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A Dip Into The Future: Looking Forward To The Qualities Of “Locksley Hall”

801 words - 4 pages

The Victorian period evolved around the industrialization of the country, ruled by Queen Victoria, and the changes within the class system. Writers were incited to record these events and much of the literature describes the atmosphere of the age. Locksley Hall, written early in the period by Lord Alfred Tennyson (Murfin & Ray, 416), exhibits the defining qualities throughout the poem. While other authors may have accentuated the bad characteristics of the Victorian period, Tennyson has created a narrator that is critically reflecting on how this has impaired the lower class. The spirit of the poem is typical of the era it was written in.
A major point of the time was the shift in the ...view middle of the document...

However, the narrator declares that money does not have an impact on personality, and that “as the husband is, the wife is;” (line 47). This “shallow hearted” (line 39) woman is probably a representation of many women of the period, who chose “social respectability” (Abrams, 338) over “love for evermore” (line 74), as is suggested in the footnotes on the first page. Tennyson is saying that having money or being in the upper class does not mean you are kind or happy. These are qualities that people look for in a life partner, but, in this case, the woman has missed out on the chance to have this for someone that could provide for her financially, but will show her no kindness. The husband in the poem conforms to the typical Victorian characterization and the woman resembles a typical female of the era.
The soldier, unlike the husband and wife, is more sensitive and honest which is not associated with the time. Baldick describes the Victorian people as “hypocritically sentimental” (352), yet this story seems to be a genuine emotional experience at an emotional place and time. The entire poem is written as a sentiment to what has happened at Locksley Hall with his lover and also to his homeland in the Orient (line 154). These reactions are what created this poem. As well, the “self- satisfied” (Baldick, 352) description of these people is conflicting with the incompleteness that the narrator...

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