Chartism: Suffering and Carlyle

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Chartism by Thomas Carlyle focuses on the problem of working class. Chartism movement itself is not its main theme instead it focuses on all the political decisions taken place in 1930s. among them new poor law and Chartism are the most prominent movements. Its importance lies in the fact that it not only put forward the major issue of human suffering but also demands immediate action. The attitude of Carlyle himself towards working class is patronizing. In this pamphlet he gives his views about major political issues, but the weakness of it is he has not given any remedy or direction. Chartism according to a critic was written…with the purpose of showing the impossibility of democracy in England...proves the failure of utilitarian doctrines…' Carlyle's attitude towards working class is that of utter denigrating, he repeatedly compares them to beast. He is of the view that working class cannot articulate their demands they need ‘Guidance' of ‘Real Superior' which is aristocrat as he claims them to be ‘the best of English class.' Though in Charter one of the demands is of voting right, he persists that they don't really want that. He believes that its aristocrats who should rule them, and working class is merely attracting their attention to ask for their help. On one hand Carlyle is sympathizing with them on the other hand he compares them with ‘dumb beast' and ‘ four-footed horse.' he believes that working class lacks intellect and are desperate need of aristocrats help. He does not even approve democracy. Democracy for him has ‘ self-cancelling' nature, a combination of no government and laissez-faire. In place of this too real aristocrats should come. The parliament he thinks ‘extant… for their own sake.' The laissez-faire, new-corn law and New Poor law is a mean of belittling the toiling class. Carlyle is questioning if its possible that all those who are willing to work can always find wok. Government made this law keeping...
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