Contrast and Opposition in Victorian Literature

Modules: see module overview – PS Lit
PS, 2 SWS, Fr 8-10
SoSe 2022
Universität Bayreuth

The Victorian Age was a remarkable period that came with progress and innovation in many fields of life. Change often results in a split in society as some are following the new trends and others do not. In this seminar, we will discuss various literary genres that represent the Victorian Age and its dual dimension. In North and South we will see how different regions develop differently due to economic conditions and how this affects the people. “The Withered Arm” provides as an insight into the contrast between urban/rural life and the way of dealing with the inexplicable. Change can also mean that people wish for the good old times and enjoy reading about it. To gain an understanding of this idea, we will discuss “The Lady of Shalott” in class. Contrast and opposition can work on an individual as well as a collective level. Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Wuthering Heights will be our main works in order to trace mental, generational, economic and moral dimensions.

Works to be obtained by students: Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights; Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South; Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde