The characteristics of the Victorian Age
Question: Survey the prominent literary trends of the Victorian Age
Or, mention the characteristics of the Victorian Age.
Victorian period (1832-1901) is one of the remarkable periods of English literature. It is named according to Queen Victoria (1837-1901). It is said that the Victorian period is the second renaissance of England. We get sundry characteristics of this era such as the conflict between science and religion, imperialism, industrialization, materialistic outlooking, adventure, presence of women in all sectors, the domination of novels but fluency of poetry, and so on. Let me discuss it.
The conflict between science and religion
First of all, we can indicate the main feature of this era that is the conflict between science and religion. In this period, science was expanded so much. All men of this era were moving away from religion. At that time Charles Robert Darwin (1809-1882) wrote a scientific book, “On the Origin of Species” (1859). Darwin suggested that men are originated from monkeys. This kind of theory and scientific inventions moved away from the faith of people from religion to other sides.
Imperialism was expanded in the Victorian age. Imperialism means a policy of extending a country’s power and influence through colonization. Asia and Africa were ruled by the force of imperialism. We get its description in “Heart of Darkness” (1899) by Joseph Conrad (1857-1924). In this novel, the dark sides of imperialism have been described. So, this is a feature of the Victorian period.
Industrialization is a feature of the Victorian period. In this era, the industry was expanded by the hand of scientific inventions. Many factories were rapidly created in this age. Victorian society was attracted by industrialization. Industrialization created social classes like lower class, middle class, and upper class in society. All the figures of the Victorian-era express their opinion about industrialization. Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) pointed out it in “Locksley Hall” (1842). Charles Dickens (1812-1870) pointed out it in “Oliver Twist” (1839), “Hard Times” (1854), “A Christmas Carol” (1843).
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Materialistic outlooking is a feature of the Victorian period. In this period, all men were groaning towards collecting wealth. We get its description in contemporary writer’s writing. Alfred, Lord Tennyson pointed out it in “Locksley Hall”. George Eliot (1819-1880) Pointed out it in “Silas Marner” (1861). Charles Dickens Pointed out it in “Great Expectations” (1861).
Adventure is a feature of the Victorian period. Adventure means an unusual, exciting, or daring experience. In this period, all men loved adventure. We get its description in Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s poem, “Ulysses” (1842), Matthew Arnold’s (1822-1888) poem, “The Scholar Gypsy” (1853), Lewis Caroll’s (1832-1898) novel, “Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland” (1865) and so on.
Contribution of women in all sectors
Women’s position in all sectors is a feature of the Victorian period. In this period, women were active in literature. They wrote some prominent novels, essays, poems, etc like male figures. According to critics, Charles Dickens is the king of the Victorian novels. But a female novelist surpasses the popularity of Charles Dickens. Her name is Ellen Wood (1814-1887) and her famous work is “East Lynn” (1861). She was a very popular figure because of her sensational novel. It means melodramatic representation.
Domination of novels
Domination of novels but fluency of poetry is also a feature of the Victorian period. This age is dominated by novelists but poets are not less than novelists. According to critics, the Victorian age is the age of novels.
To sum up, we can say that the Victorian age is decorated with some vital figures with some distinct characteristics. Victorian age developed a history of English literature.