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ENGL410: The Victorian Novel

Unit 5: Science, Psychology and the Victorian Novel   The Industrial Revolution that took place over the course of the Victorian Era meant that very rapid changes occurred in the ways and means of labor. As we learned in Unit 1, class structure and stratification were very important, and men and women had separate spheres of labor. The enormous changes of science and technology destabilized this, however; so, even as the categories for work were being defined, they were also being challenged. Some of this is evident in the technology used in the last novel, Dracula. However, there were other “revolutions” happening during this period, particularly in the natural and physical sciences and in medicine. In this Unit, we will examine how theories of natural selection, evolution, and psychology (influenced by the rise in empire and industry) affected society – and the novels that describe it. A reciprocal relationship also existed between science, psychology, and the novel. Some medical professionals even borrowed language from Charles Dickens!

Guiding Questions:

  • How do changes in science, technology and medicine threaten or destabilize Victorian notions of class and separate spheres?
  • How do the early theories of psychology challenge or reinforce stereotypical ideas of class and gender in Victorian England?
  • In what ways do new discoveries influence novels? Reciprocally, in what ways to novels provide a necessary testing ground for the new discoveries of science?
  • How do theories like evolution affect political thought – particularly Marxism?
  • How do changes in psychology and scientific theory affect concepts of morality and spirituality? How does the shift toward more secular thinking get represented in later novels by Dickens or Hardy?

Unit 5 Time Advisory
Completing this unit should take you approximately 30 hours.

☐    Subunit 5.1: 1.5 hours

☐    Subunit 5.2: 7.25 hours

☐    Subunit 5.3: 7.75 hours

☐    Subunit 5.4: 12 hours

☐    Subunit 5.5: 1.5 hours

Unit5 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
- discuss the reciprocal relations of science, technology and literature; - describe Charles Darwin’s major contributions and define evolution and natural selection; - discuss the influence of natural discovery voyages on science fiction; - list and distinguish between major Victorian concepts of madness and mental disruption; - discuss the major psychological contributions of Sigmund Freud and Cesare Lombroso; - describe the effects of psychology on understanding of criminal behavior and define social Darwinism; - describe the influence of evolution on late Victorian moral conduct and Marxism; and - identify the major tenets of Marxism

5.1 Industry, Technology and the Victorian Novel   5.1.1 Industrial Revolution and its Discontents   - Reading: The Victorian Web: George P. Landow’s “The Industrial Revolution: An Introduction” Link: The Victorian Web: George P. Landow’s “The Industrial Revolution: An Introduction” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read this section.  

 Reading this text and taking notes should take you 10 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Permission to host material has been granted by [The
Victorian Web](http://www.victorianweb.org) for any scholarly or
educational purpose. The original version of the article can be
found [here](http://www.victorianweb.org/technology/ir/ir1.html).

5.1.2 Railways and Social Effects   - Reading: The Victorian Web: George P. Landow’s “Railways and Victorian Literature – An Introduction” Link: The Victorian Web: George P. Landow’s “Railways and Victorian Literature – An Introduction” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read this introduction. Note the complaints of
passengers. It is also important to note that railway accidents were
common and deadly; Charles Dickens was nearly killed in a terrible
train accident that traumatized him for long after.  

 Reading this text and taking notes should take you 10 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Permission to host material has been granted by [The
Victorian Web](http://www.victorianweb.org) for any scholarly or
educational purpose. The original version of the article can be
found
[here](http://www.victorianweb.org/technology/railways/rrlit1.html).
  • Reading: The Victorian Web Jeoffry Spence’s “The Social Effects of Victorian Railways” Link: The Victorian Web Jeoffry Spence’s “The Social Effects of Victorian Railways” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this short introduction.

    Reading this text and taking notes should take you 5 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Permission to host material has been granted by The Victorian Web for any scholarly or educational purpose. The original version of the article can be found here.

  • Reading: The Project Gutenberg: “The Signalman by Charles Dickens” Link: The Project Gutenberg: “The Signalman by Charles Dickens” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this short story, paying careful attention to the way technology (the railway) affects psychology.

    Reading this text and taking notes should take you 20 minutes.

    Terms of Use: The article above is in the Public Domain.

5.1.3 Victorian Technologies   - Reading: The Victorian Web: Stephen Hall Clark’s “Technology and Leisure in Britain after 1850” Link: The Victorian Web: Stephen Hall Clark’s “Technology and Leisure in Britain after 1850” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read this short introduction on technology and its
influence on leisure in Victorian Britain.  
                     
