Victorian Period’s Influences on Prose
To fully understand the true nature of Victorian period’s prose, one should recognize that at this period men were expected to act like a true gentlemen, women as pure ladies, and sex were considered as taboo. They have firm religious faith, the the number of poor people was sublime. There was a wide gap between people with affluence and those who did not. But even though the society was shaped that way at that time, the scales was totally tipped to the extreme side when it came to having an affair. It was considered as scandalous for women to have an affair, but not with men.
Thus, shaped in that way, it was not a strange thing that Victorian prose writers were unforgettable people, carrying on their names and their works until today.When talking about Victorian period prose writers, one could not help but to think about Charles Robert Darwin, Samuel Butler and Lewis Caroll.
Victorian Period’s Prose Writers
- Charles Lamb
- He did not stand out much, and prefer to live a life as a low-profile person.
- He had a charming way in writing his works.
- He idolized Shakespeare, thus in one of his works, he simplified Shakespeare works (with some being kept).
- His works are Essays of Elia and Tales of Shakespeare.
- Wiliam Hazlitt
- He was an essayist and a critic.
- He had such bad temper, thus his subjective judgements influenced his works.
- Personally, on contrary to Charles Lamb, he hated Shakespeare.
- His works are Characters of Shakespeare’s Plays and Lectures on the English Poets.
- Charles Robert Darwin
- One of the most biggest influence in Victorian period.
- He was the first man to introduce the theory of evolution, leading him to receive praises from scientists and hatred from the Church.
- His statements on humankind’s evolutions were as the follows:
- Mankind is a product from slow biological evolution.
- All species are descendants from primitive forms of life.
- Humans and animals have some degree of similarities between them (particularly their body system and biological habits).
- Reproduction is a fundamental importance in a species’ period of life.
- One species can survive through the natural selection (survival is the fittest, the strong ones eat the weaker ones to live on their species).
- He also popularized mutation, an error in cell’s division.
- His works are The Origins of Species and The Decent of Man.
- Charles Ludwidge Dodgson / Lewis Caroll
- He lived his life as a mathematics teacher, but ironically, he was known more as a writer.
- He popularized the use of literary nonsense, where the writer plas with conventions of language and rules of logic and reason via sensical / non-sensical elements (in short, he used many words which contained different meaning than the original one).
- His famous works are Adventures of Alice in Wonderland, and Through the Looking Glass.
- Matthew Arnold
- He appreciated 18th century and classic works.
- He is most known for his work Essays in Criticism and Culture and Anarchy.
- Samuel Butler
- He wrote satirical novels, and his focus being the narrow mindset created during the Victorian period.
- He is most known for his work Erewhon.
- It was a name of a strange country founded by a shepherd named Higgs.
- Sick people are treated as criminals (locked in a prison) and criminals as sick people (bedridden and given medicine).
- They also did not use machines, as they stated that it has dangerous potential to humankind.