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Victorian Age

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    Victorian Age Victorian Age Presentation Transcript

    • Liceo Classico Statale “E. Montale” San Donà di Piave Nicoletta Cuzzolin a.s. 2002/2003 1
    • Never since the beginning of Time was there, that we hear or read of, so intensely self- conscious a Society. Our whole relations to the Universe and to our fellow-man have become an Inquiry, a Doubt. Thomas Carlyle, 1831 2
    • periods within the Victorian Age Victorian Literature Dickens’ London INDEX Victorian Compromise Victorian “-ISMS” 3
    • The four distinct periods within the Victorian Age 4
    • The Early Period (1830-48) the Reform Bill of 1832 extended the right to vote to all males owning property abolition in 1832 of an archaic electoral system eliminated the quot;rotten boroughsquot; economic theory of laissez-faire was practised producing unregulated working conditions, especially for children the repeal of the Corn Laws, high tariffs on imported grain, by Parliament in 1846 5
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    • The Mid-Victorian Period (1848-70) quot;The Age of Improvementquot; the opening of the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park in 1851 where a glass greenhouse, the Crystal Palace, was erected to display the exhibits of modern industry and science. the conflict between religion and science the quot;Oxford Movementquot; was a movement headed by John Henry Newman in the 1830s and 1840s to strengthen the Church of England Thomas Henry Huxley popularized the theories of Charles Darwin 8
    • Crystal Palace - The exhibition hall built in Hyde Park by Joseph Paxton for the Great Exhibition of 1851. The exhibition was the idea of Prince Albert, who conceived it to celebrate the Industrial Revolution. The Crystal Palace was moved to Sydenham, in south London, in 1854 and accidentally burned down in 1936 back 9
    • The Late Period (1870-1901) In 1873 and 1874 severe economic depressions occurred causing immigration to rise at an alarming rate in 1867 a second Reform Bill extended the right to vote to sections of the working class the development of trade unions increased labour's political power 10
    • The Nineties the Aesthetic movement the English were building railways and administering governments throughout the empire at Britain's outposts in India and Africa Back to index 11
    • The Diversity of Victorian Literature • variety in both style and in subject matter • Poets experimented with new or unusual metrical patterns, and the art of narrative poetry • As novelists broke from the puritan restraints, the Victorian novel emerged as one of the dominant forms of literature. Often these novelists confronted the same issues and employed similar styles as the poets and essayists; however, they did not share their preoccupation with humanity's relationship to God. Back to index 12
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    • The Pickwick Papers Clearing up all doubts (if any existed) of the disinterestedness of Mr. Jingle's character THERE are in London several old inns, once the head-quarters of celebrated coaches in the days when coaches performed their journeys in a graver and more solemn manner than they do in these times; but which have now degenerated into little more than the abiding and booking places of country waggons. The reader would look in vain for any of these ancient hostelries, among the Golden Crosses and Bull and Mouths, which rear their stately fronts in the improved streets of London. If he would light upon any of these old places, he must direct his steps to the obscurer quarters of the town; and there in some secluded nooks he will find several, still standing with a kind of gloomy sturdiness, amidst the modern innovations which surround them. 14
    • The Pickwick Papers (2) In the Borough especially, there still remain some half dozen old inns, which have preserved their external features unchanged, and which have escaped alike the rage for public improvement, and the encroachments of private speculation. Great, rambling, queer, old places they are, with galleries, and passages, and staircases, wide enough and antiquated enough to furnish materials for a hundred ghost stories, supposing we should ever be reduced to the lamentable necessity of inventing any, and that the world should exist long enough to exhaust the innumerable veracious legends connected with old London Bridge, and its adjacent neighbourhood on the Surrey side. 15
