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The Reflection Of Victorian Britain In Literature

4298 words - 17 pages

The Reflection of Victorian Britain in Literature

Queen Victoria reigned in Britain between 1937-1901. During this time
in British history a large degree of change occurred. The writers of
the time often reflected these substantial changes in their literature
focusing on the interests of society.

I have studied a variety of literature from the Victorian period and
have chosen to write about three particular pieces; 'The Signalman' by
Charles Dickens (a short story), the novel 'Frankenstein' by Mary
Shelley and another short story called 'The Tell Tale Heart' by Edgar
Allen Poe.

At the point when these stories were written, there were a wide range
of issues touching society. However, for the benefit of this essay I
am only going to focus on three of these; the role of God, the
increasing advances in science and technology, the supernatural and
insanity.

The point which I am going to focus on first is about the role God
played in many people's lives and how this is reflected in the
literature of the Victorian period.

In 'Frankenstein' Mary Shelley's point of view about the advances
occurring in the progress of medicine and technology can be seen. She
also explains the dangerous issues connected with man trying to copy
the role of God.

The central characters in 'Frankenstein' are Dr Frankenstein and his
creation, the monster. Dr Frankenstein tells the story.

At the beginning of 'Frankenstein', Dr Frankenstein becomes over
confident with new advantageous technology. He intends to make the
'perfect human' in order to save lives and becomes somewhat obsessed
with this idea. He surgically attaches many different body parts
together from deceased people. He believes from his previous research
that sending a lightning bolt through these grimly attached pieces may
result in his creation coming to life. However Dr Frankenstein wasn't
prepared for the result he achieved, `It's unearthly ugliness rendered
it almost too horrible for human eyes`. Without giving the monster a
chance, Dr Frankenstein flees, abandoning his creation, leaving it to
fend for itself. When the monster goes out into society, people attack
him with knives and dogs, they won't give him a chance either.
Underneath his ugly exterior features was a `Soul glowing with love
and humanity`.

The monster is forced to take refuge in the mountains nearby because
he is scared of society. `What hope can I gather from your
fellow-creatures, who owe me nothing? They spurn and hate me`. The
monster has committed no evil; `The desert mountains and dreary
glaciers are my refuge. I have wandered here many days; the caves of
ice, which I only do not fear are a dwelling to me, and the only one
which man does not grudge. The monster lives a solitary life until he
meets a blind person, who obviously can't judge him on his looks but
purely on his personality, of which is `Benevolent and good`. The
monster found some love, something he had been...

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