Historical Context : The New Industrial Age Essay example

948 Words Nov 16th, 2015 4 Pages
Historical context
When reviewing any work of fiction it’s important to understand the historical context. Exploring historical events and context can give a reader insight on why the book was written or why it was an important piece of literature. One event or stretch of events in particular was highly influential to her novel: The New Industrial Age, often referred to as The Gilded Age. It last from 1870 -1900. The term was coined from a Mark Twain novel of the same name. Twain saw this time period as “glittering on the surface but corrupt underneath. In the popular view, the late 19th century was a period of greed and guile: of rapacious Robber Barons, unscrupulous speculators, and corporate buccaneers, of shady business practices, scandal-plagued politics, and vulgar display.” (“Overview of the Gilded Age,” (n.d.) These robber barons (people like J.P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, Andrew W. Mellon, and John D. Rockefeller) were vilified because they were making their fortunes at the expense of the working class. This split between the working class and the wealthier class brought helped push people to want to make better life for themselves. Not everyone was in the working class or a titian of industry, those people that fell somewhere in between still had money were trying to establish themselves in society. This society preening was exactly what Wharton’s was commenting on. She saw the same issues Twain did. A society that was gilded on the outside by corrupt and…

Related Documents