 Reading this text and taking notes should take you 10 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Permission to host material has been granted by [The
Victorian Web](http://www.victorianweb.org) for any scholarly or
educational purpose. The original version of the article can be
found [here](http://www.victorianweb.org/history/leisure3.html).
  • Reading: Victorian Web: George P. Landow’s “Literature, Science, and Technology” Link: Victorian Web: George P. Landow’s “Literature, Science, and Technology” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this article on the reciprocal relations among science, technology and literature.

    Reading this text and taking notes should take you 10 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Permission to host material has been granted by The Victorian Web for any scholarly or educational purpose. The original version of the article can be found here.

  • Reading: The Victorian Web: Terry Scarborough’s “Science or Séance? Late-Victorian Science and Dracula's Epistolary Structure” Link: The Victorian Web: Terry Scarborough’s “Science or Séance? Late-Victorian Science and Dracula's Epistolary Structure” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read the following article. Consider the ways technology in used in the novels we have read so far, especially Dracula.

    Reading this text and taking notes should take you 20 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Permission to host material has been granted by The Victorian Web for any scholarly or educational purpose. The original version of the article can be found here.

5.2 Natural Sciences and the Victorian Novel   5.2.1 Victorian Science and Scientific Thought   - Reading: The Victorian Web: John van Wyhe’s “Victorian Science: An Introduction” Link: The Victorian Web: John van Wyhe’s “Victorian Science: An Introduction” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read the short introduction.  

 Reading this text and taking notes should take you 5 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Permission to host material has been granted by [The
Victorian Web](http://www.victorianweb.org) for any scholarly or
educational purpose. The original version of the article can be
found [here](http://www.victorianweb.org/science/intro.html).

5.2.2 Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species: A Brief Introduction and Overview   - Reading: The Pennsylvania State University’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences: “Charles Darwin” Link: The Pennsylvania State University’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences: “Charles Darwin” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read this entry for a better understanding of
Darwin’s life and work.  

 Reading this text and taking notes should take approximately 30
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/). It is
attributed to Eliza Richardson.
  • Reading: The Victorian Web: Dr. John van Wyhe’s “Charles Darwin (1809–1882) Gentleman Naturalist” Link: The Victorian Web: Dr. John van Wyhe’s “Charles Darwin (1809–1882) Gentleman Naturalist” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read Dr. van Wyhe’s introduction to Charles Darwin’s life and work.

    Reading this text and taking notes should take you 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Permission to host material has been granted by The Victorian Web for any scholarly or educational purpose. The original version of the article can be found here.

  • Reading: The Victorian Web: Dr. Jacqueline Banerjee’s “Richard Jefferies and Victorian Science Fiction” Link: The Victorian Web: Dr. Jacqueline  Banerjee’s “Richard Jefferies and Victorian Science Fiction” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read the Victorian Web’s version of Dr. Banerjee’s essay on Victorian science fiction.

    Reading this text and taking notes should take you 10 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Permission to host material has been granted by The Victorian Web for any scholarly or educational purpose. The original version of the article can be found here.

5.2.3 Case Study in the Novel 7: A Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne   - Reading: The Project Gutenberg: “Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne” Link: The Project Gutenberg: A Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read Verne’s novel. Notice how the journey has been
influenced by the travels of real-life explorers and natural
biologists.  

 Reading this text and taking notes should take you 7 hours.  

 Terms of Use: The article above is in the Public Domain.

5.3 Medical Science and the Victorian Novel   5.3.1 Science of the Mind   - Reading: The Victorian Web: “Victorian Science of the Mind” Link: The Victorian Web: “Victorian Science of the Mind” (HTML)

 Instructions: Review this list.  

 Reviewing this list should take approximately 5 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Permission to host material has been granted by *[The
Victorian Web](http://www.victorianweb.org)* for any scholarly or
educational purpose.
  • Reading: The Victorian Web: John van Wyhe’s “Phrenology” Link: The Victorian Web: John van Wyhe’s “Phrenology” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read the following text for a better understanding of phrenology.

    Reading this text and taking notes should take approximately 20 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Permission to host material has been granted by The Victorian Web for any scholarly or educational purpose. This article is attributed to John van Wyhe.

  • Reading: Esalen Center for Theory and Research: “Animal Magnetism” Link: Esalen Center for Theory and Research: “Animal Magnetism” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read the following sections: Historical Introduction, Franz Anton Mesmer and Animal Magnetism, Magnetic Sleep, and Hypnotism.

    Reading this text and taking notes should take approximately 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

  • Reading: Wikipedia: “Monomania” Link: Wikipedia: “Monomania” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read the following page for a better understanding of monomania.

