The Conventional Plots For one thing, the Victorian novel continues to be largely in the Fielding tradition. The plot is generally loose and ill-constructed. The main outline of the Victorian novel is the same. The story consists of a large variety of characters and incidents clustering round the figure of the hero. These characters and incidents are connected together rather loosely by an intrigue, and the ending is with ringing of wedding bells. Secondly, the Victorian novel makes an extraordinary mixture of sentiment, flashy melodrama and lifeless characters. There is much that is improbable and artificial in hereafter and incident.
Speaking generally, the Victorians fail to construct an organic plot in which every incident and character forms an integral part of the whole. Entertainment Value Still, the Victorian novel makes interesting reading. The novelists may not construct a compact plot, but they tell the story so well. They are so entertaining that children still love to read and enjoy a novel of Dickens or Thacker. The plot may be improbable, but there is enough suspense, and the readers’ attention is not allowed to slang even for a single moment. They do not like to give it up unfinished. Panoramic
Nature The Victorian novelists may miss the heights and depths of human passion, there may be no probing of the human heart and no psycho-analysis-?we do get such probing in George Eliot-?as in the modern novel, but they cast their nets very wide. Novels alkalinity Fair, David Copperfield, etc. , are not, like most modern novels, concentrated wholly on the life and fortunes of a few principal characters; they also provide panoramas of whole societies. In the Victorian novel, “A hundred different types and classes, persons and nationalities, Jostle each other across the shadow screen of our imagination. Ђ?(David Cecil) Immense Variety The Victorian novelist is a man of varied moods. His range of mood is as wide as his range of subject. Just as he deals with all aspects of society, so also he renders human moods in all their manifold variety. He is not a specialist in any one mood or temper. The novelists of the age cannot be categorized. As David Cecil puts it, “They write equally for the train Journey and for all time; they crowd realism and fantasy, thrills and theories, knock-out farce and effects of pure aesthetic beauty, check by jowl on the same page; they are Mr..
Goalmouths and Mr.. Huxley and M Christie and Mr.. Woodlouse, all in one. ” A book like David Copperfield school boy hamper of fiction with sweets and sandwiches, pots of Jam Victoria greased paper caps, cream and nuts and glossy apples, all packed tog heterogeneous deliciousness. Creative Imagination Not only have the Victorian novelists width and range of subject and m are they entertaining story-tellers, they have also creative imagination measure. Their imagination works on their personal experiences and t transmutes them.
Their renderings of the real world are not photograph pictures, colored by their individual idiosyncrasies, vivid and vital. O is fanciful and romantic. At other times, it sticks close to the facts of AC but these facts are always fired and colored by the writer’s individual creation is always performed. Dickens is, “the romancer of London street Thacker, too, transports us to an entirely new world, call it vanity fair land or what you will. The creative imagination of the Victorian novelist setting of his story and transforms it.
This creative imagination is also on the incidents or the stories of the Victorian writer. They linger long because they have been made dramatic and picturesque by the magi novelists. They abound in dramatic and picturesque scenes as in Vain “As a picture is an ‘invention’ of line and color, so are these, brilliant ‘I scene and action. ” -?(David Cecil) Humor This creative imagination is also seen in the humor of the Victorian n of the great Victorian novelist is a humorist, and each is a humorist in own. They have created a number of immortal figures of fun, each com different way.
There are hundreds of fine Jokes and witty remarks spree Victorianism. Mr.. Microware and Mrs.. Passer are immortal figures of f Characterization The most important expression of this creative imagination is to be SE important part of the novel, I. E. In the characterization. The Victorians make their characters live. Their characters may not always be real, the much in them that is improbable and false, but they are amazingly an alive. They are wonderfully energetic and vital. They are all individuals own existence, and lingering long in the memory once we have formed acquaintance with them.
They act in their own characteristic way; they own tricks of speech, their own way of saying and doing things. A Victor crowd of breathing, crying, living, laughing people. It has a crowded ca with living, breathing individuals. Technical Weakness The Victorian novel lacks uniformity. It is extremely unequal; it is an e mixture of strength and weakness. It is technically faulty. This is so be in its infancy, it is still considered as a light entertainment, and not a s art, and the laws of its being, have not yet evolved.
