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Victorian Age LITERATURE LITERATURE. The novel There was a communion of interests and opinions between the writers and their readers. The Victorians were.

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Presentation on theme: "Victorian Age LITERATURE LITERATURE. The novel There was a communion of interests and opinions between the writers and their readers. The Victorians were."— Presentation transcript:

1 Victorian Age LITERATURE LITERATURE

2 The novel There was a communion of interests and opinions between the writers and their readers. The Victorians were avid consumers of literature. They borrowed books from circulating libraries and read various periodicals. The Victorian Age Only Connect... New Directions

3 Novels made their first appearance in instalments on the pages of periodicals. The voice of the omniscient narrator provided a comment on the plot and erected a rigid barrier between «right» and «wrong», light and darkness. The Victorian Age Only Connect... New Directions The novel was the best way to convey a picture of life lived in a given society and to question it.

4 The setting chosen by most Victorian novelists was the town. It was realistic Victorian writers concentrated on the creation of characters and achieved a deeper analysis of their inner life. The Victorian Age Only Connect... New Directions

5 Victorian Novel Novels of manners William Tackeray Charles Dickens Humanitarian novels Charles Dickens Social problem novel Social problem novel Elisabeth Gaskel Fantastic novels still linked to Romantic and Gothic tradition Bronte sisters Fantastic novels still linked to Romantic and Gothic tradition Bronte sisters Nonsense Lewis Carrol Nonsense Lewis Carrol Adventure novels R. Louis Stevenson Adventure novels R. Louis Stevenson Bildungsroman Bildungsroman Exotic Novels Rudyard Kipling Exotic Novels Rudyard Kipling Crime Novel Oscar Wilde Crime Novel Oscar Wilde Conan Doyle Conan Doyle

6 Victorian Literature is often divided into 3 stages: Early -Victorians Early -Victorians Mid-Victorians Mid-Victorians Late-Victorians : last 20 years of Victorian Age and Edwardian Age Late-Victorians : last 20 years of Victorian Age and Edwardian Age

7 Early Victorian writers The Novelists identify themselves with their age The Novelists identify themselves with their age they felt to have a moral and social responsibility they felt to have a moral and social responsibility They analysed their society paying attention not to offend the moral code of the period They analysed their society paying attention not to offend the moral code of the period Their purpose was didactic : they saw in the novel a way to correct the vices and weakness of the age. Their purpose was didactic : they saw in the novel a way to correct the vices and weakness of the age.

8 Novels’ main characteristics: Published in instalments they were cheaper and also read by the lower classes Published in instalments they were cheaper and also read by the lower classes episodic structure episodic structure excessive length excessive length obliged to maintain the interest so the reader went on buying the periodicals obliged to maintain the interest so the reader went on buying the periodicals too many details, coincidence and incidents as the writer could modify the story according to the necessity and success too many details, coincidence and incidents as the writer could modify the story according to the necessity and success the development of SENSATIONAL to catch the attention, to create suspense and expectation the development of SENSATIONAL to catch the attention, to create suspense and expectation

9 Wilkie Collins Make them laugh Make them laugh Make them cry Make them cry Make them wait Make them wait

10 keep in mind that the readers were mainly from the middle class and they wanted to read just to entertain themselves and their family keep in mind that the readers were mainly from the middle class and they wanted to read just to entertain themselves and their family

11 Mid-Victorian the Bronte sisters the Bronte sisters George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans ) George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans ) Elisabeth Gaskel Elisabeth Gaskel

12 Late-Victorian or Anti-Victorian Reaction the sense of dissatisfaction and rebellion prevailed the sense of dissatisfaction and rebellion prevailed a new sort of realism which rejected any sentimental and romantic attitude; it focused on the clash between man and environment, his dreams and their fulfilment, illusion and reality a new sort of realism which rejected any sentimental and romantic attitude; it focused on the clash between man and environment, his dreams and their fulfilment, illusion and reality the writers were critical and attacked the superficial optimism and self confidence of the age, a more pessimistic view the writers were critical and attacked the superficial optimism and self confidence of the age, a more pessimistic view

13 THE CHARACTERS The Individuals are increasingly portrayed as alienated from the world in which they live and powerless to alter their destiny The Individuals are increasingly portrayed as alienated from the world in which they live and powerless to alter their destiny The characters’ interior world, their dreams, illusions and despair, becomes more important than the alienating and mechanical external reality The characters’ interior world, their dreams, illusions and despair, becomes more important than the alienating and mechanical external reality

14 Anti-Victorian Reaction literary movements Realism: reproduction of the reality without idealizing it ( as the Romantics did) Realism: reproduction of the reality without idealizing it ( as the Romantics did) Naturalism: total objectivity and scientific approach to Literature Naturalism: total objectivity and scientific approach to Literature Aestheticism: Art for Art’s sake Aestheticism: Art for Art’s sake Decadentism: Art is superior to nature, the finest beauty is that of dying and decaying things Decadentism: Art is superior to nature, the finest beauty is that of dying and decaying things

15 Realistic Novel Different from the mild realism of the first phase Different from the mild realism of the first phase In France Honore de Balzac, Stendhal In France Honore de Balzac, Stendhal who analysed the human beings in their psychological and moral complexity

16 Naturalistic novels It started from POSITIVISM, in France, with its faith in reason and science Zolà describes the Urban setting in a scientific way

17 Naturalism:Thomas Hardy George Eliot Mary Anne Evans Theories of Darwin Theories of Darwin Man conditioned by heredity,environment, circumstances Man conditioned by heredity,environment, circumstances Deprived of his free will Deprived of his free will At the mercy of an indifferent fate At the mercy of an indifferent fate No longer responsible for his actions because these were conditioned by forces beyond his control No longer responsible for his actions because these were conditioned by forces beyond his control to be realistic they focused on the worst aspects of life to be realistic they focused on the worst aspects of life The writer had to be objective as a scientist The writer had to be objective as a scientist

18 Italy Verismo developed with Verga and his pessimistic view, describing the world of peasants. Like Thomas Hardy, he thought that it wasn’t possible to change the destiny of people, there is no social function in art, literature couldn’t change the reality but only to reproduce it.

19 Aesthetic movement and Decadentism England : Oscar Wilde England : Oscar Wilde France: Balzac with France: Balzac with “ Les Flour du Mal” “ Les Flour du Mal” Italy : D’Annunzio and Pascoli Italy : D’Annunzio and Pascoli


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