I wrote my paper on how the Victorian age connected to thomas hardy and his work "The man he killed" so if you could just help me edit it it would be fantastic...thanks!
The Victorian Period was known for the beautiful classical music, sophisticated art, and above all the contributions in the literary field. Reigned by Queen Victoria, a refined woman and ruler, the era became known for its complexity. The social, economic, and beliefs of the period contributed to the flourishing of literary works. Thomas Hardy was a man that lived in this time period and he created works of art that not only moved the hearts of yesterday, but of today as well.
Reforms were a vast part of the Victorian age. Voting came slowly but surely, in 1832 any man could vote if his property was worth £10 or more, 1867 any man could vote if he worked, 1918 women could vote if they were 30 or older, and finally in 1928 any woman could vote if they were 21 or older (Gray 884). The states also supported education of children so with that they cut back child labor laws to 10 hours a day and a half day on Sundays (884). In 1880 every child was required to go to school and to enforce that in 1891 every public school was free.
"The Age of Prudery" was a name given to the Victorian age for its stiff outlook on sex, birth and death. Publishers of books, magazine, and paper articles would edit works so it would not cause a "blush to the cheek" (885). Sex, birth, and death were transformed into tender courtships, joyous welcomes to motherhood, and deathbed scenes. Babies were portrayed as angels and seniors depicted as saints. Distributing information about Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD's) was also against the law and in result often ended in arrest. Women were frowned upon if they had physical relationships with men, adulteress women were prosecuted but the double standard let the men go free (886).
The economic and social conditions of the Victorian age were as hard as they ever would be. A potato famine reigned across the lands killing 1 million people and forcing 2 million to emigrate to the slums of other countries (881). Cities grew rapidly leading to commercial and industrial cities with 40% of the streets unpaved. Rivers were polluted and bodies were buried in layers in over eight feet deep (882).
Technology thrived from religion and omnipotence to answer all questions to science and hard evidence. Industrialization depended upon engineering, science, technology, and chemistry (887). As the manufacturing society grew so did the amounts of meat, margarine, and fruit which lead to generally a healthier diet for the people (883). Geologists began to study rocks and fossils and began to create different theories about the earth from what the bible says. Charles Darwin created the theory of evolution as well, not only creating ruffles in society but opening the minds of many new scientists. On the on the end of the spectrum Thomas Huxley theorized that the universe was a high stake games in which humans could lose and Thomas Hardy along with A. E. Houseman believed that the universe was unplanned (887).
Social, economic, and beliefs of the period supplied the era power to create wonderful and touching literary works. Most of the Victorian writers questioned if material possessions could satisfy human needs and often protested the exploit of the earth and humans with items (888). The connection of earth and heaven, body and soul, and material and ideal were made by young writers who had a hard time believing in infinite divine power (892). Charles Dickens was a name that touched on everyone's lips during the Victorian age. Dickens rose from poverty and often wrote stories making the winners appear and feel as losers, superficiality, and questioned the pollution that rolled over the cities (889). Other authors followed in his footsteps focusing on "bad" people who had no souls, "good" people with nurturing families and loving spouses, and love betrayals combing romance and crushing demise all in one moving story (893).
Thomas Hardy was born on 2 June 1840 in the Upper Backhampton of Dorset. His mother gave him the love of literature and his father gave him the love of music (Hardy). His father and grandfather were prominent figures in the church choir. His whole boyhood was dominated by the church and natural world in which he lived in. Thomas' mother taught him how to read by the age of 4 and learned French and Latin at a non-conformist school. Hardy's formal education began when he was 8 and continued until he hit the age of 16. In 1870 Thomas worked as an architect for a short period of time but he knew his calling was literature and switched to being a full time writer (Thomas). After the outcry against "Jude the Obscure" Hardy turned to writing poetry. When Hardy wrote poetry often his characters were fighting a losing battle. They had a physiological downfall and a meaningless universe to live in. The poetry captured a profound sense of loss, sorrow, and bitter ironies which were set up with a gloomy landscape. Not only did he show that imminent will drove the world in his works but sexual attraction was often discussed, shocking the people of the "Prudery time". As Hardy grew up he fell in love with a young woman by the name of Emma Lavinna Gifford. They married in the fall of 17 September 1874, sadly though his wife died 38 years later on 27 November 1912. Shortly after this Thomas remarried on 6 February 1914 to Florence Dugdale. Unfortunately Florence outlived him; Thomas fell ill and died on 11 January 1928 (Hardy).
The Man He Killed by Thomas Hardy is a dramatic lyric poem that captures the bitter ironies of war. It's about two men meeting at a bar who happen to be on opposing sides of the war and in the field he would have shot him dead just because they were foes. The poem can be interpreted that war is odd; you may kill a man you wouldn't normally give a thought about. It could be a man you would have a drink in the bar with or someone you would loan money to. But on the battle field the enemies are enemies and it doesn't matter who it is. The two men in the poem have many things in common, but when it comes down to it, they're on opposing sides of the battle and in the end one of them will die. Thomas uses imagery and rhyme to weave the tale of The Man He Killed (The Man). People of the Victorian age read these stories and it reflected their life one way or another. Writers, like Thomas, wrote literature like this to amend, support, confront, expand, and to alleviate the feelings of the public and culture (Gray 893). His poems often reflected his gloomy isolated lifestyle and in this case the poem reflects his feelings on war and how it's strange and ultimately just a cruel way to solve problems (The Man). Thomas Hardy triumphed through the Victorian age and he created works of art that not only moved the hearts of yesterday, but of today as well with the gloom and dark tales that can be connected to the modern tragedies and he lives on as one of the greatest writers of his time.