In this connection Cecil observes, “Because it was in its first stage, it was bound to be etc It had not yet evolved its own laws; it was still bound to the convention stage and heroic romance from which it took its origin, with their artifact and stock situations and forced happy endings. Because it was looked TVA eight reading, its readers did not expect a high standard of craft nor if it had occasional lapses; especially as they themselves had no trade which to estimate it. ” On the other hand, they strongly objected to SP hours of light reading on themes that were distressing or put intellect them.
One-sided View of Life Then again the Victorian prudery comes in the way of a free and Fran the animal side of life. In this respect, the Victorian novel shows a De from the earlier English novel. Any lapse from virtue is shrouded in a of, “drawing the blinds and lowering the voice. ” Free and uninhabited the animal side is lacking. The Victorian novel gives only a partial, on life. Its Real Greatness For these reasons, the Victorian novelists cannot be ranked with the they have greatness in them. They have their imperfections. Their Pl improbable and melodramatic, their endings are conventional and t is loose.
They do not have any high artistic standards. But their mere They are very entertaining, they can capture and hold the attention, creative imagination, and they have the incomparable gift of humor the qualities which only the great have. Its Two Phases The novel in the Victorian era is so abundant and prolific that it is us Victorian novelists into (a) Early Victorian Novelists, and (b) the Later Novelists. Writes Walter Allen in this connection, “Thacker was boor 1811,Dickens in 1812, Trollope in 1815, Charlotte Bronze in 1816, Emil 1818,George Eliot in 1819. Mrs..
Seashell had been born in 1810, and born in the Regency period include Charles Reader (1814) and Charge Together, they are the names that first came to mind when we think novel. They do not form a coherent body; and Emily Bronze will prove all generalizations we care to make about the rest of them. Yet if we the chief novelists born in the generation after the Regency, Samuel Butler (1835), George Meredith (1828), Thomas Hardy (1840) and Hen shall see that they have much more in common with one another that the younger men. What they have in common is a special climate of feelings, a set of fundamental assumptions.
It was this special climate assumptions, that the later novelists of the century were to question, great mass of the reading public still took them for granted. ” And HTH another main difference between the novelists of the first half of the and those of the second half. The former were at one with their pull remarkable degree; they were conditioned by it, as of course any novo UT for the most part were willingly conditioned by it. They identified their age and were its spokesmen. They may criticism their age as do Thacker, but on the whole they accept the prevalent customs and institutions.
The later novelists, however, were writing in some sense age; they were critical, even hostile, to its dominant assumptions. The Victorian morality and the institution of marriage; Samuel Butler sac by flouting Victorian taboos and conventions, and Henry James went literary canons of the age by his advocacy of the novel as an art-form novels reflect the rationalism of the age. The relation of these novelists to the reading public was nearer to that of the twentieth-century novelists than to that of the early Victorians.
The English Novel in the Age of Thomas Hardened we speak of the Victorian novel we do not mean that there was a conscious school of English novel, with a consciously common style and subject-matter, a school which began creating with the reign of Queen Victoria and which came to an end with the end of that reign. The English are too individualistic for such conformity. However, there can be no denying the fact that the English novel during the second half of the 19th entry, with the exception of one or two novelists, shows certain common characteristics.
The purpose of the chapter is to deal with those characteristics and also to examine how far they are represented in the novels of Hardy. Adherence to the Fielding Tradition: Loose Plots the same. The story consists of a large variety of character and incident clustering round the figure of the hero. These characters and incidents are connected together rather loosely by an intrigue, ending with the ringing of wedding bells. Thacker follows, on the whole, this convention. A Mixture of Strength and Weakness Secondly, the Victorian novel is an extraordinary mixture of strength and weakness.
There is too much of false sentiment, flashy melodrama and lifeless characters. There is much that is improbable and artificial in character and incident. Speaking generally, the Victorians fail to construct an organic plot, a plot in which every incident and character forms an integral part of the whole. Thacker’s plots, though much better constructed than those of Dickens, are still loose and theatrical. There is much superfluity even in Vanity Fair and much that is unconvincing anticlerical. Its Entertainment Value impact plot, but they tell the story so well.
