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Victorianism (1832 -1900) Victorianism (1832 -1900)

The Period in Time (1832 -1900) l l l l l 1836: The Alamo The Period in Time (1832 -1900) l l l l l 1836: The Alamo 1837: Morse invents telegraph 1843: Typewriter invented 1845: Beginning of Potato Famine 1848: Communist Manifesto published 1854: Matthew Perry forces “opening” of Japan, Big Ben built 1859: Darwin publishes The Origin of the Species 1861: U. S. Civil War begins 1861: First paper money used in U. S. l l l l 1870: Surgeon discovers that sterilizing instruments before surgery helps prevent disease 1875: Light bulb invented 1876: Telephone invented 1882: Married Woman’s Property act 1888: Murders by Jack the Ripper, Kodak camera invented 1890: Vincent Van Gogh commits suicide 1893: New Zealand is first country to give national woman’s suffrage 1895: X-Ray invented in Germany

Industrialization l Factories change British lifestyle tremendously – Urbanization: movement to cities l l Industrialization l Factories change British lifestyle tremendously – Urbanization: movement to cities l l Victoria’s reign (1837 -1901): London population grows from 2 million 6. 5 million First industrialized country painful transformation! – – Children as young as five working 16 hour days Cholera, vermin Bleak House’s Jo Debtor’s Prison, Workhouses

Middle Class Victorians l l Queen Victoria and Albert offered an example of prudent Middle Class Victorians l l Queen Victoria and Albert offered an example of prudent middleclass values During period of uncertainty and change—and startlingly growing communities—manners and presentation became important – – Strict social customs to give appearance/illusion of propriety, safety Victorians are concerned with self-fashioning, particularly through their consumerism l l Parlor as performance Concerned with distinguishing self from poor while kindly condescending to help them.

Victorian Women l l In the wake of urbanization and perceived corruption, the home—“women’s Victorian Women l l In the wake of urbanization and perceived corruption, the home—“women’s sphere”— was seen as a sanctuary. The ideal woman was an “angel in the house” – – – Angel: morally upright, attractive, passive, selfless House: domestic Think: Biddy or Lucie Manette

The British Empire l The British Empire reached its height during Victoria’s reign – The British Empire l The British Empire reached its height during Victoria’s reign – l By 1890: ¼ people in world were “subjects” of Great Britain, ¼ of land was in empire Ethnocentricity: English people as “the greatest and most highly civilized people the world ever saw. ” – “Take up the White Man’s burden… To wait in heavy harness, / On fluttered folk and wild--… Half devil and half child. ”

Victorianism: An Age of Contradictions l Industrialization – – Lower classes suffer horribly New, Victorianism: An Age of Contradictions l Industrialization – – Lower classes suffer horribly New, powerful Middle class emerges l l “Progress” – Technology moving forward, making better l – l “Victorians”: Code of manners and morals, materialism Causes problems: urbanization, “fog” Bringing “progress” to other cultures through imperialism is implicitly racist, ethnocentric, oppressive “Age of Improvement” – Self-righteous cultivation of white, English, middle-class values at home and abroad

Victorian Writers l Victorian writers attempt to negotiate the optimism of Victorianism with the Victorian Writers l Victorian writers attempt to negotiate the optimism of Victorianism with the crushing social realities of their time. – – Industrialization, urban poor De Jure and De facto inferior treatment of women Problematic elements of colonialism New, frightening theories and discoveries l l l Marx Darwin Geology

Victorian Novel l “Age of the Novel” – l Serial publication Realism: attempt to Victorian Novel l “Age of the Novel” – l Serial publication Realism: attempt to present an accurate portrayal of reality; details – Often concerned with social justice l – Disparity between values and reality Like manners of Victorians often a way of understanding role of individual in sprawling, multi -faceted society

Victorian Poetry l In response to popularity of novel, poetry often attempted to experiment Victorian Poetry l In response to popularity of novel, poetry often attempted to experiment in storytelling – Long narrative poems l – Dramatic monologues: a lyric poem where voice of speaker is monologues ironically distinct from poet l – l Alfred Lord Tennyson Robert Browning Picturesque poems that use visual details Often trying to represent psychology and perspectives in different ways