Victorian Times gypsies

Another ethnic group in the Victorian Times were gypsies. They moved around a lot and never stay in one area for a long time. Gypsies were introduced in ‘The Speckled Band’. They were not particularly liked by neighbours all around, even by Mrs Stoner, who described them as “vagabond” and “wretched.” This shows that they are dangerous. Gypsies moved around a lot and never stay in a place for very long. Steal from people and the act innocent. People believed that others were frightening, violent and a bad influence on the British people. In ‘The Speckled Band’ learn that Dr Roylott was a very friendly man who socialised well before he went to India but when he returned be became “ferocious” and quite violent.

As said before, there were three different groups of people; upper, working/lower and middle class. I am now going to discuss the portrayal the two stories give about the upper and lower class and how it informs us of people’s expectations and reactions when someone deviate from a group especially upper class groups. ‘The Speckled Band’ focuses mainly on upper class groups whereas ‘The Man with the Twisted Lip’ focuses on both upper and lower class people. In ‘The Speckled Band’ the readers will find that upper class people tend to have pale white skin. We know this when Sherlock Holmes saw the bruises “… printed upon the white wrist.” In the Victorian Era, the paler the women looked, the wealthier they were. A lot of upper class people tend to have good manners. The appearance of a lower class and an upper class is distinctive. Lower class people tend to look dirty and upper class people tended to look the opposite, clean.

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In ‘The Man with the Twisted Lip,’ people in lower class were described as “…extremely dirty…repulsive ugliness.” The word repulsive brings out the ugliness; it means to be unpleasant, grimy and really filthy. We found that the beggar in the story is actually the missing upper class man, Mr Neville St Clair. When his disguise was removed, there appearance was completely different. There was now a “refined-looking man…smooth-skinned…” Anyone who ever did what Mr St Clair did will be so embarrassed and “ashamed”. As Mr Neville had said, he would have rather “endured imprisonment…even execution” than to have left his “miserable secret as a family blot.” Upper class will have done this than to lose their reputation. The word blot describes how Neville was feeling; a family disgraced.

Dr Roylott is an example of an upper class man who didn’t act like the way upper class people behave. In the story of ‘The Speckled Band’ Dr Roylott was a monster in his community. He is violent and has a criminal status. This happened when he was still in India where “he beat his native butler to death…” He has “no friends at all save the wandering gypsies…” An upper class is less likely to get involved with people like them. Pets in the Victorian times are animals like cats and dogs, owned by anyone group of people. However, no one had wild animals as pets except from Dr Roylott, who had “a cheetah and baboon” and a speckle band which the reader later found to be a dangerous Indian snake. Dr Roylott is very aggressive, short tempered, non-sociable, scruffy and considerably rude and doesn’t act the way a proper upper class individual should be have.

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