Society during the Victorian Age
The society during the Victorian Age was marked by the principle of the Victorian Compromise that is usually referred to the particular situation which saw prosperity and progress on one hand and poverty, ugliness and injustice in the other. The fine lady in Coketown’s passage.
The Utilitarianism saw industrial development only as a source of prosperity and progress: Victorians were proud of their welfare but they tended to ignore or was unable to solve the many social conflicts and problems raised by it: for example the poor endured terrible conditions.
The New Poor Law of 1834 was a “solution” to the problem: the poor were amassed in Workhouses which closely resembled jails and in which conditions of life were frightful. In this period poverty was considered a crime and penalized as such.
Education too, had its problems. Teachers were often incompetent and corporal punishment was still regularly applied to maintain discipline.
Respectability. Under the influence of Queen Victoria the age turned excessively puritanical. Sex became a taboo subject, and all the words with sexual or indelicate connotations were driven out of everyday language.
In the Victorian family the father proved even more authoritarian than before and the mother was to be submissive and fruitful.
Middle class women in general were to adhere to a strict code of behavior which expected them to be frail, innocent and pure, confined within the family walls or devoted to a few respectable jobs like teaching or social activities.