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The Quest for Identity in the Victorian Era

The Victorian Era is signified by Queen Victoria’s reign in England in 1837-1901. It is well-known for its striving to high morals, modesty, religious values which was imposed by the Queen and her husband. Science, technology and Christianity thrived. All the existing at that time religious organizations in England reflected the Victorian concern for poor and people in need. The Church was wealthy and powerful. Only the rich could afford education, so most were left uneducated, unable to think critically. The people believed the word of the Bible and that was all that mattered. However, people failed to understand their identity.

One of the novels revealing the struggle to understand one's identity was the “Alice in Wonderland”. 'Who are you?' said the caterpillar" to Alice. This was a question she could not answer. Why isn't Alice aware of what makes up her being? Humans desire completeness, and identity. Till the very era of Darwinism, that need was somehow met by religious faith. But with the appearance of Darwin's theories on natural selection and survival of the fittest, Victorians were reevaluating their paths to righteousness. Without God as a creator, what were life's rules?

Victorians, in the quest to find who they were, were faced with the difficulty of choosing an identity. Victorians knew they could play more than one personality and almost had to due to the strict social codes within their society. Even a child, Alice "was very fond of pretending to be two people" and throughout Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, she grapples with finding her true identity. As she speaks to the caterpillar, she says that she cannot explain herself because she has not been herself since falling through the rabbit hole. In fact, to understand who we are we really need to fall into a rabbit hole.

Like Alice, other Victorians could not definitively be a personality and searched for an identity they conceived was the purest form. Such is the case in The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde in which Dr. Jekyll attempts to flush every bit of his evil being into Mr. Hyde. As well, Dorian Gray wishes his portrait would acquire all the traits he desires not to attain. Both these men and Alice struggle with an identity crisis, questing for their ideal Victorian self.

The Victorian Era is signified by Queen Victoria’s reign in England in 1837-1901. It is well-known for its striving to high morals, modesty, religious values which was imposed by the Queen and her husband. Science, technology and Christianity thrived. All the existing at that time religious organizations in England reflected the Victorian concern for poor and people in need.

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Assignment ID
100005907
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CREATED ON
29 August 2017
COMPLETED ON
31 August 2017
Price
$41
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Essay Example Comments
michaeldavidson73556
18 September 2018
michaeldavidson73556
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michaeldavidson73556
12 September 2018
michaeldavidson73556
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chanices1272
11 September 2018
chanices1272
Excellent