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Research Paper (8.01).docx - Class and class interactions...

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Class and class interactions are issues that have been around since thebeginning of human interaction and have been topics of discussion in manyimportant contributions to pop culture. Despite the interest in issues like ‘how theother half lives’ and interclass relationships, the intraclass relationships are evenmore enticing. In today’s world, class distinctions can get very muddled and hardto see unless one is looking at the most extreme ends of the spectrum, but backin the days of Queen Victoria, class was everything, and it defined allinteractions. While she may not have dug too deep into the lives of thearistocracy or the middle and lower classes, Jane Austen’s novelPride andPrejudiceprovides a perfect commentary on the absurd interactions of the gentryin the Victorian era that shows while there is only a minor situational differencebetween classes - status is just about everything and influences just about everyaspect of the social life of the gentry.The Victorian era had a very rigid social structure composed of the upperclass, middle class, and lower class. The upper class was divided into threecategories: aristocracy (royals), officers and lords (upper middle), and wealthybusiness owners (lower upper). The middle class was composed of the uppermiddle bourgeoisie which were skilled individuals such as merchants or artisansand lower middle (working class) individuals who worked for those in the uppermiddle and upper classes(Victorian England Social Hierarchy). The lower class wascomposed of individuals such as orphans and poor unskilled individuals.

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