Victorian Compromise Essay

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THE VICTORIAN COMPROMISE The Victorian Compromise was a combination of the positive and negative aspects of the Victorian Age :  Expansion, great technology, communication and colonial Empire (MIDDLE CLASS)  Poverty, injustices, starvation “SLUMS” (WORKING CLASS) The Victorian middle class and the Royal family were PURITAN and moralisers. They promoted a code of values often hypocritical, based on personal duty, hard work, respectability and (sometimes false!)charity. RESPECTABILITY, especially, was a combination of morality and hypocrisy, severity and conformity to social standards : everybody had to possess good manners, a comfortable house with servants, regular attendance at church and charitable activities. For example, “philantrophy” was a frequent attitude of Victorian middle class families : they said the most important thing in life was to help “stray children, fallen women and drunken men”, but it never happened ! The family life was based on patriarchal family, where the husband represented authority, and women only took care of children and the house. Sexuality was generally repressed in its public and private forms, and “prudery“ (1) in its most extreme manifestations, led to the denunciation of nudity even in art , and in the rejection of words with sexual connotations from the everyday vocabulary (2) : of course, these extreme forms of prohibition often led to opposite tendences and extreme desires, strange attitudes and behaviours as a consequence of repression. What was the attitude of the MIDDLE CLASS to the WORKING CLASS social problems ? Actually, Puritanism considered poverty as a sin, because Puritans believed in hard work and progress (theory of predestination). Thus, poor people living in the slums were considered as miserable sinners who well deserved their destiny. That’s why the middle class completely ignored the social problems of the
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