They are so entertaining, that children improbable, but there is enough of suspense, and the readers’ attention is not allowed to flag even for a single moment. They do not like to give it up unfinished. Its Panoramic Value may be no probing of the human heart and soul, and no psycho-analysis as in the modern novel, but they cast their nets very wide. Novels like Vanity Fair are not, like most modern novels, concentrated wholly on the life and fortunes of a few principal characters: they also provide panoramas of whole societies.
Thus in Vanity Fair the action ranges from the city to the town, from London to Brighton, from England to France, Brussels, and other countries of Europe. “A hundred different types and classes, persons and nationalities, Jostle each oilier across the shadow screen of our imagination. ” (David Cecil) Its Immense Variety novels reflect the rationalism oft public was nearer to that to the t Victorians. The English Novel In t the Victorian novel eve do not me novel. With a consciously comma creating with the reign of Queen that reign. The English are too in be no denying the fact that the E century. Tit the exception of on characteristics, The purpose of t’ also to examine how far they are the Fielding Tradition: Loose Plot For one thing, the Victorian novel plot is generally loose and ill-con the same. The story consists of a round the figure to the hero. The rather loosely by an intrigue, once follows, on the whole, this convey Secondly, the Victorian novel is a There is too much of false sentient is much that is improbable and Incident. Speaking generally. The which every Incident and chair plots, though much better consort theatrical There is much suppers unconvincing anticlerical.
Its En Still, the Victorian novel makes In compact plot, but they tell the us till love to read and only a now improbable, hut there is enough allowed to flag even for a single The Victorian novelists may miss may be no probing of the human modern novel, but they cast their most modern novels. Concentrate characters: they also provide par action ranges from the city to the France, Brussels, and other count classes, persons and nationalities Imagination. ” (David Cecil) The Victorian novelist is a man of range of subject Just as he deals human moods in all their manifold temper.
The novelists of the age cannot be categories write equally for the train Journey and for all time; t whirls and theories, knockabout farce and effects of by Jowl on the same page; they are Mr.. Goalmouths a Mrs.. Christie and Mr.. Woodlouse, all in one. A book vast schoolboy hamper of fiction : with sweets and s greased paper caps, cream and nuts and glossy app heterogeneous deliciousness. ” Imaginative Rendering Not only have the Victorian novelists width and rang are they entertaining story-tellers, they have also cry measure. Their imagination works on their personal transmutes them.
Their renderings of the real world pictures, colored by their individual idiosyncrasies is fanciful and romantic. At other times, it sticks close UT these facts are always fired and colored by the creation is always performed. Dickens is, “the aroma Thacker, too, transports us to an entirely new world land, or what you will. His creative imagination work transforms it. Dramatic and Picturesque This creative imagination is also seen at work on the advertorial writers. They linger long in the memory dramatic and picturesque by the imagination of the dramatic and picturesque scenes in Hardy. As a epic color, so are these brilliant inventions of scene and This creative imagination is also seen in the humor of the great Victorian novelist is a humorist, and each win. They have created a number of immortal figure different way. They are hundreds of fine Sock and WI over Advertorial novel. Characterization The most important expression of this creative image important part of the novel, I. E. , in the characteristic make their characters live. Their characters may not much in them that is improbable and false, but they alive.
They are wonderfully energetic and vital. They own existence, and lingering long in the memory on acquaintance with them. They act in their own char own tricks of speech, their own way of saying and d crowd of breathing crying, living, laughing people. F crowded canvas, crowded with living, breathing India Standards The Victorian novel lacks uniformity. It is extremely mixture of strength and weakness. It is technically in its infancy, it is still considered as a light entertain art and the laws of its being have not yet evolved.
In observes, “Because it was in its first stage, it was bob not yet evolved its own laws; it was still bound to the conventions of the comic stage and heroic romance from which it took its origin, with their articulateness’s and stock situations and forced happy endings. Because it was looked on as light reading TTS readers did not expect a high standard of craft, nor did they mind if it had occasional lapses; especially as they themselves had no traditions of tastes by which to estimate it. On the other hand, they strongly objected to spending their hours of light reading on themes that were distressing or put intellectual strain on them. Lack of Liberalism Then again the Victorian prudery comes in the way of a free and frank treatment of the animal side of life. In this respect the Victorian novel shows a definite decline from the earlier English novel. Any lapse from virtue as that of little Emily in David Copperfield is shrouded in an atmosphere of, “drawing the blinds and lowering the voice. ” Free and uninhibited treatment of sex is lacking.
