Characteristics Of Victorian Age Literature

  • Category: Books, Literature,
  • Words: 590 Pages: 3
  • Published: 05 May 2021
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The Victorian era, a period between 1820 and 1914. A time where superstition and developments including science characterized the industry. Victorians during this time lived in a class-based society where men are viewed as more important than women (Britannica). The novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde shows that every human has two sides to them, one good and one evil. Jekyll can transform into Hyde, who hides Jekyll’s real identity when performing unexplainable acts. However, in Dracula, the superstition of vampires is shown when the victims are chosen. Comparatively, Stevenson illustrates the role of science through the work of potions. While Bram Stoker introduces superstition through vampires who choose their victims which were mostly female because society viewed them as the weaker gender.

Science, a main aspect in the characterization of the Victorian age. “As science came about in the Victorian age, it grew very popular throughout society” (Britannica). This allowed for major developments including transformation. Throughout the novel Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the scientific development of transformation is displayed through the drinking of a potion. “I had gone to bed Henry

Jekyll, I had awakened Edward Hyde” (Stevenson 83). Jekyll was a man of high class that was respected by all. He could not act out in such ways he would like to because people would lose respect for him. So he created a potion that allowed him to transform into Edward Hyde. He was able to release his anger toward people as Hyde without losing his power in society. This shows that Victorian’s of high class were respected, but Victorian’s of lower class were not cared about. 

In the Victorian age, men were placed on a higher level of power than women. “Men were meant to participate in politics and paid work, while women were meant to run households and raise families” (Britannica). Women were perceived as the weaker gender and society felt that men held all of the power and women were powerless. In comparison, Bram Stoker’s Dracula displays this aspect of the Victorian era throughout the novel. “I saw his strong hand grasp the neck of the fair woman and throw her violently from him” (Stoker 19). This part of the story showed Dracula’s power over the women in his life. He told them what to do and they did it. This backs up the idea that the Victorian age was a man-ruled society.

One major aspect of the Victorian period was the belief in superstition. “The Victorian age also considered the golden age of superstition” (Luckhurst). During this time many supernatural ideas were created, including mesmerism. Similarly, in Bram Stoker’s Dracula the belief of superstition is displayed throughout the story by vampires. Dracula can put his victims into a trance, then bite them. After he has claimed them as his, he can control them with his mind. “She explained that if the Count’s mind is connected with hers, then she might be able to discover where he is” (Stoker 68). Mind control is a supernatural effect that helped Dracula control his claimed victims and track them wherever they go. As a cause of this Dracula’s victims were able to track him down as well which led to his demise at the end of the novel. 

Both stories display aspects of the Victorian age. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde show how scientific developments characterized Victorian society. While Dracula illustrated gender roles and the belief in superstition. The Victorian period existed between 1820 and 1914. A time where superstition and developments including science characterized the industry. They lived in a class-based society where men were powerful and women were powerless. Likewise, Stevenson illustrates the role of science through potions. While Bram Stoker shows superstition through vampires. Both novels display the aspects of the Victorian period by illustrating the development of science, gender roles, and also superstition.

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