altick ch. 2 - These distinctions correlate to the 21 st...

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Nathan Ryalls Altick Ch. 2 Summary Deis 6 February 2008 In Richard Altick’s second chapter of Victorian People and Ideas he discusses the class order of the gentry and middle class. Altick states that “the Victorian middle class was divided into numerous smaller bodies” (Altick 29). These bodies consisted of usage problems “income, occupation, education, and religion” (Altick 29). Many authors were used as members of the different range of middle class Victorian society. Newman, Browning, Ruskin, Carlyle, and Hardy are just some of the authors Altick refers to as being sons of middle-class Victorians. Altick further dissects the doctor, clergymen, and teachers groups into superior and inferior standings. These standings were based on “family lineage, education, professional success, and the social standing of their clientele” (Altick 30).
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Unformatted text preview: These distinctions correlate to the 21 st century’s upper and lower class distinctions that are used. Altick states that “religion made much difference in social standing” (Altick 31). If the citizen was Anglican, he would rank higher than a Nonconformist or Methodist. The Anglican Church was the Church of England in the Victorian era, hinting at why Anglicans were respected and in a higher class. Altick states that “90 percent of the characters in the Victorian fiction which is read today belong to the middle class and the gentry” (Altick 33). Reading about the middle class would stand to reason as it was the largest group in Victorian society. Even with the different distinctions within the classes, authors portrayed characters that had economical struggles or prosperity....
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