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Victorian Period 1832-1900.

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Presentation on theme: "Victorian Period 1832-1900."— Presentation transcript:

1 Victorian Period


3 Victorian Period Queen Victoria took throne in 1837 (at 18)
Long reign, died in 1901 (at 82) England became wealthiest nation British Empire expansion “The sun never sets on England.” Queen-empress over 200 million people living outside Great Britain India, North America, South Pacific, etc.


5 Victorian Period Time of Turbulent change
Continuation of the Romantic movement in a more subdued matter. Other major issues include science, women, poverty, immigration, labor unrest, reform Moving from primarily rural, agricultural society with landed aristocracy to urban industrial society with large-scale employers or capitalist By mid-nineteenth century, half of the English people lived in cities, and by the end of the century, the same was true of other European countries. At the beginning of the Nineteenth century there were scarcely two dozen cities in Europe with a population of 100,000, but by 1900 there were more than 150 cities of this size.

6 Victorian Period Social & economic changes expressed in gradual political reforms First Reform Bill in 1832 extended vote to all men who owned property worth 10 lbs Second Reform Act in 1867 gave the right to vote to working-class men (except agricultural workers)

7 Victorian Period Women for suffrage – did not succeed until 1918 (30 & over) Universal adult suffrage 1928 extended vote to women at age 21 Factory Acts – limited child & women labor State supported schools est. in 1870; compulsory in 1880; free in 1891 Literacy rate increased from 40% to 90% from


9 Victorian Period Intellectual Progress
Understanding of earth, its creatures & natural laws (geology, Darwin – theory of evolution) Industrialization of England depended on and supported science and technology.

10 Science Era of immense growth in scientific knowledge and technology – the steam engine, the factory, the train, the telegraph – immense advances in travel and communication. Source of immense conflict and differences of opinion Some see science leading to a technological utopia of peace and prosperity for all Others see it as leading to the downfall and even the annihilation of humankind. Continuing conflict between science and religion (Darwinism). “The Death of God.” Creates both opportunity and problems, immense wealth and unimaginable poverty


12 Victorian Period Materialism, secularism, vulgarity, and sheer waste that accompanied Victorian progress led some writers to wonder if their culture was really advancing by any measure. Trust in transcendental power gave way to uncertainty & spiritual doubt. Late Victorian writers turned to a pessimistic exploration of the human struggle against indifferent natural forces.

13 Laissez Faire Economics
French for “Allow to do.” Policy based of minimum of governmental interference in the economic affairs. An individual, pursuing his/her own desired ends, would achieve the best results for the society. Free Trade. Zero regulation on business. Adam Smith was influential proponent.

14 Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution may be defined as the application of power-driven machinery to manufacturing. Called revolution because the change was rapid Destroyed home/small scale industry, crafts, guilds, and peasant farmer Often skilled artisans found themselves degraded to routine process laborers as machines began to mass produce the products formerly made by hand.

15 Working Conditions Large supply of labor Long hours Low wages
Employers had no incentive to look out for the employees' safety or health.  If one worker was injured, he or she was easily replaced. Long hours Factory laborers endured sixteen hour work days Low wages

16 Child Labor Children were expected to contribute to the family's income because they had in agricultural economy. Children as young as five or six were sent to work in factories and mines. Children were placed under the supervision of an overseer rather than a parent. 

17 Worker’s Testimony: Matthew Crabtree was interviewed by Michael Sadler and his House of Commons Committee on 18th May, 1832. Question: At what age did you first go to work in a factory? Answer: Eight. Question: Will you state the hours of labour? Answer: From six in the morning to eight at night. Question: Will you state to this committee whether piecening is a very laborious employment for children? Answer: It is very laborious employment; pieceners [One who supplies rolls of wool to the slubbing machine in woolen mills] are continually running to and fro, and on their feet the whole day. It is commonly very difficult to keep up with the work. Question: State the condition of the children towards the latter part of the day. Answer: Towards the close of the day, when they come to be more fatigued, they cannot keep up very well and they are beaten to spur them on. Question: What were you beaten with? Answer: A strap.

18 Worker’s Testimony2: Hannah Brown
Question: How early did you begin to work in mills? Answer: At nine years old. Question: What hours did you work? Answer: I began at six o'clock, and worked till nine at night. Question: What time was allowed for your meals? Answer: No, none at all. Question: Has Mr. Ackroyd ever chastised you in any way? Answer: Yes; he has taken hold of my hair and my ear, and pulled me, and just given me a bit of a shock, more than once.

19 Living Conditions In factory towns, workers lived in hastily built tenements. lack of good brick no building codes the lack of machinery for public sanitation. factory owners' tendency to regard laborers as commodities and not as a group of human beings.

