Victorian Age Essay

910 words - 4 pages

Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote “The Cry of the Children” to expose the readers to the hardships of the children during the development of industrialism in England. It was mandatory that these children work in factories and mines for long hours and in horrible working conditions. Browning wrote this poem to uncover the appalling working conditions under which these children were compelled to live and die. This piece of literature is an intricate description of the children’s reflection, hope, and prayer as well as the plea of an outsider to the public to revise the children’s lives. Elizabeth Barrett Browning was able to show in her poem, “The Cry of the Children”, the poor ...view middle of the document...

A lot of the children preferred death to life, “Alas, alas, the children! they are seeking Death in life, as best to have…” (1125). Not only were the children working in awful conditions, they were being deprived of their right to an education. By being forced to work, Browning shows the readers how uneducated these children were because the only two words they knew how to say for a prayer were “Our Father” (1127).
Secondly, Browning depicted several factors that portrayed the horrible working conditions of the children. Children as young as six years old were forced to work for hours on end in the factories and mines with minimal breaks, and were given little to no pay. “They have never seen sunshine” (1127), because they were up long before the sun rose and home after it set, as a result of being forced to work deep in the dark of the mines. Browning stressed the long hours that the children were forced to work and how the children were losing their lives. Child Labor in Factories says, “Large, heavy, and dangerous equipment was very common for children to be using or working near. Many accidents occurred, injuring or killing children on the job”. No child should have to grow up too quickly but these children were being taught, “the grief of man” (1127), from their challenging and disheartening experiences.
Thirdly, the Industrial Revolution inspired Browning to write “The Cry of the Children”. According to Wikipedia, “The Industrial Revolution was a period in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries when major changes in agricultural, manufacturing, mining, and transportation had a profound effect on the socioeconomic and cultural conditions in Britain”. Daily life was influenced in many ways...

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