The Victorian Age in Literature Analytical Essay by Shaad

The Victorian Age in Literature
This paper offers a critical overview of Victorian literature in order to highlight its revolutionary character in the context of its age.
# 116485 | 4,684 words | 20 sources | MLA | 2008 | BD
Published by on Oct 05, 2009 in History (British) , Literature (English) , History (European - 19th century)

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In this article, the writer provides a detailed and critical study of the Victorian Age through its literature. The writer maintains that the literature of this period not only reflects the age but also defines it in many ways. From a social perspective the age is characterized by utilitarianism, but the essay shows how literature stands opposed to the social tendencies sparked by the industrial revolution and imperialism. The writer discusses that Victorian literature is revolutionary, and the effects of this revolution are profound and far-reaching.

Early Period (1830-1848)
Middle Period (1848-1870)
Late Period (1870-1901)

From the Paper:

"Charles Dickens is another rebel in the mould of Carlyle, though having a completely different meter. He had neither the education nor the profound depth of Carlyle. He wrote popular fiction for the masses, and thereby acquired a voice completely his own. His genius is in creating characters larger than life, and yet the concerns he voices are never far from those of his readership. Like Carlyle he knows at first sight who are the villains, and who are the heroes, and depicts them with all the relish he can muster. It was hugely entertaining to his readership, and at the same time is a searing document to the times. His earlier novels are lighter in tone; he becomes progressively somber and bleak, in step with the march of industrialism. Hard Times is from his middle period, and is one of the few occasions when he tried his hand at being profound, with the result that this is not considered one of his best. However Coketown is a haunting depiction of Industrial Britain, poverty ridden, smeared, darkened and poisoned by the effluence of the factories."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Arnold, Matthew. Culture and Anarchy and Other Writings. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.1993.
  • Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. London: Pan Classics, 1979.
  • Browning, Robert. The Major Works. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005.
  • Carlyle, Thomas. Chartism. Past and Present. Boston: Adamant Media Corporation.
  • Carlyle, Thomas. Critical and Miscellaneous Essays: The Works of Thomas Carlyle, Part One. Whitefish, MT: Kessinger Publishing, 2004.

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