david copperfield book pdf
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VICTORIAN ERA : AN INTRODUCTION
In the history of English literature the Victorian Age (1837-1901) refers to the period of about 64 years of queen Victoria’s reign. She ascended to the throne in 1837 and passed away in 1901.
But in literary history, 1832, is the year of a great reform. The Victorian Age is an age of great and rare progress and success in English literature. This age was such that writers, poets as well as novelists could not escape its impact. Almost unavoidable so that Dickens can be called a typical Victorian novelist. Search for Balance
The Reform Act of 1832, laid the foundation of political democracy in Great Britain, so the year 1832, is considered to be the beginning of a new Era in English society and literature. After 1832, changes of different kinds, took place one after another so quickly in the British society that its best men of letters, made a sincere search for balance – between the old and new values of life and faith.
The Reform Act of 1832, transferred political powers from the upper to lower middle classes. The result was a great rise of the middle | Points to Remember classes in education, politics and 1. Search for Balance. literature, but no British citizen | 2. Victorian’s attitude towards whether a lord or a commoner, a rich Sex and Women.
3. Victorian’s love for Nation. man or a poor man wanted to destroy
4. Compromise between the motherland by dangerous means.
Science and Religion. So there was a search for balance
5. Disagreement with Bible. between the opposing forces in every walk of life. Victorian’s Attitude towards Sex and Women
The Victorian age was the age of prudery, hypocrisy and spirit of compromise in the treatment of love, sex and marriage. The superiority of male over female, was prevalent in that age. In this respect, remarks, Alfred Tennyson
“Man for the field and woman for the hearth, Man for the sword and for the needle she, Man with the head and woman with the heart, Man to command and woman to obey….”
In the Victorian age, the proper sphere for woman was within the four walls of the house, and any contact with the outside world, wag supposed to corrupt and spoil them. Their sole business was to look after the comforts of their men folk. The summum bonum of a woman was marriage, the discharge of domestic duties and the enjoyment of married love. The Victorian Society and Literature highlighted the importance and sanctity of the institution of marriage. The female virtues of docility and domesticity were praised and admired. Victorian’s Love for Nation
It was an age of love for nation. Every Victorian was proud of his queen, i.e, Queen Victoria, and his country England. England was prospering and growing richer and richer day by day. The Victorian’s attributed all the prosperity of their glorious and dominant Queen Victoria. The Victorian National Pride, is reflected in the following lines
“There is no land like England, Wherever the light of day be, There are no hearts like English hearts,
Such hearts of Oak as they.” Compromise between Science and Religion
Before the Victorian Age, the rise of science weakened religious faith and caused doubts, anxieties and uncertainties. The Victorian Pre-authority and Pre-stability approach received a rude shock by the progress of new science. There was general loss of faith and rise of scepticism. The Victorians wanted a compromise between faith and science. The Victorian Age does not bring science into day to day of every citizen. A compromise between reason and faith, science and religion stamps a new era. Disagreement with Bible
Man had lost his belief in God, Nature as well as in Religion. The materialistic view of the universe repudiated any faith in a benevolent creator. Man felt himself nothing but an orphan. Charles Darwin’s celebrated Theory of Evolution and Origin of Species contradicted the account of man’s origin as given in The Bible. The result of Darwin’s theory, was tremendous and far-reaching on the Victorian mind. Implicit faith in traditional Christianity was shaken. Scepticism gripped people. Doubt and interrogation replaced blind belief. david copperfield book pdf