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The Victorian Era 1832-1901.

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Presentation on theme: "The Victorian Era 1832-1901."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Victorian Era

2 Learning Objectives To identify the major authors and literary contributors of the Victorian period. To recognize the major literary characteristics of the period. To understand how the politics of a time period can influence its literature. To identify major vocabulary needed to analyze the literature of the period.

3 Only One Queen… Victoria
63 year reign (longest British reign and longest ever female reign) Thank her for… Christmas Trees Brides in White Valentine’s Day Greeting Cards Model wife, mother, and queen Weird Stuff: The Kensington System Married her cousin Albert (she asked him)

4 Early Victorian Era: 1832-1848 A Time of Troubles
1830 – Reform Parliament, Opening of first public railroad – Liverpool and Manchester Railway 1832 – The First Reform Bill – Right to vote to landowners worth £10 or more 1837 – Victoria becomes Queen of England

5 Early Victorian Era: 1832-1848 A Time of Troubles
1840s – Depression, widespread unemployment, bad environmental conditions caused by manufacturing and mining. Rioting. 1842 – The Mine Act prevents women and children from working in mines. 1844 – Factory Acts – Limits workers under age 18 to only 12 hours of work per day Life During the Victorian Period: Due to the Industrial Revolution, the living conditions of the poor were devastating. Children as young as 5 years old were sent to work and forced to beg and the contrasts between the social classes in the cities were significant. On one hand, there were the new buildings and the increasing development of the economy, while in the other hand, the streets were horribly overcrowded with unemployed people. The population increased during the 19th century in London from 1 million in 1800 to 6 million a century later. London didn’t have the ability to fulfill the basic needs of all its citizens and this gave way to poor sanitation and frustration amongst the lower classes.

6 Early Victorian Era: 1832-1848 A Time of Troubles
1845 – English crop failures / potato blight begins in Ireland 1846 – Corn Laws Repealed (takes away high tariffs on imported food) 1848 – Cholera Epidemic

7 Mid-Victorian Era: 1848-1870 Prosperity & Religious Controversy
1850 – Roman Catholic hierarchy restored in England 1850s – Debates between the Utilitarians w/ Jeremy Bentham and Conservatives w/ Samuel Taylor Coleridge argue the necessity of religion in the modern world. Heyday of Dickens.

8 Mid-Victorian Era: 1848-1870 Prosperity & Religious Controversy
1851 – The Great Exhibition and the Crystal Palace (1st World’s Fair) 1854 – Crimean War 1857 – Indian comes under British rule 1859 – Darwin publishes Origin of the Species The Great Exhibition was the first great world's fair, a showcase of technology and manufacturing from countries all over the world. The Exhibition was held in Hyde Park, and the centerpiece was Joseph Paxton's revolutionary iron and glass hall, dubbed the "Crystal Palace". The Crimean War was fought to gain European power between Russia, and an alliance of France, Britain, the Kingdom of Sardinia and the Ottoman Empire (Turkey). The Military incompetence of Britain inspired Alfred Tennyson to write “The Charge of the Light Brigade.” Charles Darwin: The theory of evolution contained within the work shook many of the ideas the Victorians had about themselves and their place in the world. Although it took a long time to be widely accepted, it would dramatically change subsequent thought and literature.

9 Mid-Victorian Era: 1848-1870 Prosperity & Religious Controversy
1861 – Death of Prince Albert – Victoria refuses to go out in public for many years, wears black ever after. 1867 – The Second Reform Bill gives working class men the right to vote, strengthening the Labor Party.

10 Late Victorian Era: 1870-1901 Decay of Values & the Gay Nineties
Late 1800s – Bismarck’s Germany confronts England w/ powerful threats to navy and industry 1870 – Elementary Education Act – basic education became free for children under 10 1871 – Darwin publishes The Descent of Man 1873 – massive emigration due to economic depression

11 Late Victorian Era: 1870-1901 Decay of Values & the Gay Nineties
1874 – Geologists extend the history of the earth back millions of years, contradicting the human timeline provided by the Bible. 1875 – England buys shares in the Suez Canal in Egypt 1880s – The “Irish Question” – Home Rule for Ireland

12 Late Victorian Era: 1870-1901 Decay of Values & the Gay Nineties
1882 – Electric Lighting introduced to London streets 1888 – Jack the Ripper terrorizes London 1890s – The “Gay Nineties” describe the open affairs/partying of Prince Edward, Victoria’s son. 1901 – Queen Victoria dies

13 Morality and Home Decorum & Authority – Victorians saw themselves progressing morally & intellectually Powerful middle-class obsessed with “gentility, decorum” = prudery/Victorianism Censorship of writers: no mention of “sex, birth, or death” People arrested for distributing information about sexually transmitted diseases. Double standards for sexes: adulterous women (but not male counterparts) seen as “fallen.”