Becky’s relationship with Lord Sterne is left ambiguous for this reason. Conclusion For these reasons, the Victorian novelists cannot be ranked wit the very greatest, yet they have greatness in them. They have their imperfections. Their plots are improbable and melodramatic, their endings arc conventional, and their construction is loose. They do not have any high artistic standards. But their merits also arc many. They are very entertaining, they can capture and hold the attention, they have retentive imagination, and they have incomparable gift of humor. And these are qualities which only the great have.
The important women novelists of Victorian Age with special reference to George Ultracentrifugation: The Victorian era is known for the galaxy of female novelists that it threw up. They include Mrs.. Trollope, Mrs.. Gore, Mrs.. Marsh Mrs.. Bray, Mrs.. Henry Wood, Charlotte Young, Mrs.. Elephant, Mrs.. Lynn Lyndon, M. E. Brandon, “Outdid,” Rhoda Brought, Edna Loyal, and still many more now Justly forgotten, but the four most important women novelists, who yet are quite Charlotte Bronze (1816-1855) important, are : (I) Mile Bronze (1818-1848) (iii) Mrs.. Seashell (1810-1865) George Eliot (1819-1880) Mrs..
Seashell may need some special pleading for being included among the rank of the great women novelists of the Victorian era, but as for the rest, their place in theosophist of English literature appears to be secure enough. Of the four, the two first-named were sisters and their methods and achievements as novelists met at many planes. But each of the remaining two pursued her own line and made herself known in the field of English novel in her own particular way. After these preliminary marks, let us consider individually the work underachievement of the important women novelists of the Victorian era.
Charlotte Bronze: The three Bronze sisters-Anne, Charlotte, and Emily-collectively known often as the “stormy sisterhood,” who took the England of their time by storm, were in actual life shy and isolated girls with rather uneventful lives. All of them died young and died of tuberculosis as their two other “non-literary” sisters did. They were daughters of a strict Irish person who made them lead a life of what Compton-Rickets calls, “the sternest self-repression. But behind their outwardly ripples lives lurked tempest- tossed souls which found an outlet in their novels which are all so patently autobiographic.
They poured their inner life into the mould of the novel. This consideration leads Hugh Walker to assert: “The Bronzes belong to that class of writers whom it is impossible to understand except through the medium of biography. ” But too much of preoccupation with biography should not be allowed to lead us to a lopsided appreciation of their novels. Thus Samuel C. Chew observes : “The three Bronze sisters have been overlaid with so much biography, criticism, and injectors that in reading about them there is danger lest their own books be left unread. Charlotte Bronze wrote the following four novels: (I) Vitiate Jane Rye Shirley The Professor The first two novels were based on her personal experiences at a Boardinghouse- house where she most probably fell in love with the Belgian scholar Hager who perfectly answered her conception of a dashing hero of the Byronic type. Her soul had always yearned for such a Illogical, but she being the daughter of a village parson, the men who made proposals to her actually were lackluster curates with one f whom she ultimately settled down in 1854-a year before her death.
But she worshipped a dashing, splendid, masculine figure as Hager was. Her frustrated passion for him provides the groundwork of her first two novels. The heroine of her third novel is a governess, Just like her sister Anne. Her tempestuous love-affair with Rochester-a combination of wonderful nobility and meanness is the staple of this novel. In Shirley, to quote Leagues, “she set a story of intimate emotion against a background of Yorkshire in the time of the industrial disturbances. Perhaps the elemental and unchaste presence of the Yorkshire moor among which the Bronzes lived is to some extent responsible for the fierce passions and elemental emotions which are characteristic of their works. Charlotte Bronze in her novels revolted against the traditions of Jane Austin, Dickens, and Thacker. Thacker’s Vanity Fair she praised in glowing terms, but she herself never attempted anything of the kind. Her novels are novels not of manners but of passions and the naked soul. Her characters-mostly the effusions of her own soul-are elemental figures acting in the backdrop of elemental nature.
