How Society And Self Depicted In Hard Times And Jane Eyre

1883 words - 8 pages

INTRODUCTION
Fifty years of ever-broadening commerce!
Fifty years of ever- brightening science!
Fifty years of ever-widening Empire! (Lord Tennyson, On the Jubilee of Queen Victoria)

The age that followed the Romantic Age, the age of Queen Victoria, that spanned almost the whole of the nineteenth century was an age consolidation in many respects. Increase of wealth, the general prosperity of England as a whole an ...view middle of the document...

In Victorian novels fundamental problems of human experiences are projected imaginatively and symbolically through the presentation of heroes. The Victorian readers wanted to be close to what he was reading about so the novelist entertained them with minimum “esthetic distance’’. The richness and the variety of the fiction are well represented in the writers like Dickens, Thackeray, Charlotte and Emily Bronte, George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell and Hardy. The subject of this paper is to study how self and society interaction depicted in Charles Dickens’ HARD TIMES and Charlotte Bronte ‘s Jaine Eyre
Charles Dickens (1812-70) began his career as a comic journalist, but he soon recognised his talent as a novelist to delight the readers with stories which are set in his own day. Journalism and melodrama gathered in his novel to give a new sense of life and a new and important place in middle-class entertainment. From his first work Pickwick Papers to his unfinished last work The Mystery of Edwn Drood he never lost his touch for satirical comedy and his feeling for eccentric.
With the rapid expansion of the novel as the dominant literary form, different kind of sensibility came to express. Writers tend to explore the private passion and private emotions. This is especially true of the Bronte sisters. Charlotte Bronte (1816-55) was the eldest of the sisters who survived to adulthood and his works are generally considered as the classics of English literature.

THE CRUSHED SOCIETY AND FRAGMENTED SELF IN HARD TIMES AND JANE EYRE
In Hard Times (1854) Dickens turned his attention to the morality of the Utilitarian industrialist and its impact on human happiness. In this novel, it is evident that he is keenly aware of the social situation around him. Hard Times evaluate the Victorian society and highlight the social and economical tension of the time. The social consequences of industrialisation and urbanisation are persuasively depicted in Hard Times. It is his only novel which does not has any scene in London. It is set in an imaginary Victorian industrial cocketown. He used his characters to describe the class system that had been shaped by the industrial England. The three main characters of this novel, Stephen Blackpool, Mr Josiah Bounderly and Mr. Thomas Gradgrind represent the three major classes of the society.
Stephen Blackpoool represents the least representative and the most abundant caste in the Victorian era, the lower class. He is an honest, hardworking man who came to much trouble in the novel because of his class .When he asked Mr.Bounderly that is there any law to escape from his alcoholic and runaway wife, Mr.Bounderly replied that there was but “It’s not for you all, It costs money. It costs a mint of money’’ (Dickens, 70).In the course of the novel, Stephen was framed for robbery of a bank, it is also because of his class.Dickens draws the living condition of lower class through Mr.Bounderly. The...

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