Essay on The Impact Of History On Victorian Literature

2240 Words Oct 13th, 2014 9 Pages
The Impact of History on Victorian Literature
Victorian England was a battleground of opposing ideas. Grenades of revolution were being dropped on hierarchy. As the fence separating farmers from aristocrats was being torn down, lovers were already tying their knots between the links. The shackles placed upon women, limiting their reach to the world, were being removed by individually earned wages. However, many errors in society still existed. Those who had battled against the antediluvian ideas were mainly working class citizens that were becoming restless as they writhed under the thumb of those at the top of the social pyramid. This movement towards a more egalitarian society was reinforced by many writers of the Victorian era. The novels Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontё and Emma by Jane Austen supported those fighting against the faults of 19th century English Society through their different viewpoints of the emerging working class and marriages based on class.
In the early 1600s, the Old Poor Laws were passed stating that “each parish had to look after its own poor” (Anderson). These laws gave residence and the resources necessary for survival to the majority of impoverished people in England until the Poor Law Amendment Act revised them in 1834. There was agitation over how much it cost to care for the poor, so in order to resolve the uneasiness, it was mandated that poor people were to work in exchange for the services they had been previously given at no…

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