The themes poverty/children/orphans
19th century English literature is dominated by people like Charlotte Bronte and Charles Dickens, who raised concerns about the great indifference of many Victorians towards the plight of poor orphaned children. Dickens had a personal insight to poverty, his father was unable to pay off the family debt. Dickens was sent to work in a factory, he was left without a proper education and so spent his childhood and most of his youth in poverty. Perhaps he felt his youth was stolen from him by poverty and the industrial revolution.
Now we are going to look at some of the extracts from works by these authors which portray the above themes.
Hard Times by, C. Dickens
In Chapter 2, “Murdering the innocent”, Dickens expresses his misgivings about the effects the Industrial Revolution is having on the education of the children. The system is turning out obedient robots to work in mass production, killing any imagination or creativity. Dickens use of imagery here is to stress the gravity of his concern. “charged with a grim mechanical substitute for the tender young imaginations that were to be stormed away”.
Great Expectations by, C. Dickens
In the opening of Great Expectations Dickens introduced us to Pip, an orphan boy, who is not even sure of his name. Straight away we have a feeling of sympathy towards Pip. “As I never saw my father or my mother and never saw any likeness” Dicken`s gifted ability to describe is evident here, the reader feels the abandonment, poverty, harsh way of living and fear this orphan boy is experiencing. “this bleak place overgrown with nettles”, “the dark flat wilderness beyond the churchyard”. “growing afraid of it all and beginning to cry”.
Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte.
Bronte opens Jane Eyre with her concerns regarding the arrogant attitude the upper class have towards the less unfortunate. She straight away introduces a scene...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document