In this paper, the star attraction is to focus on howVictorian novels and poetry are influenced by the contradicted ideologiesexisted in the Victorian society. As the literature is the imitation of reallife 1, all most all of the Victoriannovels and poetry can be proved to be fruitless if we keep these conflictualideologies aloof from consideration.
Because of this, the ideological conflictsof Victorian literature are worth thinking, talking and writing about. As amatter of fact, in the 19th-century Victorian period, therapid growth of industrialization, the theoryof evolution and the idea of communism bring a notable change both inlivelihood and philosophy of Victorian people and this change is pervasive inVictorian novels and poetry. In addition, industrialization that causessegregations and instabilities in Victorian society creating a gap between the workingclass and the owner class, slums, child labor, corruption, and criminality, it makes the Victorian people materialistic.Industrialization, in this way, leaves a negative impact on the thoughts of theVictorian people and of course on the Victorian writers.
2 AsCharles Dickens in his novel states theproblem caused by the rapid growth of industrialization : “It was a town of red brick orof brick that would have been red if the smoke and ashes had allowed it; but asmatters stood, it was a town of unnatural red and black like the painted faceof a savage. It was a town of machinery and tall chimneys, out of whichinterminable serpents of smoke trailed themselves forever and ever and nevergot uncoiled. It had a black canal and a river that ran purple withill-smelling dye, and vast piles of building full of windows where there was arattling and a trembling all day long, and where the piston of the steam-engineworked monotonously up and down, like the head of an elephant in a state ofmelancholy madness”.
3 Likely, in 1859, at the early Victorian time, the theoryof evolution coined by Charles Darwin is published in the book titled “On the Origenof Species by Means of Natural Selection (1859).This theory questions the religiousfaith and scientific knowledge of the Victorian people and puts them into theworld of confusions and uncertainty. And therefore this Victorian crisis offaith or the ideological conflict of doubt and faith appears clearly in the poetry of Matthew Arnold, Robert Browning andAlfred Tennyson, prominent poets of Victorian-erawhile Matthew Arnold seems to be pessimistic, Robert Browning to be optimisticand Alfred Tennyson is partly optimisticand partly not in their poetry with regard to the conflict between science and religion. Again the concept of communismand industrial capitalism give birth to many conflictual ideologies inVictorian literature.
In a like manner, the conflict in the question of moralvalues and materialistic views appear to be of paramount important in Victorian literature because ofthe loss of religious faith. Victorian people become morally degraded and somost of themes and the characters of thepoetry and novels respectively seem to be materialistic. Sometimes we find thepoets and novelists are confused themselves in their ideologies. For instance Matthew Arnold in his poetry concernswith Victorian crisis of faith andmorality. This is why, he finds the seawaves Melancholic and withdrawing in this poem “Dover beach” but he explicateshis opposite contradicted ideas saying that ” ….. it is time to Hellenized andto praise knowing for we have Hebraised too much and have over- valued doing.
4 So it is an acknowledgedfact that Matthew Arnold himself is confused with his ideologies. In the same manner,the contradiction between moral values and materialistic approaches ofVictorian people may be considered to be the main theme of Victorian novels. Because this( Victorian age ) was an area that was full of prudery, morality and sexual repression. 5 This conflict, infact, is the main force of the Victorian novels.
Charles Dickens ” regarded asmany the greatest novelist of the torianera 6 skillfully shows the conflict between moral values and materialisticattitude. Most of the Victorian characters of Charles dickens’s novels – Miss Havisham,Estella, Compayson , Matthew pocket ,Herbertpocket, Cousin Raymond, Georgiana and Pip also in Great Expectations ,MasterWilliam Bilfil, Squire Western, Lord Fellamar and Lady Bellastan in Tom Jones,Thomas Gradgrind, Josiah Bounderby and James Harthouse in Hard Times arematerialistic in thoughts and actions that bring contradiction with thethoughts of the rest of the characterswho have moral values. Again the characters of Makepeace Thacker’s novels BeckySharp and Georg Osborne in Vanity fair, Catherine Earnshaw, HindleyEarnshaw ,Joseph, Frances Earnshaw ,Mrs Linton and even Heathcliff s are materialisticin thoughts and conducts.The purpose of the paper is also to expose the contradiction between freedom andrestriction in the light of sex. So it can be finally noted that conflictualideologies prevalent in Victorian novels and poetry are ,in fact, worth talking about .