian Britain. The novel represents a complete reflection of Dickens life. (Greenblatt)