14 Morality and Home Decorum – powerful ideas about authority
Victorian private lives – autocratic father figure Women – subject to male authority Middle-class women expected to marry & make home a “refuge” for husband Women had few occupations open to them Unmarried women often portrayed comically by male writers Excesses, cruelties, and hypocrisies of all these repressions were obvious to Victorians. But the codes and barriers fo decorum changed slowly because they were part of the ideology of progress. Prudery and social order were intended to control licentiousness that the Victorians associated with political revolutions of the 18th Century and the social corruption of the regency of George IV.

15 Empire and Imperialism
England reaches highest point of development as world power Colonies by 1890 cover ¼ of earth’s surface England the world foremost imperial power Celebration of superior qualities of English people “The sun never sets on the British Empire”

16 Religious Outlooks Utilitarians – test all institutions in light of human reason to determine whether they were useful – believed religious belief was outmoded superstition. Headed by Jeremy Bentham/John Stuart Mill (typical of the Enlightenment) Conservatives – If “reason” seemed to demonstrate the irrelevance of religion, then reason must be an inadequate mode of arriving at the truth. Headed by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (typical Romantic). Evangelicals – branch of Church of England responsible for emancipation of all slaves in British Empire (as early as 1833). Advocates of strict puritan code of morality. Sobriety, hard work, joyless abstention from worldly pleasures, respectability (Typically Victorian)

17 Characteristics of the Literature
Serialized novels Detective Fiction Science Fiction Children’s Books/Fiction Attention to Social Problems Industrial Revolution Theory of Evolution Women’s Rights Child Labor Attention to Expanding Empire/Imperialism Taking up “The White Man’s Burden” Christian Missionary concerns in colonized countries. Attention psychology

18 Common Themes The growth of the English democracy.
The education of the masses. The rise of the feminist movements. Growing class tensions, as well as the troubles of the newly industrialized worker. The progress of industrial enterprise and the consequent rise of a materialistic philosophy. Pressures towards political and social reform. Questioning of Faith and Truth (due to scientific discoveries like the theory of evolution by Darwin).

19 What’s going on in America?
Transcendentalism: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Bronson Alcott Romanticism: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, James Fennimore Cooper, Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman Realism/Local Color: Kate Chopin, Charlotte Gilman, Hart Crane, Mark Twain, Henry James Naturalism: Ambrose Bierce, Jack London, Stephen Crane

20 Terms to Know Realism: attempts to describe human behavior and surroundings or to represent figures and objects exactly as they act or appear in life. Examples: George Eliot (Middlemarch) and Thomas Hardy (Tess of the d’Urbervilles)

21 Terms to Know Pre-Raphaelite: a group of 19th-century English painters, poets, and critics who reacted against Victorian materialism and the neoclassical conventions of academic art by producing earnest, quasi-religious works. Example: “The Goblin Market” by Christina Rossetti Artwork of her brother, Gabriel Rossetti

22 Terms to Know Social Satire: Satire is literature that uses humor or sarcasm to ridicule human vices or follies. Dickens was interested in social reform, and passages of the novel often reflect his feelings toward people and institutions in nineteenth-century English society. Ex. Vanity Fair - Thackery

23 Terms to Know Dickensian: the grotesque—a type of literature in which characters’ outstanding physical or personality traits are exaggerated for comic or dramatic effect. This style has come to be known as Dickensian, and this term is today used to refer to any work that has characteristics of Dickens’s writing.

24 Terms to Know Dramatic Monologue – poetry that presents a speaker who unwittingly provides psychological insight through his words to the audience. Ex. “My Last Duchess” or “Porphyria’s Lover” by Robert Browning

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