The Victorian compromise . It was a complex and contradictory era: it was the age of progress, stability, great social reforms but it was also charactersised by povertà, injustice and social unrest. The Victorians promoted a code of values that reflect the world as they wantede it to be, not as it really was, based on personal duty, hard work, respectability and charity. In thi periods was very important to work hard for improve the society. The idea of respectability distinguished the middle from lower class. Respectability was a mixture of both morality and hipocrisy, severety and conformity to social standards. It implied the possesion of good manners, the ownership of confortable house with servants and a carriage, regualr attendance at church, and charity activity. Philanthropy was a wide phenomenon: the rich middle class expolited the poor ruthlesssly and at the same time managed to help “stay children, fallen woman and drunk men”.
The husband represented the autority and the key role of woman regarded the education of children and the hosework. Sexuality was generally repressed in its public and private forms, and prudery in its most extreme manifestations led to denunciation of nudity in art, and the rejection of words with sexual connotation from everyday vocabulary.
FAITH AND PROGRESS - This is the period of novel because they represents the complexity of the period and the profound changes that characterised it. For the first time there was a communion of interests and opinions between writers and their readers. Same code of values: optimism, conformism and philanthropy. The writers depictecd society as they saw it; they were aware of evils of their society and denunced them, however they did not criticise the world they lived in, they just aimed at making readers realise social injustice and voiced their fears and doubts.
The setting was the city because it was the main symbol of the industrial civilisation, the expression of anonymous lives and lost identities.
DANDY: is a bourgeois artist who in spite of his uneasiness, remains a mamber of his class.
ART FOR ART'S SAKE : the function of art is that give eternal beauty; only art and beauty can save from evil and distruction. Whitman. Whitman was born in New York into a warking-class family. He had little formal education and he started to worked as an officice boy and then he became a journalist. When he was thirty yars old he travelled in New York, nwe Orleans and Chicago and he descovered the vastness of his country and the variety of its inhabitants. During the civil war he devoted him self to visiting wounded soldiers in the army hospital, he continued to belive in the value of democratcy and technological progress. The withman poetry was incorporated in the nine edition of leavs of grass. The first edition showed a picture of a warking man. Leavs of grass is not a colletion of poem but as a life-long poem.