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THE VICTORIAN NOVEL Fioretti Luca classe 5^ A a. s. 2010/11.

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Presentation on theme: "THE VICTORIAN NOVEL Fioretti Luca classe 5^ A a. s. 2010/11."— Presentation transcript:

1 THE VICTORIAN NOVEL Fioretti Luca classe 5^ A a. s. 2010/11

2 THE VICTORIAN AGE 1837-1901: Reign of Queen Victoria Technological innovation (telephone, printing…) Colonial expansion (India and Africa) Britain’s superior status: strongest country in the world Industrialisation Great productivity Born of the working class Social transformations Exploitation of women and children Poverty and richness

3 THE VICTORIAN NOVEL MAIN THEMES: the clash between classes; poverty; industrial system of production; the straight for democracy; the growth of town; education; children MAIN WRITERS: C. Dickens; W.M. Thackeray; The Bronte Sisters; E.C. Gaskell SETTING: industrial cities which were anonymous, without identities and masses were created by caricatures CHARACTERS: 1. Villains who were caricatures of evil 2. Virtuous men who become victims PLOT: long, many works were serialized NARRATOR: third person omniscient narrator Happy end with a moral lesson FEATURES: Realism from 18 th century narratives of Richardson, De Foe, Fielding. Realism was useful to the equilibrium between PATHOS and GROTESQUE. Exaggeration of the tones and emotions.

4 PATHOS Pathos is used in the Victorian Novel referring to the description of the victim of the novel. The narrator wants to evoke a feeling of piety and sympathetic sorrow to a character who generally belong to the poorest part of society.

5 GROTESQUE Grotesque is used in the Victorian literature referring to a character. It consists into the physical deformation of people, humorous strategies of description in order to ridicule rich people. The effect that comes out is that the reader piqued by the positive side of the character, so he goes on reading to find out the darker side of the character.




9 OLIVER TWIST Summary: Oliver is an orphan who lives in a workhouse, in order to escape his ill-treatment and starvation he moves to London. In London he knows a thief called Fagin who exploits children to steal to the rich. Oliver is arrested because of his suspicion of stealing to a gentleman. After some more adventures the novel closes with an happy end. Extract’s summary: The children are hungry for three months. A child confesses that he might happen to eat the boy who slept next him because he is too hungry. So children decided to choose somebody who would ask for some more food. Oliver was chosen. During the dinner he asked for some more gruel but the master reacted in a bad way; it was decided that the child will be hung. Themes: the poverty caused by the Industrial Revolution during the Victorian Age in addition of the exploitation of children in the workhouses. Setting: Workhouse’s dining hall. Narrator: 3rd person omniscient narrator: the reader can not form a different opinion from the narrator’s. Characters: Oliver Twist, the children, the master and his assistants, Mr Bumble and Mr Limbkins Characterization’s techniques - children, use of adjectives, verbs and Pathos - The master: Grotesque and pathetic way of describing

10 NICHOLAS NICKLEBY Summary: Nicholas Nickleby is a young man from country who comes to London to get help from his father’s brother Ralph. But an hostility between the two men comes out. He succeeds to find a job in a business firm and se falls in love. The novel ends with the marriage of Nicholas and his sister to their partners. Extract’s summary: The extract reports Nicholas’s first teaching day. The scene starts during breakfast in Dotheboys Hall which is a school in Yorkshire. At first it is described the different kind of food that students eat instead teacher’s food. Later the lesson starts and it is shown the bad way of teaching during the Victorian Period, the institution of school is criticizes. Themes: The living conditions and teaching methods in the educational institutions of the Victorian Age referring to the poor people. Setting: The classroom of Dotheboys School Time: breakfast time, in the morning. Narrator: 3rd person omniscient narrator Characters: Mr Squeers, servant, the children, Mrs Squeers and Nicholas Nickleby. Characterization: Mr Squeers is introduced by his social status (married man, husband); servant is presented by his mood (hungry); Mrs Squeers is presented thank to her actions; children are presented with the 3rd personal plural pronoun (they) to underline their universality in representing poor people and in addition they are presented with Pathos; N. Nickleby is presented by his reactions in front of the scene (children’s the porridge and teaching method) Narrative techniques: telling and showing techniques. The firs one is used in describing the scene, the second one is used when the narrator decides to show to the reader the way of teaching: it is reported the textual dialog of characters.

11 HARD TIMES Summary: A rich merchant, Thomas Gradgrind, has brought up his children (Tom and Louisa) according to Utilitarianism and Rationalism. His daughter has to marry Mr Bounderby who is a rich banker. Louisa does not love him and she leaves their home. Finally Mr Gradgrind understands that the principles of his life are not perfect. Themes: Industrialization and its ills; example of the man who created his fortune according to the dehumanising industrial system of the Victorian Age. Setting: Industrial city of Coketown (an imaginary industrial city) Narrator: 3rd person omniscient intrusive narrator Characters: Mr Gradgrind and Mr Bounderby Characterization: Mr Bounderby is presented by his physical appearance, his role in society and his temperament. He is also stereotyped because thanks to the expression “He was a rich man” the narrator puts to him the role of villain. It is also used the technique of Grotesque and a pathetic description of characters.

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