Class Notes (808,652)
Canada (493,325)
English (316)
ENGL 200 (75)

ENGL 200- The Victorian Era lecture notes.docx

23 Pages
Unlock Document

Queen's University
ENGL 200
Gwynn Dujardin

The Victorian Era Feb 14, 2014 Key Terms: Victorian, gothic: transatlantic, American exceptionalism, American Romanticism, household words, romantic fiction, the "social [problem] novel" The nineteenth Century: North America Early Settlements • trade plantations- eg. Jamestown, first English settlement, tobacco • puritan "New England" settlements eg. Boston "Great Migration" 1630-1640 • providential view of themselves as the elect American Neoclassicism 1750-1800 • War of Independence: American Revolution 1775-1783 • "The independence of America, considered merely a separation from England, would have been a matter of but little importance, had it not been accompanied by a revolution of the principles and practice of government. She made a stand, not for herself only, but for the world... As America was the only spot in the political world where the principles of universal reformation could begin, so also was it the best in the natural world... From the rapid progress which America makes in every species of improvement, it is rational to conclude that if the governments of Asia, Africa, and Europe had begun on a principle similar to that of America... those countries must by this time have been in a far superior condition to what they are... " Thomas Paine, Rights of Man (1792) there are many reasons why people may emigrate from Great Britain to the US • RELIGION - • THE GREAT MIGRATION OF THE 1630s - rebel against Charles 1st, decade prior to the civil war was when puritans ruled • religious settlements in Boston area called "New England" • "Providence Rhode Island" -- sign of Puritan naming • any success that they have in the world was seen as a "sign" of God's hand rewarding them for their hard work -- a sign that they have been elected and predestined for salvation American Revolution for the principles of equality and Independence (occurred before the French Revolution) • "American Exceptionalism" (Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America 1835)- set of beliefs that the national community believes in and is raised in -- strong sense of self, we're better than everyone else and everyone should be like us and they'll be fine • America is unique among nations, does things right and everyone should do the same • sense of self perpetuating self-indulgence • American belief that the United States of America is unique, without peer, among modern nation • derived from combination of Puritan, moralistic self-regard (the US remains more religious, approaches politics religiously), claim to have pioneered choice of freedom over tyranny (ie. they rebelled first) and perception of economic prosperity as consequence/reward for virtuous hard work o The ways in which prosperity that rapidly accompanied these phenomena (the way economy grew) we seen as a sign of being part of the elect American Romanticism (1800-1860) • reforms/rejects colonial Puritan view of Nature as savage, fallen (corresponding to the indigenous peoples) to see Nature as open frontier, space for individual self- fulfillment • characterized by symbols of psychological states of mind o Melville's white whale, the "House of Usher" o Edgar Allen Poe o Nathaniel Nawthorne (Scarlet Letter: "Young Goodman Brown" o Herman Melville (Moby Dick) American Transcendentalism - a variety of American Romanticism • the core belief that our spiritual nature transcends rationality and religious doctrine o spiritual component in activities that are not necessarily religious o religion continues to be a part of national self definition o embrace of religion in public life Explorer and Colonial narratives taking generic forms in literature • becoming recurring patterns occurring beyond the British empire In what ways in the transatlantic world (with ideas being exchanged) do we see in American literature the same key coordinates in Romanticism • rejection of reason and neoclassicism • embracing the heart and emotions, the importance of nature • nature signifies something different with the topography and the unique relationship that individuals have with the natural world depending on where they are • the human spirit finds its complement with the natural world features of Early American and Canadian literature (American Romanticism) (?) • an extension of the perspective of the white European settler • fallen savage world • nature is where an individual goes to find self-fulfillment • trying to ameliorate and correct previous perspectives of nature that had negative connotations SYMBOLS REPRESENT A PSYCHOLOGICAL STATE OF MIND • The house exists in a state of ruin that is analogous to the agitation and the ways that Usher is falling apart GOTHIC -representing the dark underbelly of Romanticism • overwhelming emotion that induces "awful awe" - inducing terror and fear Canada vs America • relationship to Britain o Canada- acknowledge Britain's influence o America- take pride in being different from Britain • mannerism - saying thank you, you're welcome vs no problem Traditional views of Canadian literature - how they developed • Roughing it in the bush- a narrative of an individual telling surmounting challenges that are presented by the environment Feb 26, 2014 Key terms: Types of Victorian novels : "social problem novel", "industrial novel", "domestic novel" , industrialism: Industrial Revolution and its consequences, realism(s), Dissenters, free indirect discourse: narrator one of the characters What is Romantic about North and South • description is very in depth and "flowery language" • full of emotion • a lot of notions of love, haste to the wedding, the importance of marriage • introduction to the "south" - Hellstone through the lens of the wedding o how does the novel's preoccupation with place (topographical and social spaces) relate to its concern with social relationships (private and with society) ? pg 13-14 Mr. Lennox and Margaret • personified debate between empiricism and romanticism • Lennox trying to flirt and try to get her to describe Hellstone as she feels using flowery language "make your picture complete" (13) o accusing her of drawing an idealistic picture of where she lives • Margaret "I am not making a picture. I am trying to describe Hellstone as it really is" (13) o she counter argues that she is not painting an idealistic picture, she is