The victorian frame of mind: riassunto

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appunti e riassunto in inglese della "victorian frame of mind" (1 pagine formato doc)


The code of values usually defined as "Victorian", found its basis in some of the movements of thought of the age.

The religious movement known as "Evangelicalism" influenced moral conduct as the test of the good Christian. The Evangelicals believed in:
- the need to bring enthusiasm and commitment into the established Church;
- dedication to humanitarian causes and social reform;
- obedience to a strict code of morality which opposed many forms of entertainment and advocated the "Sunday Observance Bill" in 1837;
- the importance of Bible reading and praying at home.

Victorian frame of mind: appunti


The other movement of important  was "Utilitarianism", based on Jeremy Bentham's priciples.

This movement was based on the conviction that any problem could be overcome with reason. James Millì stated:
- he maintaind that happiness is a state of the mind and the spirit, not a search for selfish pleasures;
- he thought legislation should have a more positive function in trying to help men develop their natural talents and personalities;
- he conceived the good society as the one where the free interplay of human character creates the greatest variety;
- he believed progress came from mental energy, and in the importance to education and art;
- he promoted a long series of reforms, among which  the causes of popular education trades union organisation, the development of co-operatives, the extension of representation to all citizens, and the emancipation of women.

Charles Darwin in his works "On the Origin of Species" and "The Descent of Man",  presented his theory of natural selection and evolution according to which:
- all living creatures  have taken their forms through a slow process of change and adaptation in a struggle for survival;
- physical conditions determine the survival of a species or its extinctions;
- man evolved like any other animal (an ape-like mammal).

The Victorian age: riassunto


The philosopher Herbert Spencer applied Darwin's ideas to social life: economic competition was the same as natural selection and that the poor and oppressed did not deserve compassion. This became known as "Social Darwinism". William Morris oppose industrialism and advocated a social ideal based on the simplicity and beauty of the Middle Ages. He believed that only the organisation of a massive movement of workers could solve the problems of industrial society. Matthew Arnold, instead, assigned the task of the regeneration of England to literature, finding a close connection between the way people live and think.