What I want to learn about Victorian Literature

The two themes of Victorian literature I would like to explore is how the burgeoning Industrial Revolution was represented by the authors of their time, and in addendum, if these authors addressed the rise of Marxism and decline of working conditions throughout Europe. Moreover, I would be interested to see if Victorian authors focus more on the issue of alienation, and how it manifests in family dynamics, caused by labor commodification or the large scale interpellation of the proletariat into complacency. Finally, and even if there are no overt allusions to Marxist thought in the text, I would like to use these works as a way to practice application of Marxist theory.

Secondly, I am curious to see how Emily Brönte addresses mental health issues in her prose and poetry. And in saying so, her poetry clearly indicates a deep unhappiness. To wit, most mental illness in the era of Queen Victoria was either unclassified or poorly understood, and I would like to know if her oeuvre brought greater attention to an issue that impacted people even if it wasn’t talked about. I also believe Emily Brönte’s works to be a good vehicle for learning about affect theory and how emotion and feeling influence our interpretation of literature. In summary, I would like to use Victorian literature as a vehicle to learn more about Marxist theory in context of the Industrial Revolution and learn how to apply the tool of affect theory in connection to the works of Emily Brönte.

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