describing it realistically Margaret repels the proposal where most women would have been flattered to be proposed to • perhaps she finds it easier to take on other people's responsibilities and dealing with their situations rather than taking care of her own place/role in life (ie being proposed to) • would rather not have to reflect on her own situations Margaret's relationship with her parents • father telling her he has religious doubts that he will resign his clerical post and take up position as a tutor • M doesn't marry for status/wealth, marries for love • instead of trying to convince him to stay, she looks at the situation realistically and knows that she will have to deal with the situation / consequences of this change • EDUCATION: father used to read aloud to her but mother stopped him because of gender norms Margaret assuming a caretaking role of responsibility in the absence of the first born son (Frederick) Mr. Hale with his religious doubts --> radical rise of social change - doubt in religious/political institutions --> questioning God's existence • leads to the rise of atheism and agnosticism • the move from the pastoral/rural agricultural based society --> urban industrialized cities where society is wage based o SOCIAL ORDER GETS REFIGURED --> rank/inherited birth --> economy/social system based on CLASS (where class is associated with wealth, not what you were born with but with what you earned/owned) o stratifying society based on wealth o in pastoral society: where people work = where people live (work/family integrated in the same place) o in industrialized society : where people work = public sphere which is distinct from your private sphere  emphasis on the NUCLEAR FAMILY UNIT (mother, father, child)  ie. the Hales Dickens Hard Times (1854) Milton described by the narrator but through the lens of Margaret Feb 28, 2014 "Sweeping terms" - in social terms with industrialization • industrialization started in England • Great Britain is the first fully industrialized nation --> becoming a site for commenting on the new development in western society • CAPITALISTIC SOCIETY--> money becomes what is necessary to purchase food, shelter, goods needed to live • the further transition from a social system that is organized in status given by inherited rank --> organized in terms of class (one's accumulated wealth) • one can be born to one class and accumulate wealth to become part of another class o ie. Shakespeare in the Renaissance o ie. the new emerging middle class in the Restoration • 1750-1850 -- huge growth in population • FOCUS ON THE INDIVIDUAL (MINDSET + EXPERIENCE) • NEW PHILOSOPHY OF INDIVIDUALISM : pursuing the needs and wants of the individual is good for all • REDEFINITION OF WHAT IT MEANS TO BE HUMAN: with neoclassicism and the ENL, we saw the intellectual influence of empiricism which concede the individual as the sum/product of the individual's personal experiences • RISE OF INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS to abstract qualities and human conditions of liberty and equality • --> Romanticism: the focus is still on the individual and the relationship between the individual and the environment/society/nature --> turning the "novel" --> how does it represent those sweeping changes? • by being able the trace the trajectory of the individual's character? • how does the realism that we associate with the novel enable writers to portray the industrial world as it is in its minutiae using great detail in character development we can trace the influence/impact of the conditions/environment on the individual  look at how they respond to changing social conditions descriptions of Gaskell's Milton, and Dickens description of Cope town • represent "de-individualism " • similarities in how these conditions are commonplace "run of the mill" conditions Language can be shaped/formed/manipulated to make impressions on the reader and to provoke a response • through repetition of words/phrases --> representing the repetitive conditions of factory work life • the way these terms cycle over and over again --> verbal equivalence to which mill work and factory work is repetitive and monotonous every day on every street, continually happening • Gaskell's choice of "darkshire" to refer to the darkness of the soot and smoke from the factories o also a MORAL DARKNESS --> this mode of production and factory society is UNETHICAL in its treatment of its workers and HANDS o HAND: referring to the workers of the factories o manual labour stands for the individual as a whole --> also representative that everything beyond the hand is immaterial + not significant o --> DEPERSONALIZATION - the rest of the person is not important other than their ability to do manual labour • political relationships were represented through body language o head rules the body • verb to plant --> plantation (colony) --> industrial plant? Introduction of the 3rd person narration • perspectives afforded through free indirect discourse or "vocalization" --> narrator describes the situation through the perspective of a character • author = the brain, characters are the hands ? "Condition of England" novel or "Industrial novel" through a Romantic perspective • Margaret and family romanticizing their environment through idealized terms Bessie wishing for her own death the difference between WORK AND HOME BECOMES MORE RIGID --> become opposites work/family • assumption that work is an antagonistic relationship with family life • work gets perceived as a separate space from the family space • clear distinction between work sphere vs family sphere (pleasure and leisure) • photography emerging as a new medium as another form of technology in effect to the other technological advances • mother/father/child (represented by the Hale family) becomes the primary "family unit" focus on domestic life , or in pursuit of marriage • the "domestic novel" a subgenre of the Victorian genre pg 117, 132, 139, 162 • Mr. Hale begins to talk about the strife • having a conversation of rights of workers and owners • uncomfortable duality between the intricate link between social and political relationships • 132: different perceptions of education and work • allusion to Utopia • personal and political offset to one another • personal and familial relationships used to represent public relationships • searching for the right model to represent the relationship between "masters and men" • "we're not responsible for them being kept in