Doors, windows, gates, hedges, walls…Consider the part played by barriers and boundaries in any two novels studied. (5397 words)
Throughout the Victorian Era, the British Empire reached the height of its power and influence, and imperialism paved the way for British thoughts of superiority in the world. Although its dominated role and superpower, the term “Victorian” is still used as a synonym for “prude” today, and reflects the extreme repression of the age. Ross Murfin claims that the common perception of the period is that Victorians are “prudish, hypocritical, stuffy and narrow-minded” (496). This response to the strict formality of the Victorian age was mostly the reaction to chaotic uncertainty of modern life, the time of ultimate change and unrest, where social status shifted heavily. The new bourgeois classes emerged, claiming for control and power.
Most Victorian novels are directly concerned with the issue of contemporary society, and usually create a detailed and realistic view of the nineteenth century public life. Through variety of genres, novels were filled with bitter attack on political problems, hypocrisy; social injustice and pretension that accompanied national prosperity. The predicament of human isolation and alienation is a pervasive theme in Thomas Hardy’s and Emily Bronte’s fiction. The term of “alienation” in modern sociology is connected to separation from some aspects of the social or cultural life. Due to rejection of popular standards and morals, an alienated person meant to be someone of hostile attitude towards own society and culture by crossing the barriers or forbidden land of strictly fixed principles.
The beginning of the crisis of Victorianism and a decay of social and religion norms are reflected in theirs novels; characters that adapt themselves well in the surroundings become the part of their nature accordingly. Those that rebel against imposed values and cruel laws become outcast. The recurrent plot device of...