    Reading this text and taking notes should take approximately 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

5.3.2 Brief Introduction to the Life, Work, and Theories of Sigmund Freud   - Reading: Pegasos: “Sigmund Freud” Link: Pegasos: “Sigmund Freud” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read the text.  

 Reading this text and taking notes should take approximately 20
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-NoDerivs-NonCommercial 1.0 Finland
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd-nc/1.0/fi/deed.en). It
is attributed to Petri Liukkonen.

5.3.3 Evolution, Psychology, Criminology   - Reading: The Victorian Web: Alvin Wee’s “Nineteenth-Century Psychology: An Introduction” Link: The Victorian Web: Alvin Wee’s “Nineteenth-Century Psychology: An Introduction” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read the article.  

 Reading this text and taking notes should take you 5 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Permission to host material has been granted by [The
Victorian Web](http://www.victorianweb.org) for any scholarly or
educational purpose. The original version of the article can be
found [here](http://www.victorianweb.org/science/psych/psych.htm).

5.3.4 Case Study in the Novel 8: Robert Louis Stevenson's *Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde*   - Reading: Great Writers Inspire: Charlotte Barrett’s “Gothic Elements in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Link: Great Writers Inspire: Charlotte Barrett’s “Gothic Elements in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (HTML)

 Instructions: Read this article on the uses of atavism in
Stevenson’s novel.  

 Reading this text and taking notes should take you 10 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: The article above is released under a [Creative
Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/). It is
attributed to Charlotte Barret and the original can be found
[here](http://writersinspire.podcasts.ox.ac.uk/content/gothic-elements-strange-case-dr-jekyll-mr-hyde).
  • Reading: Project Gutenberg: “Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson. Link: Project Gutenberg: Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read Project Gutenberg’s version of Stevenson’s novel. How are ideas of evolution and devolution expressed in this text? What about monomania – or the criminal psychology of Lombroso? How would you describe this novel in the Freudian terms that we studied earlier in this course?

    Reading this text and taking notes should take you 6 hours.

    Terms of Use: The article above is in the Public Domain.

5.4 Political and Philosophical Reactions to Science   5.4.1 Evolution and Morality   - Reading: The Victorian Web: Terence Green’s “Evolution as a Guide to Conduct” Link: The Victorian Web: Terence Green’s “Evolution as a Guide to Conduct” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read this article; pay special attention to the way
in which evolution originally worked with (but later challenged) the
Christian idea of morality.  

 Reading this text and taking notes should take you 10 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Permission to host material has been granted by [The
Victorian Web](http://www.victorianweb.org) for any scholarly or
educational purpose. The original version of the article can be
found
[here](http://www.victorianweb.org/philosophy/spencer/green2.html).
  • Reading: The Victorian Web: George P. Landow’s Darwin: “‘So it is with ourselves’ – Darwin, evolution, and moral philosophy” Link:The Victorian Web: George P. Landow’s Darwin: “‘So it is with ourselves’ – Darwin, evolution, and moral philosophy” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read the article.

    Reading this text and taking notes should take you 15 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Permission to host material has been granted by The Victorian Web for any scholarly or educational purpose. The original version of the article can be found here.

5.4.2 Herbert Spencer and Social Darwinism   - Reading: The Victorian Web: Alvin Wee’s “Herbert Spencer's Social Darwinism” Link: The Victorian Web: Alvin Wee’s “Herbert Spencer's Social Darwinism” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read this brief overview of Herbert Spencer and the
way he applied Darwinian ideas to society.  

 Reading this text and taking notes should take you 10 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Permission to host material has been granted by [The
Victorian Web](http://www.victorianweb.org) for any scholarly or
educational purpose. The original version of the article can be
found [here](http://www.victorianweb.org/philosophy/socdar.html).
  • Reading: The Victorian Web: Joachim Dagg’s “Herbert Spencer's Anticipations of Natural Selection” Link: The Victorian Web: Joachim Dagg’s “Herbert Spencer's Anticipations of Natural Selection” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this piece, which described a strange gendered consequence of Spencer’s thinking, mainly regarding reproduction.

    Reading this text and taking notes should take you 5 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Permission to host material has been granted by The Victorian Web for any scholarly or educational purpose. The original version of the article can be found here.
       

5.4.3 Life, Work, and Ideas of Karl Marx   - Reading: The Victorian Web: Robert Sullivan’s “Karl Marx” Link: The Victorian Web: Robert Sullivan’s “Karl Marx” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read this introduction to Karl Marx and the Communist
Manifesto.  

 Reading this text and taking notes should take you 5 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Permission to host material has been granted by [The
Victorian Web](http://www.victorianweb.org) for any scholarly or
educational purpose. The original version of the article can be
found [here](http://www.victorianweb.org/philosophy/phil2.html).