    • The Borough - Area south of London bridge in Southwark. The Marshalsea debtors' prison where Dickens' father was imprisoned was here. Amy Dorrit's father was also imprisoned at the Marshalsea (Little Dorrit). The old man at the Magpie and Stump tells of the Marshalsea and it was in the Borough that Pickwick meets Sam Weller and Pickwick and Wardle catch up with Jingle and Rachael after their mad dash to be married (Pickwick Papers). The King's Bench prison was also here, Mr Micawber was imprisoned for debt here (David Copperfield). Madiline Bray and her father lived in the Rules of the King's Bench where better off prisoners were kept (Nicholas Nickleby). back 16
    • The George is London's only surviving galleried coaching inn. It stands on the south side of the River Thames near London Bridge, for centuries this was the only bridge across the river. The George was rebuilt in 1676, after a devastating fire swept Southwark. It was one of many such inns in the area, perhaps the most famous being the Tabard, where Chaucer began his Canterbury Tales in 1388. 17
    • The Tabard too was rebuilt after the fire, but was demolished in the late 19th century, despite a public outcry. The George also narrowly avoided total destruction. Coaching inns declined as the railways advanced. The Great Northern Railway used the George as a depot and pulled down two of its fronts to build warehousing, leaving just the south face. It is now in the safe hands of the National Trust. The George is tucked away in a cobbled courtyard just off Borough High Street. The ground floor is divided into several connecting bars. There's a wealth of pretty lattice windows and oak beams. The Old Bar was the waiting room, for coachmen and passengers. The Middle Bar was the Coffee Room, a haunt of Charles Dickens. back 18
    • Hard Times (1) Let us strike the key-note, Coketown, before pursuing our tune. It was a town of red brick, or of brick that would have been red if the smoke and ashes bad allowed it; but, as matters stood, it was a town of unnatural red and black like the painted face of a savage. It was a town of machinery and tall chimneys, out of which interminable serpents of smoke trailed themselves for ever and ever, and never got uncoiled. It had a black canal in it, and a river that ran purple with ill- smelling dye, and vast piles of building full of windows where there was a rattling and a trembling all day long, and where the piston of the steam- engine worked monotonously up and down, like the head of an elephant in a state of melancholy madness. It contained several large streets all very like one another, and many small streets still more like one another, inhabited by people equally like one another, who all went in and out at the same hours, with the same sound upon the same pavements, to do the same work, and to whom every day was the same as yesterday and tomorrow, and every year the counterpart of the last and the next. 19
    • Hard Times (2) These attributes of Coketown were in the main inseparable from the work by which it was sustained; against them were to be set off, comforts of life which found their way all over the world, and elegancies of life which made, we will not ask how much of the fine lady, who could scarcely bear to hear the place mentioned. The rest of its features were voluntary, and they were these. You saw nothing in Coketown but what was severely workful. lf the members of a religious persuasion built a chapel there - as the members of eighteen religious persuasions had done - they made it a pious warehouse of red brick; with sometimes (but this only in highly ornamented examples) a bell in a bird-cage on the top of it. The solitary exception was the New Church; a stuccoed edifice with a square steeple over the door, terminating in four short pinnacles like florid wooden legs. All the public inscriptions in the town were painted alike, in severe characters of black and white. 20
    • Hard Times (3) The jail might have been the infirmary, the infirmary might have been the jail, the town-hall might have been either, or both, or anything else, for anything that appeared to the contrary in the graces of their construction. Fact, fact, fact, everywhere in the material aspect of the town; fact, fact, fact, everywhere in the immaterial. The M'Choakumchild school was all fact, and the school of design was all fact, and the relations between master and man were all fact, and everything was fact between the lying-in hospital and the cemetery, and what you couldn't state in figures, or show to be purchaseable in the cheapest market and saleable in the dearest, was not, and never should be, world without end. Amen. View images 21