this lower status, they work really hard and rise up to my position if they wanted to" o but at the same time, we need to treat them in a way that keeps them dependent on us because we need them to work in the factories • what role does this old form of education that looks to the classics, play in this new society that is made of facts • and what alternatives to education are developed to aid and facilitate this new economy • compulsory education is put into place, how can it still cater the needs of a industrial society ? • what do they need to know? how to they learn it ? what do we need education for? Public and Private - Frederic When is it needed for people to rebel against authority? Mar 5, 2014 Key terms: utilitarianism: maximum utility for maximum number • synecdoche: part stands for whole (eg. "hands") • free indirect discourse: narrator one of the characters • Friedrich Engels: Conditions of the Working Class in England • proletariat, bourgeoisie • Karl Marx Das Kapital • conditions and relations of production • alienation • "Angel in the House" • the "woman question" North and South Pg. 162-63 - Ladies and Gentlemen • The dinner party at the Thornton's • Margaret is bored with the dull conversation of the ladies • All they talk about is the stuff they've accumulated because of their husband's work • Margaret is relieved when the men returned for conversations with more substance • She also admires the sense of power that the Milton men have • The extent to which a Milton wife is idol is equated to the husband's status • The more idol the wife, the more successful the husband • These men, in a previous era would not be able to achieve the status/wealth that they have in this Victorian setting • Rise up in power to own and operate their own factories, hire their own workers • Reorganization of the social order • Triumphalism is possible • Meaning of ladies and gentlemen changes during this period • Preference for the word man as opposed to gentleman • Distinctions are being negotiated on the meanings of the word • Idea that a gentleman is of noble/gentle birth, but this class of men is not so highly regarded by the Milton men • Instead, the self-made man is more highly regarded instead of being born into their position • Margaret defines a man and a gentleman in very different terms • We see Thornton as a self-made man, but also one who can be an un-made man • Volatility to this system, whereas with the system of inherited birth, there was stability despite loss of wealth, noble position was maintained • Mr. Thornton loses his business and his success • Gender conceptions of manliness that contrast with the woman • What the wife does or does not do is a reflection on the man's labour and success • Woman's role to play the idol role as a reflection of the husband's strength, without playing an active role • Women associated with domestic space, while men actively participate in society • What can we understand from Margaret's attraction to the power of the Milton men? Pg. 79 • Mr. Thornton observes Margaret when he comes for tea • In enters the domestic sphere and observes the goings-on • Outside industrial world vs. the daintiness, delicate nature of the domestic sphere • Thornton's attention to detail • Admires the way that Margaret serves her father and longs to be treated the same way • Importance of hands • Hand refers to the worker, standing for depersonalization of the worker • Here the industrial manager is admiring Margaret's hands, and applies almost mechanical, industrial terms to the actions of her hands • Ex. the falling and replacing of the bracelet - just like the repetitive motions of the factory machinery • Thornton sees the domestic sphere and his industrial work reflect one another Pg. 154-56 - Angel Visits • What role does she play, and what role should she play? • Margaret visits the Higgins family • Outside is the social world at large, in comparison to the domestic scene within the Higgins home • Here too in this dialogue, there is another form of language • The dialect of the North and of the working class • "Hoo" is used often and "clem" - these are words from old English • To be in a clem is to be stuck in a bad situation • Old English history is still alive in this literature • Margaret listens to both sets of conversations • What hand does Margaret have in what transpires in the novel? • Angel visits: she brings a monetary and spiritual gift • Plays the role of bringing religion in a way that saves • Monetary gain is insignificant in comparison to the gift of spiritual gain • Is her role to play a charitable one? One who assists the poor in her present condition • Facilitates relationships between different classes in society • Give time and money to those in need, or is there a way society should rearrange itself into something else • Social injustices: who should play what role? Is it the individual like Margaret, or is society as a whole responsible for helping those in need? 19th Century Sociology • Friedrich Engles, Conditions of the Working Class in England (1845) • Empirical study of working conditions in Manchester • German man who moved to England and observed the working class there • Idea of the proletariat: the working class • Bourgeoisie: the middle class • Karl Marx, Das Capital (1867) • Engles later worked with Marx • Relations of production: worker's relationship to means of production - alienation North and South in Household Words: issued every Wednesday for 2p • "We aspire to live in the Household affections, and to be numbered among the Household thoughts, of our readers. We hope to be the comrade and friend of many thousands of people, of both sexes, and of all ages and conditions, on whose faces we may never look. We seek to bring to innumerable homes, from the stirring world around us, the knowledge of many social wonders, good and evil, that are not calculated to render any of us less ardently persevering in ourselves, less faithful in the progress of mankind, less thankful for the privilege of living in this summer dawn of time" Pg. 175 + • Margaret is at the Thornton's when the strike breaks out • Thresholds are often mentioned: Margaret is often described as being on the threshold between the two spheres • Public vs. private sphere, workplace vs. domestic • Gaskell tries to put the two spheres together, establishing relations between these spheres
More Less

Related notes for ENGL 200

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.