Working Class Complaints

I find it really interesting how so far, across the Victorian literature we have read there’s a lot of thematic commonalities, particularly in regards to the treatment of the working class. This makes perfect sense considering the historical context, with the Industrial Revolution changing the makeup of the work force and the looming threat of revolution after both the American and French Revolution. In my blog post last week I touched on the racial aspects and comparisons used in the readings we had done. The poems from last week, however, instead of appealing to their audience through the degradation of the work class by comparing them to members of lower racial and socioeconomic. status, there was a greater call to religion and its corruption as a place of blame for the conditions the working class experienced. For example, in “The Chimney Sweeper”, the final couplet reads, “And are gone to praise God & his Priest & King/ Who make up a heaven of our misery.” These lines suggest that the elite are not only turn a blind eye to the misery of the working class but also that they revel in it and even prosper from it.

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