English Literature in the Victorian Era

2723 Words11 Pages
"I'm no lunatic man, I'm a sane man fighting for his soul" this quote from Bram Stoker’s- Dracula, illustrates and foreshadows that in the Victorian era, a quest for meaning was seen by the majority of society as ‘lunacy’, however the characters that Stoker uses, are represented ‘sane’, suggesting Stoker’s encouragement of a quest for meaning and purpose in the Victorian era of increasing uncertainty. Along with Stoker, Charles Dickens and Lord Alfred Tennyson also address the individual’s pursuit for meaning and purpose, linking this idea specifically with themes of capitalism, class and gender inequality, corruption, freedom and oppression; which I will be using to comparing and contrasting the writers, closely analysing the driving points of the Individuals choices within a Victorian society which was seen to be dysfunctional due to its rapid development. Throughout the Victorian Era it was not only the growing industrialisation that made an impact within society, but the persistent expansion of Literature, where it made its stamp and its importance within Victorian society. I’ll be exploring throughout the essay in what way the Victorian era was used as a visual metaphor of the characters uncertain world and the impact they created within the novel. “Vampire” - the term itself sums up Dracula’s quest for meaning and purpose. As a vampire, Dracula possesses numerous of peculiar, unexplainable abilities and supernatural powers. The most bizarre abilities Dracula has is that he does not contain a “reflection” of himself in the “mirror”, his body in actuality doesn’t exist. Dracula also has the ability to shape shift into a “bat” Or any form he requires, consequently he has no stable fixed identity. The gothic form Stoker depict... ... middle of paper ... ...sed by Stoker, Dickens and Tennyson as a way of raising the main issues not just within the fictional world of Dracula, The Lady of Shallot and Stephen Blackpool but our own realistic world. The main entity all three characters share in common are that they’ve all died in search for purpose and meaning in life. These deaths not only tell us about, how as human beings we are driven by our state of mind to claim a sense of individuality and belonging, but that discontent can distort and destroy an individual’s life. As readers we are able to interpret these deaths dynamically, it tells us more about the dysfunctions of the past of our society more than the fictional character itself; benefiting future generations to come, teaching them valuable life learning lessons. Works Cited Dracula - Bram Stoker Hard Times - Charles Dickens Selected Poems - Alfred Tennyson
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