Describe the social background of Victorian era in 19th century
The Victorian era is considered to extend from 1837-1901 during the reign of Queen Victoria. This era is characterized by the great expansion of the British Empire, a period also that was one of extended peace, interrupted only by the Crimean War and the conflicts of the Zanzibar and Boer wars. In English society there was a growing liberalism which brought about social reforms, reforms in which author Charles Dickens great involved himself.
The family was considered of Paramount importance during the Victorian age. Women’s main purpose in life was to find a husband and to manage domestic affairs; while doing so, they were completely repressed by their husbands. In short, the society was clearly pariarchal. Religious faith was also paramount; there was a exagerrated morality as well as an exaggerated adherence to form and manners. With the Industrial Revolution coming, there was also an emergence of people into the burgeoning middle class, a class that aspired to raise itself to that of the upper class because social ranking was so important. This admiration of a rather frivolous aristocracy is one of the attitudes that Dickens often satrizes in his works such as Great expectation.