Monday, March 14, 2011

Assignment    Paper No:-9
Topic:-Literary Tendencies of the Victorian age
Student’s Name:-Italiya.Kinjal.B.
Roll No:-10
Sumitted to:-Ruchiramam
Dept of English
Bhavnagar  Uni.
                     The Victorian era is generally agreed to stretch through the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901). It was a tremendously exciting period when many artistic styles, literary schools, as well as, social, political and religious movements flourished. It was a time of prosperity, broad imperial expansion, and great political reform. It was also a time, which today we associate with "prudishness" and "repression". Without a doubt, it was an extraordinarily complex age that has sometimes been called the Second English Renaissance. It is, however, also the beginning of Modern Times.
During the Victorian Age, great economic, social, and political changes occurred in Britain. The British Empire reached its height and covered about a quarter of the Earth. Industry and trade expanded rapidly, and railways and canals crisscrossed the country.
                      Science and technology made great advances. The size of the middle class grew enormously. By the 1850's, more and more people were getting an education. In addition, the government introduced democratic reforms, such as the right to vote for an increasing number of people. Many important events took place during Victoria's reign. Britain fought in the Opium War (1839-1842) in China and acquired the island of Hong Kong. Britain also fought in the Crimean War (1853-1856) against Russia and in the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) in order to protect its interest.InSoutherAfrica.
Writer of the time
Tennyson, Browning, Dickens, Thackeray, George Eliot, Carlyle, Macaulay, Arnold, Ruskin.

                                                     Before the accession of Queen Victoria the 'industrial revolution,' the vast development of manufacturing made possible in the latter part of the eighteenth century by the introduction of coal and the steam engine, had rendered England the richest nation in the world, and the movement continued with steadily accelerating momentum throughout the period. Hand in hand with it went the increase of population from less than thirteen millions in England in 1825 to nearly three times as many at the end of the period. The introduction of the steam railway and the steamship, at the beginning of the period, in place of the lumbering stagecoach and the sailing vessel, broke up the old stagnant and stationary habits of life and increased the amount of travel at least a thousand times. The discovery of the electric telegraph in 1844 brought almost every important part of Europe, and eventually of the world, nearer to every town dweller than the nearest county had been in the eighteenth century; and the development of the modern newspaper out of the few feeble sheets of 1825 (dailies and weeklies in London, only weeklies elsewhere), carried full accounts of the doings of the whole world, in place of long-delayed fragmentary rumors, to every door within a few hours.                          
                      Political and social progress, though less astonishing, was substantial. In 1830 England, nominally a monarchy was in reality a plutocracy of about a hundred thousand men--landed nobles, gentry, and wealthy merchants--whose privileges dated back to fifteenth century conditions. The first Reform Bill, of 1832, forced on Parliament by popular pressure, extended the right of voting to men of the 'middle class,' and the subsequent bills of 1867 and 1885 made it universal for men. Laborers in factories and mines and on farms were largely in a state of virtual though not nominal slavery, living, many of them, in unspeakable moral and physical conditions. Little by little improvement came, partly by the passage of laws, partly by the growth of trades-unions. The substitution in the middle of the century of free-trade for protection through the passage of the 'Corn-Laws' afforded much relief by lowering the price of food. Socialism, taking shape as a definite movement in the middle of the century, became one to be reckoned with before its close, though the majority of the more well-to-do classes failed to understand even then the growing necessity for far-reaching economic and social changes. Humanitarian consciousness, however, gained greatly during the period. The middle and upper classes awoke to some extent to their duty to the poor, and sympathetic benevolent effort, both organized and informal, increased very largely in amount and intelligence. Popular education, too, which in 1830 had no connection with the State and was in every respect very incomplete, was developed and finally made compulsory as regards the rudiments.
                            Still more permanently significant, perhaps, was the transformation of the former conceptions of the nature and meaning of the world and life, through the discoveries of science. Geology and astronomy now gradually compelled all thinking people to realize the unthinkable duration of the cosmic processes and the comparative littleness of our earth in the vast extent of the universe. Absolutely revolutionary for almost all lines if thought was the gradual adoption by almost all thinkers of the theory of Evolution, which, partly formulated by Lamarck early in the century, received definite statement in 1859 in Charles Darwin's 'Origin of Species.' The great modification in the externals of religious belief thus brought about was confirmed also by the growth of the science of historical criticism.
                             This movement of religious change was met in its early stages by the very interesting reactionary 'Oxford' or 'Tractarianism' Movement, which asserted the supreme authority of the Church and its traditional doctrines. The most important figure in this movement, who connects it definitely with literature, was John Henry Newman (1801-90), author of the hymn 'Lead, Kindly Light,' a man of winning personality and great literary skill. For fifteen years, as vicar of the Oxford University Church, Newman was a great spiritual force in the English communion, but the series of 'Tracts for the Times' to which he largely contributed, ending in 1841 in the famous Tract 90, tell the story of his gradual progress toward Rome. Thereafter as an avowed Roman Catholic and head of a monastic establishment Newman showed himself a formidable controversialist, especially in a literary encounter with the clergyman-novelist Charles Kingsley which led to Newman's famous 'Apologia pro Vita Sue' (Apology for My Life).  The most important literature of the whole period falls under the three heads of essays, poetry, and prose fiction, which we may best consider in that order.
                         The literature of the Victorian Age is remarkable for the variety of prose; it produced two great poets, Tennyson and Browning. The literature of this age reflected its interests and problems and therefore, it came very close to the daily life.
                       The literary tendency of this age is quite ethical in spirit. And therefore all the writers, poets, essayists, and novelists of this age seemed to be moral teachers at heart. Science and discovery also influenced the age which presented truth as the sole object of human endeavor. The age is often considered as materialistic, but the literature is an attack on materialism.
Tennyson, like Chaucer, he was a national poet. Tennyson’s concept of faith and immortality is well expressed in In Memoriam
Browning, the optimism of his poetry, his creed as it expressed in Rabbi Ben Ezra is worth reading. If you read Fra Lippo Lippi or Andrea Del Sarto,
Dickens’s experiences in life are reflected in his novels. David Copperfield is in this respect shares some autobiographical elements. Tale of Two Cities
you can read “Henry Esmond” to know Thackeray’s realism. He deals with satire in his writing and has got great skills of critical writer.
George Eliot
if you read Silas Marner, you will learn that George Eliot’s ethical teaching is at the centre in this novel. Her moral teaching is always convincing.
Carlyle is often called prophet and censor. “Heroes and Hero Worship” to know his idea of history. Sartor Resartus reflects his some of experiences of his own life.
Macaulay’s historical knowledge serves in writing his literary essays.
the elements of Victorian life are reflected in Arnold’s poetry. There is coldness and sadness in his verses. Sohrab and Rustum,
Ruskin is often considered as “the prophet of modern society”. His first two lectures in Sesame and Lilies give his views on wealth, books, education, labor, woman’s sphere, and human society.

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