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The Canterville Ghost Historical Context

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Historical Context

Oscar Wilde wrote at the end of the Victorian period, named for Queen Victoria. This period marked the rise of a growing middle class in Great Britain. This middle class had gained wealth through the technological advances of the Industrial Revolution, as well as a result of Britain's expanding empire. The values of this class stood in marked contrast to the values of an older aristocracy. Members of the aristocracy had traditionally depended on land for income and were used to inheriting wealth rather than earning it. The middle class idealized the importance of the family, thrift, and hard work. However, many working-class Victorians lived in poverty and squalor. Government commissions microscopically examined the living conditions of the poor in an attempt to improve everything from sewage systems to education. Mid-Victorian novelists used their art to bring attention to the social problems of the day.

Aesthetic Backlash

Oscar...

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This section contains 527 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Canterville Ghost Study Guide
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The Canterville Ghost from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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