The Mechanism Of Victorian Literature

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Victorian literature and the mechanistic view of the world
Throughout the Victorian era, the effect of Darwinism and the new science made people question their existence and how the world and nature were related to their religious faith (Altick, 1973, p. 232). The idea of evolutionary progress was not new to the Victorian people, but Darwin’s explanation of it was new. He explained evolution as a process where the strong and the weak of a species are pitted against the environment, and that that will determine which individuals would live and die. This explanation was acknowledged much because of the evidence Darwin provided in form of studies, and it further devastated the mythical past defined by religious faith (Altick, 1973, p. 226-228). The scientific developments and a growing support of the mechanistic view of the world, lead to a growing doubt of religious and moral beliefs (ibid. p. 230). The previous, most widespread understanding of human life, the world, universe and nature collapsed, and people found this development both reasonable and unsettling. Unsurprisingly, this issue was a frequent topic in Victorian literature. Lord Alfred Tennyson questioned his faith after the death of his friend Arthur Hallam in “In Memoriam”, and concludes with that the new science is not necessarily the end of the old faith. Thomas Henry Huxley, on the other hand, praises the gaining momentum of science in his article “Agnosticism and Christianity”, and oppose any accusation of
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