Review of the Victorian Literature: The Typical Features of This Epoch

This is one of the major epochs of the English literature development. It has its outstanding characteristics and specific features as any other era. Students learn this topic at their literature classes at school and college and have to read dozens of novels written during this period. Some of them appreciate their style and plots, but others may find these things complicated for understanding. In addition, they even feel confused while getting such an assignment and trying to tackle it. These young people make hundreds of mistakes and have to fix them later. Sure, all of them would like to prevent such issues rather than deal with the unpleasant consequences. That is why we demonstrate the best ideas and examples on how to create a paper on this theme. Just take into account these points, and you will provide the success for your writing.

The Importance of the Class Hierarchy

There are no doubts that one of the most important specialties of the Victorian era is the class hierarchy. In a few words, the society was divided into the upper and working class. There was also the middle layer between them which had been growing quickly in the 19th century because of the industrialization. The theme of the inequality between community members was greatly illustrated in many novels of those times. Authors often used the topic of the marriage of people who were related to the different social classes. For example, there were poor lords who had no money but a title and beautiful girls who were daughters of traders or ordinary workers. Writers tried to develop this motif effectively and always remembered about the class difference while creating their masterpieces.

The Woman Question

In the Victorian age, more female writers appeared, and it surely changed the system of characters and themes illustrated in novels. For example, Bronte sisters worked on their masterpieces in those years. Thus, such wonderful stories about governesses, such as “Jane Air” or “The Turn of the Screw” appeared. On the other side, at the end of this period, novels about the new type of female character, which was more self-dependent and strong, were written. This tendency was caused by the improving of women rights in the whole country. More laws which let them control their lives and better living conditions were established. For example, Married Women’s Property Acts were set by the Parliament.

Trend for the Series of Novels

There was a kind of tendency and fashion to publish novels in parts. For example, it could be an extremely popular three-volume edition. Lots of such series appeared in the Victorian age, but the majority never reached a huge success and public’s appreciation. Sometimes stories were published during a month or even longer, so readers could read it regularly as a kind of magazine. It was a pretty good trend for libraries targeted on lower social classes. Thus, people who cannot afford to buy all three parts of the story became visitors of such establishments. On the other side, it was very profitable for publishers who ran novels for a year or even more. Hence, a number of readers bought parts of a certain story regularly and brought a huge income to these people.

Science vs. Religion

There were lots of debates on the topic of science and religion. People started to criticize Darwin’s theory; others found something trustworthy in his position. Anyway, no one could find the exact answer if the world developed according to the evolutional hypothesis or in the way which was illustrated in the Bible. That is why many novels have some features of these discussions and present a certain position related to this problem. Even Tennyson, who was one of the major Victorian poets and wrote some things for the royal family, took part in these debates and put down a few poems which can be connected with the issue of the science and religion confrontation via his descriptions of nature.

Nostalgic Mood

One more significant characteristic of the Victorian literature is nostalgic motifs which appeared in this age. They were present everywhere from short poems to the great novels which included several volumes. For example, Tennyson recalled the epoch of King Arthur in his poem “Idylls of the King” where he described golden days of Camelot and showed the nostalgia because the time of such a brilliant ruler had passed. In addition, the first historical novels appeared in this age. The well-known for every student “Ivanhoe” by Walter Scott was created and gave the basis for many other good works targeted on the past motifs and outstanding events happened several centuries ago.

All in all, there are several important characteristics of the Victorian age which had a great impact on the literature of this epoch. Thus, the traditional novels became completely different from the stories of the previous century. Other themes, motifs, and symbols were illustrated there. Authors started writing about the contemporary issues which disturbed them in the moment of working on a literary piece. At the same time, they turned back to the old epochs which had already been the part of history in those days. Hopefully, these ideas were useful for you and you got some necessary information thanks to this example.

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