Literature in the Victorian Age

4 April 2015
A discussion on the difference between appearance (how we learn about things through our senses) and a deeper reality, using George Eliot’s 1859 Adam Bede as a reference.

The following paper examines how Charles Darwin’s discoveries had a substantial effect on the writers of his age. This paper discusses literature of the Victorian age focusing on the importance of the senses, when reading books from this era. The writer discusses the ways in which important authors of this era were fascinated by the ways in which their characters and themselves were linked to the world through the use of their senses and that sensory information could be counted upon to be reliable in a way that few other things might be in a world in so much flux.
“The world of Victorian writers and readers was one whose epistemological and physical borders were each day being pushed further back. For those living in such times the choices were to sink into a reactionary railing against such change or to embrace it and the most direct way to embrace it whether in science or art of simply in life was to walk through the world with one’s senses entirely and absolutely engaged, George Eliot’s 1859 Adam Bede is very much a work of Realism and in it we see the author’s warning that while fuzzy Romantic writers might think that could discern the true nature of a person simply through the act of observation, the Realist novelist and reader were not so easily fooled.”
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