Name: Muhammad Immad Shah
Submitted to: Ma’am Ayesha Waqar
Roll No: 534
? Industrialisation in Thomas Hardy’s novel “TESS OF THE D’URBERVILLES”
? Industrialisation in Charles Dickens novel ” David Copperfield”
? Impact of Industrialisation on English Literature
Industrialisation is a period in which machines take place instead of men. It is the period in which machines do work once done by humans. This is basically time period from which the agrarian society transform into industrial society.
Industrialisation took place in the mid of 18th century to early 19th century in mainly Europe and North America; starting in Great Britian followed by Germany, Belgium, and France. During this time period industries played vital role in the urbanization of Europe. It was a shift from rural work to industrial labor. Mostly labor before industrialization used to work on their own, things were mostly handmade which took many time and labor. Industrialisation helped the poor community in different aspects like saving time as well as energy. The transformation from agricultural economy to industrial economy is known as Industrial Revolution.
Industrialisation had played vital role in the construction of new society in Europe. As industrialization changed scenario of society but also bring devastation in the society because Capitalism emerged during industrialization which made rich community more richer and poor community poorer. Howard Zinn once said “Capitalism have been always failure for the lower classes. It is now beginning to fail for the middle class”. Such various observers as Karl Marx and Émile Durkheim cited the “alienation” and “anomie” of individual workers faced by seemingly meaningless tasks and rapidly altering goals. The fragmentation of the extended family and community tended to isolate individuals and to countervail traditional values. By the very mechanism of growth, industrialism appears to create a new strain of poverty, whose victims for a variety of reasons are unable to compete according to the rules of the industrial order. In the major industrialized nations of the late 20th century, such developments as automated technology, an expanding service sector, and increasing suburbanization signaled what some observers called the emergence of a postindustrial society.
Industrialisation in Thomas Hardy’s novel “Tess Of The D’Ubbervilles”:
When Thomas Hardy was born in 1840, agriculture was the most important industry in England, employing roughly 20% of the labor force. By 1900, however, agricultural workers comprised less than 10% of the total work force. Hardy witnessed much of this hardship as a child growing up in Dorset–which would later become his model for Wessex. Hardy’s Dorset was, in fact, the poorest and least industrialized county in Britain, and the farm laborers led difficult, often unrewarding lives. Laborers toiled from six o’clock in the morning until six o’clock at night in the summer and from the firs t light until dusk in the winter. It was not uncommon to find women and children in the fields; their labor was frequently used as cheap substitute for men’s. Their diet was monotonous and meager–bread, bacon and cheese, and only occasionally milk. Th ey drank beer and tea, and those who could not afford tea would soak burnt toast in water. In addition, the living conditions of many of these laborers were horrendous. Many lived in squalor and did not have the money to improve their condition. In 1851 , there were half a million such laborers in England.
Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles (1891) contains complex and detailed interrogations of many Victorian values and of the capitalist culture of his time. This novel is a fierce condemnation of the social, ethical, moral, religious, and political values held by the majority of Hardy’s cultural elite contemporaries in England. The most obvious example of Hardy’s cultural criticism is his assertion in the novel’s subtitle that Tess is “A Pure Woman.” By traditional Victorian standards, Tess is a fallen woman and as such is considered damaged goods suitable for the lowest bidder. Hardy is radically departing from these values by proclaiming Tess’s purity and virtue even though she has had sexual relations outside of marriage. It is, therefore, not surprising that initial reaction to the novel was highly negative.
This cultural criticism is one of Hardy’s many challenges to the social conventions and values of his time found within this text. Tess’s struggle with Alec is both a gender and a class conflict. The text uses Tess’s relationship with Alec to expose the similarities and interconnections between a man’s physical and emotional oppression of a woman, on the one hand, and a more powerful social class’s economic oppression and destruction of a weaker class, on the other. Hardy’s Tess laments the destruction of the independent rural artisan class and blames nouveaux riche capitalist society for this degradation. Hardy goes on to condemn the industrialization of agricultural work because of what he views as the extremely destructive impact of technology and mechanization upon the quality of the rural workers’ lives. Hardy is also extremely critical of organized Christianity in several places throughout the novel, including the scene in which Sorrow is actually denied a Christian burial. Hardy also raises questions about the injustice and inequality of a legal system, which finds Alec innocent of any wrongdoing but sentences Tess to death.
