Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Special Issue on Literature No.3 October, 2015 Pp. 167- 173
Materialism versus Human Values in the Victorian Novels: The Case of Great Expectations and Wuthering Heights
Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences, Chouaib Doukkali University
Dickens’ Great Expectations and Brontë‘s Wuthering Heights share similar concerns at the thematic level. Both novels are critiques of the Victorian society since they show the differences between the upper and lower classes of the 19th century in England. Poor people are depicted as good characters while the rich are demonstrated as evil characters who find pleasure in manipulating and tormenting others. Poor Characters strive to be rich to achieve high social status, happiness and love. Once they become rich, they got plagued by the evil of materialism and thus become a replica of the upper- class characters who happened to inflict pain on them. In their turn, they become fake, snobbish, corrupt and revengeful. Through this recurrent vicious circle, in Great Expectations and Wuthering Heights, Dickens and Brontë emphasize the idea that no amount of money is enough to buy true happiness and true love. On the contrary, money is continuously trapping its owners throughout the novels.
Keywords: Class differences, love, materialism, snobbery, Victorian society