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Benjamin Disraeli: An Analytical Comparison Of The Victorian Age Intellectual With Contemporaries Charles Dickens And Thomas Carlyle

996 words - 4 pages

Benjamin Disraeli was a politically engaged man. He was a Member of Parliament, Chancellor of the Exchequer, which is relatively like the United States' Secretary of the Treasury, and was twice the Prime Minister of Great Britain. Unlike many politicos of his day, however, Disraeli was heavily involved in issues of the common man of Victorian England, such as expanding suffrage to all taxpaying men, improving health facilities and practices, housing, trade unions, but most importantly, humanizing the working and living conditions of the lower-class in England. He addressed these issues with not only governmental involvement; Disraeli was a professional writer as well. He wrote both romantically and realistically, and molded public opinion with his novels Cybil and Conigsby as much as he did with any legislation. The philosophies of this man are multifaceted, and his political experience combined with his influential literature give him no precise contemporary. However, there were many intellectuals of his time with whom he concurred and deterred about prevailing matters within Victorian England.There is the aspect of Disraeli's actual writing style that could be considered superficially insignificant, but is, in fact, a quite important feature of each of their outlooks. Benjamin Disraeli was, as afore mentioned, quite a successful novelist prior to his beginning as a Member of Parliament. Like fellow Victorian author Charles Dickens, who made himself famous by stating the horrific conditions of working class Victorian England in novels of historical fiction such as Nicholas Nickelby and Oliver Twist, Disraeli chose to use novels as the expression of his views on the need for government reforms for improved working and living conditions for the working classes. He believed that telling stories, in which the reader could see, understand, and interpret the appalling conditions for themselves, his the best way to show the true nature of the unfortunate lives of those in the lower class. Essayist and Historian Thomas Carlyle, on the other hand, wholeheartedly disagreed with Dickens and Disraeli about the issue of which writing technique is the most effective. As the nature of his writing style displays for itself, Carlyle believed that deep analytical writing is the key to explaining the nature of horrid settings such as Victorian England. In a series of lectures, "On Heroes and Hero Worship: The Hero as Man of Letters", Carlyle does exalt classical books. He calls them "the most miraculous of all things man has devised." While embellishing in the significance of the art of writing, Carlyle indirectly condemns the writings of Disraeli's and Dickens' sort by praising old writings, and by stating vague, implicit insults such as "storytelling books are precious, great: but what have they become?"Disraeli and Carlyle, however, did not always bluntly disagree. While Carlyle's extremity over the issue of what kind of government is the most effective for...

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