Hardy clearly defines Tess as a member of the independent rural artisan class, a group whose way of life as a whole he asserts is at risk of extinction and whose quality of life is in decline due to capitalist economic forces and the industrialization of agricultural labor
. He writes: “The village had formerly contained, side by side with the agricultural labourers, an interesting and better-informed class, ranking distinctly above the former – the class to which Tess’s father and mother had belonged – and including the carpenter, the smith, the shoemaker, the huckster, together with nondescript workers other than farm-labourers; a set of people who owed a certain stability of aim and conduct to the fact of their being life-holders like Tess’s father, or copyholders, or, occasionally, small free-holders. But as the long holdings fell in they were seldom again let to similar tenants, and were mostly pulled down”. (435)
Hardy’s description of Alec’s family embodies all that Hardy maintains is wrong with capitalist nouveaux riche society: there, money and status are more valuable and significant than people.
Industrialisation in Charles Dicken novel “David Copper Field”:
Charles John Huffam Dickens was born on 7 February 1812 in Portsmouth, the second of eight children. When he was nine years old his father was imprisoned for debt and all of the family except for young Charles were sent to Marshalsea, the debtors’ prison. Charles instead went to work in a blacking factory and suffered first hand the appalling conditions, loneliness and despair. During his lifetime – he died in June 1870 – industrialisation dramatically reshaped Britain, the population of London tripled and he saw the birth of the railways, the telegraph and the steamship.
He used his novels to bring to attention the social ills and abuses of Victorian England in such a way that the general public could relate and react to. For example, Oliver Twist attacked the workhouse system and portrayed a criminal underclass that captured the public’s imagination. In David Copperfield and Great Expectations he drew on his early experiences of the debtors’ prison and the blacking factory. He exposed the brutal Yorkshire schools in Nicholas Nickleby and the inadequacies of the law in Pickwick Papers and Bleak House.
The main reasons therefore were the mostly bad living conditions of the lower classes in factory cities, the automation of industry and the huge birth surplus in the country all throughout Great Britain. Furthermore there were waves of migration into the huge cities and more and more capitalists that could be found in parliament, widely supporting political industrialization, completely neglecting the working conditions of their employees.
In the Early Victorian Social Novel (1830 – 1850), the industrial system was to blame for the bad living conditions of the workers. However, it was not considered an abstract, but rather manifested itself in individuals, like good and bad factory owners, responsible and irresponsible ones. And there was an unshakeable belief in morality and that those who were bad could be converted to good ones, those who were irresponsible could be made responsible. The authors at that time drew less attention to the details of the world of work and its machines, but rather preferred the depiction of physically and mentally injured people, because of their work. Therefore many metaphors were used to describe the prevailing social conditions, such as “Jungle of Work”, “Prison of Work” or “Subjugation of the worker through the machine”.
Thinking of “Social Criticism”, huge institutions in society, like workhouses, industrialized cities or even certain governmental systems might occure to one’s mind in the first place. But many people forget that the smallest “institution” in society is the family. And the first socio-critical element in “David Copperfield” to begin with shall be the family itself. Therefore one has to know that families in the 19th century, especially in higher social classes, were organized completely differently than families are today. Usually the husband was the “big boss” in the house, whereas the woman had to be the “good housewife and mother” who had to obey to her husband. And the children, above all boys, normally were educated very strictly, and once out of the age in which they had to be cared for by their mother, they were completely under their father’s control and influence. Dickens’ now wants to criticize this more or less “old-fashioned position” in his novel, but therefore he has to set up the right situation.
Orphanage was an important topic at the time of industrialism, because many parents had to work very hard and there were bad working conditions in the factories or workhouses. Subsequently, the parents were often physically worn out, many mothers not rarely died during or shortly after the birth of their children, and many fathers often died during their difficult, inhuman and mostly dangerous work. And the children they left were orphans, many of them still too young to care for themselves and facing a world they were not ready for, yet.
And this topic of orphanage is also raised in David Copperfield. As already David’s father is dead yet and his mother dies shortly after the birth of her second child, presumably suffering from the tortures of her cruel husband.
Dickens was not the first novelist to draw attention of the reading public to the deprivation of the lower classes in England, but he was much more successful than his predecessors in exposing the ills of the industrial society including class division, poverty, bad sanitation, privilege and meritocracy and the experience of the metropolis. In common with many nineteenth-century authors, Dickens used the novel as a repository of social conscience.
The novel directs this ironical attack at Victorian public opinion, which was either unaware or condoned such treatment of poor children. Dickens was critical about the Victorian education system, which is reflected not only in Nicholas Nickleby, Hard Times and Our Mutual Friend, but also in his journalism and public speeches. As a boy he was shocked to read reports about the cheap boarding schools in the North. In Nicholas Nickleby Dickens describes abusive practices in Yorkshire boarding schools. However, Dickens does not only criticise the malicious education system, but he is primarily concerned with the fates of these unfortunate children who are representatives of the most vulnerable portion of the society.
Impact of Industrialisation on English Literature: