In the play viewers come across the topic of confrontation between working class and bourgeoisie. In order to understand the depth of these processes it is necessary to resort to Marxist criticism. Thus, Marxist approach is based on the idea that it is necessary to equate different social classes, or in other words – to empower lower class. Working class is considered to be on the bottom of the society, while the authorities are referred to as those who control all the aspects of social life. Marxist criticism refuses from such a position. According to its principles, the control over economic, financial, and cultural life should first and foremost belong to working class. Viewers may observe characters of the play attempting to rebel against social realities.
Thus, social inequality is one of the most acute and challenging issues of the Victorian era. Toby Ragg, Todd’s apprentice, and Sweeney Todd himself may be seen as representatives of the lower class, while Judge Turnip represents the ruling class. It is possible to see that lower class is morally opposed to the higher class. Thus, Judge Turnip represents evil. It is difficult to say that Toby represents goodness, though partially he does. This is just an innocent child who becomes a victim of circumstances.
Toby is too weak to resist the flow of life. His biography may illustrate this. This is an orphan, hired by Mrs. Lovett .after his previous employer was murdered by Todd. Very soon the boy becomes deeply attached to Mrs. Lovett – he accepts her as his surrogate mother. Todd’s business is flourishing, which means that Toby is not hungry and has a roof over his head. A lot of children of the Victorian era could be envious with him. However, his life changes soon. Todd and Mrs. Lovett start hunting for him as he discovers their secret.