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Victorian Era Essay

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❶Andrew Carnegie- The Gilded Age. The argument that runs throughout the poem is that the religious authorities are more concerned with appearances than expressing deep religious convictions.

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Girls were worse off than boys, since many people believed that domestic skills and basic literacy were all they needed to learn. What explains the sluggish pace of reform? The rise of industrial capitalism created a huge demand for cheap labor, which children certainly were.

Responding to this boom, Victorian economists and politicians embraced a laissez-faire approach which involved keeping state interference to a minimum. The Innocent Ideal Nevertheless, as the century wore on, more and more people began to accept the idea that childhood should be a protected period of education and enjoyment.

However slow education reform was in coming, it did come: At the same time, there was an explosion of books, magazines, toys, and games aimed at entertaining children. Nesbit painted a vivid picture of the middle-class nursery as a hotbed of hobbies: Women were also praised for embodying these qualities, and together with children they were urged to inhabit a separate sphere: Consuming Childhood Ironically, though, even as the Victorians represented children as opposed by nature to the materialistic world of trade and profit, the figure of the child was commodified and put on display as never before.

When Cherry Ripe was featured as a color centerfold in a Christmas annual, the magazine quickly sold , copies. Kate Greenaway also took advantage of the increased public appetite for images of childhood; her watercolors of children playing appeared not just in her wildly popular books but on tea towels, wallpaper, stationary, soaps, and clothes. Actual young people were paraded before the public as well. New presentation furniture like the bassinet and the perambulator allowed infants to be displayed to an admiring world.

Child actors appeared on stage in record numbers, performing in pantomimes, ballets, operettas, straight dramas, minstrel shows, music halls, and circus acts. By the s, Drury Lane Theatre was hiring children per pantomime. Child prodigies like Jean Davenport and Lydia Howard astonished audiences by playing multiple roles in the same evening, while numerous companies routinely ran all-child productions. The Cult of the Child As children became more visible on the stage, the question naturally arose: Considerable controversy arose over this issue in the s.

Educational activists like Millicent Garrett Fawcett insisted that children under ten should be banned from full-time theatre work as they had been from factories and workshops. Theatre people and other artists, including Carroll and the poet Ernest Dowson, strongly disagreed. Acting was not a labor but an art, they maintained, and children benefited from and enjoyed doing it. Some commentators have suggested that the child gradually replaced God as an object of worship.

He was not alone; eminent Victorians like John Ruskin and the Archbishop of Canterbury also wooed young girls, and child prostitution was an accepted if deplored fact of London life. Strange Inconsistencies To our eyes, the Victorians seem very inconsistent in terms of their attitudes toward children. Child-worshippers who waxed rhapsodic about the perfect purity of children simultaneously eroticized them. These contradictory impulses of cruelty and concern informed the actions of individual Victorians.

Stead provides a perfect example. In , he launched a campaign to raise awareness about child prostitution and prod the government to raise the age of consent. But his method of pursuing these admirable goals landed him in jail.

To prove that virgins were being sold on the street in record numbers, he abducted a thirteen-year-old girl without telling her parents what he planned to do with her. After subjecting the unwitting girl to a medical exam to prove her purity, he drugged her, pretended to accost her, and sent her off to Paris.

This bizarre event encapsulates some of the conflicting discourses circulating around the Victorian child. Recommended reading Boone, Troy. Youth of Darkest England: The Image of Childhood: The Individual and Society: A Study of the Theme in English Literature. The Children of the Poor: Representations of Childhood Since the Seventeenth Century.

Davidoff, Leonore and Catherine Hall. Men and Women of the English Middle Class, U of Chicago P, The History and Crisis of Ideal Childhood. Thames and Hudson, The Victorian Country Child. The Victorian Town Child. It is necessary, he says, to deal with the emergence of Romanticism in its historical context. Abram and others, Manfred the subject of Manfred was an obsession with the Romantics amounts to the colonization of the Christian model of subjectivity, which centers around loss and alienation.

The lost unity between subject and object may be recaptured in a lyrical moment, in incest, ND so on. In this sense, Marx, Wagner, and Freud might serve as models of romanticism.

All three authors describe a fall from a primal unity or moment through some kind of trauma. Karol] 3 Romanticism stresses the private individual and his solipsistic I. Isolated imagination as the solution to massive social problems.

They are fighting fire with oil. Shelley cannot sing like the skylark, etc. The essence of Romantic art is failure, and the Romantics themselves know it. John Milton, Wordsmith and others' model for poetry, is a prime source of such "anxiety.

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More Essays: Victorian England. England was involved in many conflicts during the 17th century which ended in Napoleon's defeat at Waterloo in , in which France was defeated. Now England was entering into an era of relative peace, political and social stability which was called the Victorian Period.

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