The Impact Of Industrialization On Literary Characters

2135 words - 9 pages

The Industrial Revolution was a period of time in which Great Britain saw advancements in technology, agriculture, and transportation. These changes heavily influenced the country economically and socially. The creation of the unskilled factory labor worker emerged and a movement began from rural to urban areas. With an increase in wages from factory work, the population of the country increased as well. Overall Britain was becoming smaller during this time period. The Industrial Revolution did not solely bring positive outcomes. The interactions humans once held despite social status were gradually deteriorating as values began to shift. The industrialization taking place in Britain had a great presence in current and up and coming literature. Through the years authors such as Mary Shelley, Oscar Wilde, and D.H. Lawrence created characters whose morals were altered due to the evils of industrialization despite their social classes. During the course of the eras in literature, characters began to have a shift in morals which caused the relationships held with other characters to fall apart. The presence of industrialization and its troubles amongst the range of classes is present in Frankenstein, The Importance of Being Earnest, and Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
When Mary Shelley began creating her first novel, she was well aware of the studies being conducted in order to animate the dead. She knew the experiments being performed were only achievable because of advancements made in science by industrialization and knew they were simply impossible before her time. In Frankenstein, Shelley presents Victor Frankenstein, a scientist who becomes obsessed with pushing the boundaries of his study further no matter the cost. Victor wanted to be the first in his field of study to successfully create life. He states “I was surprised that among so many men of a genius, who had directed their inquiries towards the same science, that I alone should be reserved to discover so astonishing a secret” ( Shelley 30). Victor was already planning to reach this discovery alone and gain instant recognition for it. He never intended to share the glory that came with his discovery thus limiting socializing with those around him. Victor’s only goal was to achieve the creation of life and he believed that this goal was destined for him. Focusing on creating another being caused him to isolate himself for long periods of times meaning the only thing on his mind of every hour of every day was to be the first. The thought of others scientist in the community looking up to him and holding information over them was what fueled Victor to continue his research. Victor knew sharing or withholding information was the ultimate sense of power and perhaps a manner to move up socially as well. Industrialism made Victor focus on the aftermath of his research rather than seeing his research as contributing factor to scientific community.
The monster that Victor created was a product of...

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