20 Labor Movement Poor living and working conditions lead to labor unrest, strikes and unions. 1869 Knights of Labor, first major labor movement. Police, the national guard and occasionally, the army support owners and work to break strikes. Often lead to violence.

21 The Suffrage Movement Questions addressed by Wollstonecraft become a major issue of public debate. Suffrage is only one of main issues discussed. Unequal rights for women argued on both religious and increasingly scientific grounds. This movement was paralleled in the United States.

22 Woman’s Movement Timeline
1821: Troy Female Seminary founded by Emma Willard-first school for girls to learn college level science and classical studies. 1833: Oberlin College-first coeducational school of higher learning. 1837: Mary Lyon founds first college for women. 1848: (July 19 and 20) First Women's Rights Convention held in Seneca Falls. Passage of the Married Woman’s Property Act in NY State. 1849: Elizabeth Blackwell receives the first medical degree for a woman. 1853: Antoinette Brown Blackwell-first woman ordained minister in a Protestant denomination.

23 Woman’s Movement Timeline, cont.
1855: Lucy Stone sets a trend among women by becoming the first women to keep her maiden name after marriage. The University of Iowa accepts women, becoming the first state school to do so. 1870: In March, for the first time, women serve jury duty in Wyoming Territory. 1879: Belva Lockwood is 1st woman lawyer allowed to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court. 1882: Married Woman's Property Act in Britain 1887: Married Woman's Property Act in US 1893: Colorado becomes first state to enfranchise women through a state amendment. 1916: On October 16, Margaret Sanger and Ethel Byrne open the first U.S. birth control clinic in New York, but it was shut down ten days later and the women were imprisoned. 1920: (August 26) 19th Amendment adopted!!! 1928: British women receive the right vote.

24 Victorian Period Paradox of progress
Victorian – synonym for prude; extreme repression; even furniture legs had to be concealed under heavy cloth not to be “suggestive” New ideas discussed & debated by large segment of society Voracious readers Intellectual growth, change and adjustment Extreme repression – terms “dark & white” meat used to avoid “breasts & thighs) Rules for etiquette very strict; manners, etc. (upper class) Progress associated with materialistic

25 Victorian Period 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” Women were not called “pregnant,” but said to be in “a delicate condition.” Women did not give birth; they had “blessed events.” Euphemisms softened the reality of “unpleasant” ideas. People arrested for distributing information about sexually transmitted diseases. Double standards for sexes: adulterous women (but not male counterparts) seen as “fallen.”

26 Victorian Period 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 with comedy 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.

27 Gentleman’s Code- Rules of Decorum for Victorian Men
"Do not press before a lady at a theater or a concert. Always yield to her, if practicable, your seat and place. Do no sit when she is standing, without offering her your place. Consult not only your own ease, but also the comfort of those around you.“-Martine's Handbook, 1866 "It is not deemed polite and respectful to smoke in the presence of ladies, even though they are amiable enough to permit it." -Martine's Handbook, 1866 "If you meet a lady of your acquaintance in the street, it is her part to notice you first, unless, indeed you are very intimate. The reason is, if you bow to a lady first, she may not choose to acknowledge you, and there is no remedy; but if she bow to you--you as a gentleman cannot cut her." -Hints on Etiquette, 1836 "A gentleman removes his hat when entering a room where there are ladies. When he meets a lady friend, he should raise his hat gracefully...“-Polite Society at Home and Abroad

28 Expected Table Manners
Eat Cheese with a fork, not a knife Ask a servant in a low tone for what you want Break your bread, do not cut it. Eat fruit with silver knives and forks If you prefer, take up asparagus with the fingers. Olives and artichokes are always so eaten If a course is set before you that you do not wish, do not touch it. It is not your business to reprove the waiter for improper conduct; that belongs to your host. A gentleman must help a lady whom he has escorted to the table, to all she wishes; but it is improper for him to offer to help other ladies who have escorts Use a napkin only for your mouth. Never use it for your nose, face or forehead. It is very rude to pick your teeth at the table. If it becomes necessary to do so, hold your napkin over your mouth. -Rules of Etiquette and Home Culture, 1886 "At a sign from the hostess, the ladies all rise from the table, and repairing to the drawing-room, leave the gentlemen to their own devices. But it is a healthy sign that the gentlemen soon follow them. In France the gentlemen and ladies all leave the dinner table together, as indeed they do here, at an informal or family dinner.“-Polite Society at Home and Abroad, 1891

29 Victorian Period Victorian writing reflects the dangers and benefits to rapid industrialization, while encouraging readers to examine closely their own understanding of the era’s progress.