5.4.4 Backlash against Social Darwinism   - Reading: Wikipedia: “Social effects of Evolutionary Theory” Link: Wikipedia: “Social effects of Evolutionary Theory” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read all sections of this entry.  

 Reading this text and taking notes should take approximately 30
minutes.  

 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/).
  • Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s “ENGL 410 Subunit 5.4.4 Discussion Forum” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “ENGL 410 Subunit 5.4.4 Discussion Forum” (HTML)

    Instructions: Spend a few minutes reflecting on social Darwinism and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. How are scientific and anthropological ideas expressed in the novel? In what ways might degeneration and class be involved in the representation of Mr. Hyde? Then, share your thoughts on the discussion forum by clicking the link above and creating a (free) account, if you have not already done so. Read responses that other students may have left and leave any comments you have on their feedback as well.

    Posting and responding to comments should take approximately 1 hour.

5.4.5 Case Study in the Victorian Novel 9: Joseph Conrad’s Journey Inward and the Rejection of Victorian Values   - Reading: Survey of British Literature: “Chapter 8, Section 3: Joseph Conrad (1857–1924)” Link: Survey of British Literature: “Chapter 8, Section 3: Joseph Conrad (1857–1924)” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read the chapter, which outlines Conrad’s vision and
the basic structure of the narrative.  

 Reading this text and taking notes should take you 1.5 hours.  

 Terms of Use: This text was adapted by The Saylor Foundation under
a [Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share-Alike 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/) without
attribution as  
 requested by the work’s original creator or licensee.
  • Reading: Project Gutenberg: “Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad” Link: Project Gutenberg: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read Part I of Project Gutenberg’s version of Joseph Conrad’s novel.

    Reading this text and taking notes should take you 5 hours.

    Terms of Use: The article above is in the Public Domain.

5.4.6 Case Study in the Victorian Novel 10: Thomas Hardy's Version of Victorian Novelistic Drives   - Reading: The Victorian Web: Philip V. Allingham’s “The Novels of Thomas Hardy: An Introduction” Link: The Victorian Web: Philip V. Allingham’s “The Novels of Thomas Hardy: An Introduction” (HTML)

 Instructions: Read the Victorian Web’s version of Dr. Allingham’s
essay on the life and  
 work of Thomas.  

 Reading this text and taking notes should take you 15 minutes.  

 Terms of Use: Permission to host material has been granted by [The
Victorian Web](http://www.victorianweb.org) for any scholarly or
educational purpose. The original version of the article can be
found [here](http://www.victorianweb.org/authors/hardy/intro.html).
  • Reading: Project Gutenberg: “‘Phase the First: The Maiden’ from Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles Link: Project Guttenberg: “‘Phase the First: The Maiden’ from Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the D'Urbervilles (HTML)

    Instructions: Read Project Gutenberg’s version of “Phase the First: The Maiden” from
    Thomas Hardy’s novel.

    Reading this text and taking notes should take you 3 hours.

    Terms of Use: The article above is in the Public Domain.

5.5 Victorian Novelist as Social Critic: Returning to Dickens   In the five units of this course, we have explored how the Victorian novel was influenced by changes in culture – but also how the novelists themselves remarked upon, critiqued and influenced that culture. As we conclude our survey, I ask you to return to the work of Charles Dickens, and to re-imagine the novelist as a social critic. I hope you have enjoyed the course and the strange, wonderful world of the Victorian novel.

  • Reading: The Victorian Web: Dr. Andrzej Diniejko’s “Charles Dickens as Social Commentator and Critic” Link: The Victorian Web: Dr. Andrzej Diniejko’s “Charles Dickens as Social Commentator and Critic” (HTML)

    Instructions: Read this article.

    Reading this text and taking notes should take you 30 minutes.

    Terms of Use: Permission to host material has been granted by The Victorian Web for any scholarly or educational purpose. The original version of the article can be found here.

  • Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s “ENGL 410 Subunit 5.5 Discussion Forum” Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “ENGL 410 Subnit 5.5 Discussion Forum” (HTML)

    Instructions: Spend a few minutes reflecting on the last readings of this course. The last few novels use different strategies to reveal the failures of human nature. Like Dickens’ earlier novels, however, the novels are making comments on the society that surrounds them and incorporating realism, psychology and science to support their stories. Now consider the last reading on the author as a social critic. What does it mean for the novel to be “a repository of social conscience”? Share your thoughts on the discussion forum by clicking the link above and creating a (free) account, if you have not already done so. Read responses that other students may have left and leave any comments you have on their feedback as well.

    Posting and responding to comments should take approximately 1 hour.