My only real experiences with Victorian Literature are from reading Jane Eyre on my own and A Christmas Carol in an English class. Due to my limited exposure, I don’t have a complete grasp on what the literature truly is. What are some common themes and threads? What are the characteristics that these books possess? I know the time period of which the literature was written in, which leads me to think of science vs. religion and issues of class, but after that I don’t have much knowledge. I am excited to learn about the characteristics of Victorian literature and what it’s made up of.
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In all honesty I don’t really know many books that fall in the category of Victorian Literature . I know “Jane Eyre” and “Wuthering Heights”, the classics, but I want to know more about what dictates a book to fall in the category of Victorian literature besides just the date it was written. I’m sure there are certain trends blended into Victorian Literature such as unequal gender roles, racism, segregation related to social class because of the time period.
I’m specifically very interested in the gender roles that lie in Victorian literature. I feel like many novels in this time period were written by primarily white, educated males, and because of this, the gender roles were probably very similar. “Jane Eyre” for example tackles a women’s role with a man, but I know we’re not reading “Jane Eyre” this semester so I’m anxious to get to know a women’s role in the other novels we will be reading. I also am interested in how gender roles have changed and also stayed the same between the Victorian Era and now.
I hope to come out of this class with a better understanding of what defines Victorian literature and how to analyze it. I think in order to analyze any novel, one needs background information and in order to analyze Victorian literature, one needs to know the historical information about the time period and the author. I also have never read anything by Charles Dickens, and I am anxious to learn about Dickens’s writing style.