In industrialization : “It was a town of red

In this paper, the star attraction is to focus on how
Victorian novels and poetry are influenced by the contradicted ideologies
existed in the Victorian society. As the literature is the imitation of real
life 1,  all most all of the Victorian
novels and poetry can be proved to be fruitless if we keep these conflictual
ideologies aloof from consideration. Because of this, the ideological conflicts
of Victorian literature are worth thinking, talking and writing about. As a
matter of fact, in the 19th-century Victorian period, the
rapid growth of industrialization,  the theory
of evolution and the idea of communism bring a notable change both in
livelihood and philosophy of Victorian people and this change is pervasive in
Victorian novels and poetry. In addition, industrialization that causes
segregations and instabilities in Victorian society creating a gap between the working
class and the owner class, slums, child labor, corruption, and criminality, it makes the Victorian people materialistic.
Industrialization, in this way, leaves a negative impact on the thoughts of the
Victorian people and of course on the Victorian writers.2   As
Charles Dickens in his novel  states the
problem caused by the rapid growth of industrialization :


“It was a town of red brick or
of brick that would have been red if the smoke and ashes had 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 forever and ever and never
got uncoiled. It had a black canal 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”.3

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Likely, in 1859, at the early Victorian time, the theory
of evolution coined by Charles Darwin is published in the book titled “On the Origen
of Species by Means of Natural Selection (1859).This theory questions the religious
faith and scientific knowledge of the Victorian people and puts them into the
world of confusions and uncertainty. And therefore this Victorian crisis of
faith or the ideological conflict of doubt and faith appears clearly in the poetry of Matthew Arnold, Robert Browning and
Alfred Tennyson, prominent poets of Victorian-era
while Matthew Arnold seems to be pessimistic, Robert Browning to be optimistic
and Alfred Tennyson is partly  optimistic
and partly not in their poetry with regard to 
the conflict between science and religion. Again the concept of communism
and industrial capitalism give birth to many conflictual ideologies in
Victorian literature. In a like manner, the conflict in the question of moral
values and materialistic views appear to be of paramount important in Victorian literature because of
the loss of religious faith. Victorian people become morally degraded and so
most of themes and the characters of the
poetry and novels respectively seem to be materialistic. Sometimes we find the
poets and novelists are confused themselves in their ideologies. For instance Matthew Arnold in his poetry concerns
with Victorian crisis of faith and
morality. This is why, he finds the sea
waves Melancholic and withdrawing in this poem “Dover beach” but he explicates
his opposite contradicted ideas saying  that ” ….. it is time to Hellenized and
to praise knowing  for we have Hebraised too much and  have over- valued doing. 4 So it is an acknowledged
fact that Matthew Arnold himself is confused with his ideologies. In the same manner,
the contradiction between moral values and materialistic approaches of
Victorian people 
may be considered to be the main theme of Victorian novels. Because  this
( Victorian age ) was an area that was full of prudery, morality and sexual repression. 5 This conflict, in
fact, is the main force of the Victorian novels. Charles Dickens ” regarded as
many the greatest novelist of the torian
era 6 skillfully shows the conflict between moral values and materialistic
attitude. Most of the Victorian characters of Charles dickens’s  novels – Miss Havisham,
Estella, Compayson , Matthew pocket ,Herbert
pocket, Cousin Raymond, Georgiana and Pip also in Great Expectations ,Master
William Bilfil, Squire Western, Lord Fellamar and Lady Bellastan in Tom Jones,
Thomas Gradgrind, Josiah Bounderby and James Harthouse in Hard Times are
materialistic in thoughts and actions that bring contradiction with the
thoughts of the rest of  the characters
who have moral values. Again the characters of Makepeace Thacker’s novels Becky
Sharp and Georg Osborne  in Vanity fair, Catherine Earnshaw, Hindley
Earnshaw ,Joseph, Frances Earnshaw ,Mrs Linton and even Heathcliff s are materialistic
in thoughts and conducts.The purpose of the paper is also to expose the contradiction between freedom  and
restriction in the light of sex. So it can be finally noted that conflictual
ideologies prevalent in Victorian  novels and poetry are ,in fact, worth talking about .