30 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 1959 Born in Edinburgh
Educated in a Jesuit school, later rejects Christianity and becomes agnostic. Always defended the underdog Attended the University of Edinburgh and in 1885 became a doctor. He made two trips as a ship's surgeon, one to the Arctic and one to Africa—material for his adventure stories.

31 A Man of Science? As well as medicine, studied
Anthropology, the study of humankind and culture. Paleontology, the study of things long dead. Phrenology, the study of people's heads! Zoology, the study of animal life. Ardent spiritualist, and sought to bring spiritualism into the realm of the main stream sciences—often mocked for this.

32 Sherlock Holmes A prolific writer, who wrote in virtually every prose form; never quite happy with the fact that his fame rested primarily on his creation of Sherlock Holmes. Holmes's popularity took hold in 1891 with the appearance of the short story series "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" Sherlock Holmes often seen as an illustration of the scientific method of: observation, hypotheses, tests, conclusion.

33 Oscar Wilde ( ) Born in Dublin; father physician; mother writer (poetry/prominent figure in Dublin literary society) Excelled in classical literature (Trinity College) Scholarship to Magdalen College (Oxford) Famous for brilliant conversation & flamboyant manner of dress & behavior “Dandy” figure The figure added ,a moral texture; the character of the dandy was heavily autobiographical and often a stand-in for Wilde himself, a witty, overdressed, self-styled philosopher who speaks in epigrams and paradoxes, ridicules the cant and hypocrisy of society’s moral arbiters, and self-deprecatingly presents himself as trivial, shallow, and ineffectual. In fact, the dandy in these plays always proves to be deeply moral and essential to the happy resolution of the plot.

34 Oscar Wilde ( ) Student of “aesthetic movement” – which rejected older Victorian insistence on moral purposed of art Celebrated value of “art for art’s sake Settled in London Mocked Victorian notions about moral seriousness of great art Treated art as the “supreme reality” and treated life as “fiction”

35 Oscar Wilde ( ) The Importance of Being Earnest (produced 1895) most famous comedy Complicated plot turns upon fortunes and misfortunes of two young upper-class Englishmen: John Worthing and Algernon Moncrieff Each lives double life; creates another personality to escape tedious social/family obligations

36 Oscar Wilde ( ) Plot composed of events of the most improbable & trivial significance Real substance of play witty dialogue According to Wilde, trivial things should be treated seriously and serious things should be treated trivially. -Title based on satirical double meaning: “Ernest” is the name of fictitious character, also designates sincere aspiration

37 Oscar Wilde ( ) Making the “earnestness” of his Ernest the key to outrageous comedy, Wilde pokes fun at conventional seriousness Uses solemn moral language to frivolous and ridiculous action Wilde had ability to produce “spontaneous sparkling conversation and witty remarks.” Often topic of many literary circles.

38 Oscar Wilde ( ) The Importance of Being Earnest uses the following literary devices: Paradox: seems contradictory but presents truth Inverted logic: words/phrases turned upside down reversing our expectations Pun: play on words using word or phrase that has two meanings

39 Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Literary Devices continued
Epigram: brief, witty, cleverly-expressed statement Parody: humorous mocking imitation of literary work Satire: ridicules through humor Irony: something you don’t expect to happen Foreshadowing: creates suspense through hints to the ending

40 Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) The Comedic Ladder
Comedy of Ideas (high comedy) Characters argue about ideas like politics, religion, sex, marriage. They use wit, their clever language to mock their opponent in an argument. This is a subtle way to satirize people and institutions like political parties, governments, churches, war, and marriage.

41 Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Comedy of Manners (high comedy)
The plot focuses on amorous intrigues among the upper classes. The dialogue focuses on witty language. Clever speech, insults and “put-downs” are traded between characters. Society is often made up of cliques that are exclusive with certain groups as the in-crowd, other groups (the would-be-wits, desiring to be part of the witty crowd) and some (the witless) on the outside.

42 Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Farce (can be combination of high/low)
The plot is full of coincidences, mistimings, mistaken identities. Characters are puppets of fate – they are twins, born to the wrong class, unable to marry, too poor, too rich, have loss of identity because of birth or fate or accident, or are (sometimes) twins separated, unaware of their double.

43 Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Low Comedy
Subjects of the humor consists of dirty jokes, dirty gestures, sex, and elimination The extremes of humor range from exaggeration to understatement with a focus on the physical like long noses, cross eyes, humped back and deformities. The physical actions revolve around slapstick, pratfalls, loud noises, physical mishaps, collisions – all part of the humor of man encountering and uncooperative universe.

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