The film re-creation of Charles Dickens’ novel David Copperfield is an infallible portrayal of the Industrial Revolution. The film addresses many subjects and issues that were present in the time of the Revolution, with much accuracy. Common themes that arose in the film relating to the Revolution were the changing class system, working conditions, the family dynamic and the education system. All of these subjects underwent major transformations during the years of the revolution. Many examples of these transitions appear in “David Copperfield”.
One of the biggest social changes seen throughout the Industrial Revolution, happened within the class system. “No one disputes that the landed aristocracy and the new middle class (industrial entrepreneurs, merchants and professionals) benefited as owners, invertors and consumers. The debate is over the living standard of the wage-dependent and laboring population” (Legacy, 250). This quote outlines that the nobility, or the upper class, as well as the middle class, grossly prospered from the Industrial Revolution. The upper class maintained their superior status through owning factories and investing in promising manufacturers. In the film, David’s aunt Betsey Trotwood would be considered among the upper class. Betsey no longer works, and enjoys a lavish lifestyle full of opportunity due to her wealth. During the Revolution, the biggest change seen in the class system was with the emerging middle class. Because the Industrial Revolution provided so much economic opportunity, the middle class was able to take advantage of it and become more prosperous and powerful. Like the upper class, they became factory and storeowners, merchants and investors. David’s mother Clara and his stepfather Edward Murdstone would fit into the middle class. Edward was a middle class man who prospered from the Revolution, when he became the owner of a shoe polish factory. Lastly, there was the lower class population. Some argue...
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