    • Oliver Twist quot;Beyond Dockhead, in the borough of Southwark, stands Jacob's Island, surrounded by a muddy ditch, six or eight feet deep and fifteen or twenty feet wide when the tide is in. At such times, a stranger looking from one of the wooden bridges across this ditch will see the inhabitants on either side, lowering from their back doors and windows, buckets and pails in which to haul the water up. And when his eye is turned from these operations to the houses themselves his utmost astonishment wilt be excited by the scene before him. Crazy wooden galleries common to the backs of half a dozen houses, with holes from which to took at the slime beneath; windows broken and patched, with poles thrust out on which to dry the linen which is never there; rooms so small, so filthy, so confined that the air would seem too tainted even for the dirt and squalor which they shelter; wooden chambers thrust themselves out above the mud, and threatening to fall into it -as some have done; dirt-besmeared walls and decaying foundations; every repulsive lineament of poverty, every loathsome indication of filth, rot and garbage, all these ornament the banks of Folly22 ditch..quot;
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    • Back to index 26
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    • “Every age is in some sort an age of transition, but our own is characteristically and cardinally an epoch of transition in the very foundations of belief and conduct. . . . Religion, whatever destinies may be in store for it, is at least for the present hardly any longer an organic power. It is not that supreme, penetrating, controlling, decisive part of a man’s life, which it has been, and will be again. . . . The native hue of spiritual resolution is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of distracted, wavering, confused thought. The souls of men have become void. Into the void have entered in triumph the seven devils of Secularity.” -- John Morley, On Compromise (1874) 31
    • The Victorian Compromise Age of extremes and contradictions, under a veneer of balance and respectability The middle class imposed their values even on the working class Evils were concealed under a veil of hypocrisy – fundamental insensibility 32
    • PROSPERITY – WELFARE POVERTY PROGRESS UGLINESS PRIVILEGE EXPLOITATION B STRICT MORALITY INJUSTICE A C ETHICAL CONFORMISM CORRUPTION K PHILANTHROPY SELF-PROFIT PUBLIC BEHAVIOUR PRIVATE LIFE HUMANITARIANISM CRUELTY 33
    • THE VICTORIAN DILEMMA: SCIENCE VS. FAITH Back to index 34
    • “-ISMS” IN THE 19TH CENTURY 35
    • IDEALISM: a metaphysical theory about the nature of reality. There is no access to reality apart from what the mind can provide us with, i.e. its contents, ideas in Plato and Descartes. Kant (transcendental idealism): perception provides us only with representation, appearances are representations only, not things in themselves. Spatial-temporal features are empirically real but transcendentally ideal. Hegel (absolute idealism):A universal self-consciousness is reality (notion), not individual but interpersonal. History is the idea coming true; the individual is only a moment in that process. Positivism and idealism share the idea that history has a sense: the situation always improves. They believe that truth can be achieved 36
    • POSITIVISM: Comte: the founder of positivism, which excluded revealed religion and metaphysics, and replaced them with sociological ethics.It studies the method of specific sciences - trust in science. Positive is: What is real What is useful What is certain What is precise What is organizing (vs. destroying) 37
    • INDIVIDUALISM: refusal of any system because existence cannot be completed by thought. Schopenhauer: God, free will and the immortality of the soul are human illusions. Nietzsche: humanity cannot reach the truth. “God is dead”. The new man has to resume the impulsiveness of Dionisus. (in contrast with Apollo who personifies reason). Annihilation: you cannot have absolute values. 38
    • CHARTISM: movement asking for social reforms (charters) LIBERALISM: John Stuart Mill: Laissez-faire”, no rules on the market and on the relationship between manufacturers and labour, free competition, men are free from any kind of pressure. 39
    • HISTORICAL MATERIALISM: in Marx and Engels the fundamental thing in human history is the productive powers of society and their tendency to grow. They determine the nature of human labouring activity. Working conditions determine culture – the relationship between manufacturers and labour determines ideology. 40
    • UTILITARIANISM: “the greatest happiness of the greatest number”, extension of liberty and representation to all citizens. EVOLUTIONISM: theory of natural selection and of evolution – favourable physical variations in a species determine its survival. Back to index 41