How Ww1 Changed British Literature

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World War One began on July 28, 1914 and ended with the signing of the armistice on November 11, 1918. The war cost a total of one hundred eighty-six billion dollars. The total casualties of the war were thirty-seven million, with another eleven million civilian casualties. The British Empire alone lost over three million people in the war. (English) World War One effected the whole world- the heartache and bloodshed changed politics, economics, and public opinion. This war changed people's lives, but it also changes their way of thinking and their way of writing. After World War One British literature was changed from simple stories to a more realistic and meaningful approach to life. Nineteenth century England is what most historians call the Victorian age, which is how British literature got started. It was during the Victorian age that people began to learn how to read and write. "In 1837 about half of the adult male population could read and write; by the end of the century, literacy was almost universal." (Abrams) The novel became the most popular form of literature during this time period in England. "Victorian novels seek to represent a large and comprehensive social world, with the variety of classes and social settings that constitute a community." (Abrams) The authors of these novels tried to make the reader feel like the characters and the events that take place in the novel seem so realistic that they could see it happening in real life. The novels were written about concerns, or issues, that the everyday person went through. The novels usually dealt with experiences with the relationship in the middle-class or inter-class relationships. Life during the Victorian age is explained in The Norton Anthology as, "a society where the material conditions of life indicate social position, where money defines opportunity, where social class enforces a powerful sense of stratification, yet where chances for class mobility exist." (Abrams) Victorian novels usually were focused on a persons struggle to find his or herself in the cruel world of social classes. These types of novels were often written during the Victorian age, in fact Charles Dickens wrote a novel called Great Expectations in 1861, which dealt with a boy named Pip and how he finds his place in the world.

There were many good writers during that time period. Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy and H. G. Wells all wrote novels during the Victorian age and they all have a different style about them that makes them worth noting. Charles Dickens was the reason that the new spirit of realism came along in the nineteenth century. Dickens's novels of contemporary life exhibit an amazing ability to create living characters. Also, Dickens is known for his different style of humor and parody. Thomas Hardy wrote about other people's encounters with fate and circumstances, his outlook on life seems pessimistic when you read most of his novels. "Wells's novels often seem to be sociological investigations of the ills of modern civilization rather than self-contained stories." (English) H.G. Wells wrote novels based on his experiences in life, he wrote about what he thought would go wrong or what was wrong with the society that he was surrounded by. Poets of the nineteenth century tried to tell stories through poetry. They also experimented with perspective and character. "‘Amours de Voyage' is a long epistolary poem that tells the story of a failed romance through letters written by various characters." (Abrams) "Amours de Voyage" is an example of how Victorian poets tried to play with their characters. Victorian poets tried to make their story come alive by using great detail, this way the reader could draw a visual picture from the words on the paper. This picture that the author creates carries the emotion of the entire poem. The sound that a poem had during this time made all the difference. The way that a poet used alliteration, emphasis and different vowel sounds changed...
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