What was the society like in Victorian England and how was that shown in Oliver Twist?
More specificallly, what were the hopes and fears of society in Victorian England and how were these hopes and fears reflected within Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens?
Its a tricky question, I can think of themes throughout the society but am not sure about what hopes and fears they had at the time. (which is what I need)
Would the move away from religion to science be one?
Please provide rerfences to the text if possible!
1 Answer | Add Yours
Hello! : )
An interesting question. Yes, well, the 'move' or shift/evolution from religion towards science was one aspect but religion and religiosity also flourished you know, in Victorian England. I suppose that would come under 'contradictions' in this society/era.
I think 'hopes' and 'fears' would probably focus more on (a) aspects of social and economic/political growth and change, as England underwent an industrial revolution and also some major political changes and reforms, and was trying to become more prosperous, stronger, more socially and politically 'just'. And at the same time, (b) 'fears' also co-existed or indeed resulted from these changes and new developments -- industrialization caused a major upheaval in society and the old social order, religion was threatened by science, new wealth was not always well distributed and class diferences and the gulf between rich and poor often wider than before, rural to urban shifts and imbalances resulted and slums and poor areas and a host of linked probems and challenges came into being and so on. Another interesting aspect was England/Britain becoming an 'colonial empire' under Queen Victoria (r 1837-1901) which combined a lot of global prestige and power with lots of attendant evils.
In 'Oliver Twist' we can see the interplay of all these dimensions and aspects, and many more too-- especially glaring is the contrast between rich and poor. Im sure you can find many examples in the text, arising out of these points and that you can then relate these to the question.
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