The Victorian Social Problem Novel

PS 2st., Do 10-12
(BA (1.2), A4, A7; BA IS; Lehramt (A4, A4a; VM Lit; MAIAS electives)
WS 2015/2016
Universität Bayreuth

Progressive thinking in science and technological advancements turned Britain into the centre of innovations and progress during the Victorian Age. Nevertheless, social improvements and developments could not keep up with this rapid pace of change. In fact, phenomena such as urbanization and industrialization triggered by the Industrial Revolution also lead to miserable working and living conditions for working-class people. This course focuses on the literary representation of social problems in selected Victorian novels. The novels by Gaskell, Dickens, Brontë and Disraeli portray social concerns, struggles and attempts to better their situation. Thus, among others, we will discuss Chartism, Utilitarianism and social reforms brought about during that period in more detail and thereby read the selected works in their respective socio-political context.

Texts to be obtained by students:
Elizabeth Gaskell. North and South
Charles Dickens. Hard Times
Charlotte Brontë. Shirley
Benjamin Disraeli. Sybil

Course Overview: Course Overview Social Problem Novel
Books available in the “Semesterapparart”: SA  ZB 238