The social paraphernalia is altogether dispensed with. “Gone”, says David Cecil, “is the busy prosaic urban world with its complicated structure and its trivial motives, silenced the accentuate everyday chatter, vanished are newspapers, fashions, business houses, duchesses, footmen, and snobs. Instead the gale rages under the elemental sky, while indoors, their faces rugged in the fierce firelight, austere figures of no clearly defined class or period declare eternal love and hate to one another in phrases of stilted eloquence and staggering candor. According to Compton-Rickets three characteristics “detach homeless from the writings of Charlotte Bronze. ” They are: (I) intimacy; the note of passion; and the note of revolt. The note of The note of intimacy is caused by the markedly autobiographic slant of her novels. The note of passion is struck by a lonely sensitive woman on behalf of another woman. Her point of view is specifically the point of view of a woman. Like Mrs.. Browning she effectually represents in her life and novels the pa woman whose Prince Charming is yet to come.
She pictures and primeval woman A s regards the note of revolt, we must point o rebel by nature and a Puritan by training. She could not reconcile elements. “Charlotte”, says Compton-Rickets, “had the soul of a p leashed in by a few realization conventions, and she is always the leash while upbraiding at herself for doing so. ” Though she appreciably, revolt against social conventions, she at least revolt prevailing conventions of the novel. Emily Bronze: Emily was a poet as well as a novelist, and her only novel wither as well as a- novel “There is no other book. Says Leagues, “which the-troubled, tumultuous, and rebellious elements of romantics than even Charlotte but her fierceness is strangely accompanied tropes of intuitive illumination. She looks like a Byron in petticoat rebel, but her rebelliousness is tempered by a sense of spiritual very few do, the Infinite passionate the pain of finite hearts that Withering Heights is a story of primal passions enacted amongst environment. Catherine Earns in her wildness and beauty is Heathenish, with his consuming passion for Catherine and his flag revenge,looks like a character from an ancient Greek tragedy.
Ca Heathenish from her grave has about it all the mystery of the hid the universe. Indeed, Walter Allen observes: “The central fact ABA hat she is a mystic. ” Her mysticism lies not only in her handling dead Catherine calling Heathenish to her, but also in her use of sys other forms throughout the novel in expressions like the following Catherine: “Newly, I am Heathenish If all else perished, and he ream continue to be: and if all else remained, and he were annihilated turn too mighty stranger: I should not seem a part of it. ” “There Samuel C.
Chew, that “she was deeply read in adulterate of m equally no doubt that she was a mystic. ” This critic believes that in her youth, “Emily had attained the mystical experience in its e Bronze in Shirley also refers to Shirley (Email’s) visions and trans poems, too, Emily tries to give expression to her mystical expire one place she exclaims: Speak, God of visions, plead for me, And chosen thee. Mrs.. Seashell: Mrs.. Seashell had nothing of this passion and frustration of the B was the wife of a quiet Unitarian clergyman in Manchester-one centers of English industry.
She was mother of seven children, a according to Walter Allen, “what may be called the serenity of the accepted everything with the air of, what David Cecil calls, “sere sense of humor and deep human sympathy are obvious manifest reentry. What distinguishes the novels of Mrs.. Seashell is her De consciousness combined with a compassionate observation of the Her novels divide themselves into two well-defined categories. (1 have novels like Mary Barton (1848) and North and South (1855) social and industrial problems arising out of the masters-workmen struggles which were a feature of the industrial age which had then Just got under way.
Being herself a resident of Manchester, Mrs.. Seashell was a witness to the “blessing” ‘ of the Industrial Revolution. She pressed into service her personal observation of the tuition prevailing in “the hungry forties. ” layman Barton the heroine who gives he name to the title is daughter of a workman who led by the fervor of trade unionism murders Henry Carson, a fiery master, after his wife and son are dead from starvation. The novel gives a realistic picture of the poverty of the working classes and their animus against their masters whose cruelty is, however, considerably exaggerated by Mrs.. Seashell.
North and South is a realistic, thoughtful, and thought- provoking presentation of the conflicted raging between the industrial North and the feudal, agricultural South. (2) Secondly, we have novels like Crawford, Ruth, Wives and Daughters, Andalusia’s Lovers which eschew all industrial problems and are concerned with rural life and manners which Mrs.. Seashell knew so well, thanks to her long stay at Knutson with her aunt, before she settled at Manchester with her husband. Of all the novels of decorticates the best and the best known is Crawford which is a disguised name for her own Knutson.
Crawford is a classic o its own kind. It portrays a world inhabited by women alone. These women belong to middle-class families, and their main occupation is gossip, tea-making, and tea- ringing. W. J. Long observes: “The humanity, the keen observation, and the gentle humor with which the small affairs of a country village are described make Crawford one of the most delightful stories in the English language. ” In Ruth Mrs.. Seashell foreshadows the psychological novel of George Eliot. Wives understates is a social comedy, and contains the character of Cynthia Kirkpatrick-? “one of the most striking young women in English fiction. Sylvia Lovers is a rather didactic story in a domestic setting. George Eliot: With George Eliot we come to the most philosophical of all the major Victorian violists, both female and male. Philosophy is both her strength and weakness as a novelist. It keeps her from falling into pathos or triviality, but at the same time gives her art an ultra serious and reflective quality which makes it “heavy reading. ” Even her humor-the faculty in which she doubtlessly is quite rich-has about it the quail of ponderous reflections.
But often there are some aphoristic strokes which do tell-as the following: “Animals are such agreeable friends, they ask no questions, the pass no criticisms. ” “What a man wants in a wife mostly is to make sure of one fool gall’s tell him he’s wise. “I’m not denying’ the women are foolish-God Almighty Madame’s to match the men. ” “I’m not one of those who see the cat in the dairy and wonder what she’s come after. ” George Elite’s important novels are the following: The Mill on the Floss Dammed Ormolu Felix Holt Daniel Adorned Middleware.
All of them are marked by extreme seriousness of purpose and execution. As Samuel C. Chew observes, “in George Elite’s hands the novel was not primarily for entertainment but for the serious discussion of moral issues” She is, indeed, too didactic and makes every incident a text for moralistic expatiation. She”, says the critic Just quoted, “inculcates the importance of being earnest: but the virtues so earnestly striven after-industry, self-restraint unconsciousness-are very drab; ‘school-teacher’s virtues’ they have been unkindly called. In her novels we invariably meet with the clash of circumstances with the human will. She, indeed, believed that circumstances influenced character, but she did not show circumstances entirely determining character. A man called upon to choose between two women or a woman to choose between two men is the common leitmotif of her novels. She emphasizes the need for a moral choice uninfluenced by any selfish motives. She herself did not believe in any conventional moral creed and lived with Less as his wife without marriage, in spite of the defamatory rebukes of her priggish contemporaries.
But inspire of her frank agnosticism and contempt for strait- casketing traditionalism, she valued ethics both in her life and her work as a novelist. Another important feature of her novels is their very deep concern with human psychology. Her novels are all novels of character. “She”, says Compton-Rickets, “was he first novelist to lay the stress wholly upon character rather than incident; to make her stones spiritual rather than physical dramas. ” In her characterization she displays both subtlety and variety.
Her studies of the inner man, but more particularly the inner woman, are marvelous. She puts all the emphasis on the inside, very little on the outside. David Cecil observes in this connection: “We do not remember her serious characters by their appearance or the way they talk, indeed we do not remember these things clearly at all. Her portraits are primarily portraits of the inner man. George Eliot excels at portraying the tragedy of unfulfilled female longings. She identifies herself with her chief female characters and unfolds their inner feelings with masterly strokes.
Compton-Rickets points out: “Magpie’s cry was for fuller life, Removal’s for ampler knowledge, Trachea’s for larger opportunity, for doing good. ‘ These themes are dealt with by George Eliot with a striking psychological profundity which makes her a very worthy forerunner of the psychological novelists like Henry James. Let us conclude with David Cell’s words: “She stands at the gateway between the old novel and the new, a massive caryatid, heavy of maintenance and uneasy of attitude, but noble, monumental, profoundly impressive. Novelists of the Early Victorian Period the early Victorian period the novel made a rapid progress. Novel-reading was one of the chief occupations of the educated public, and material had to be found for every taste. The result was that the scope of the novel, which during the eighteenth century dealt mainly with contemporary life and manners, was considerably enlarged. A number of brilliant novelists showed that it was possible to adapt the novel to almost all purposes of literature whatsoever. In fact, if we want to understand this intellectually of the period.