(1) Feilding Tradition with Loose Plots:
For one thing, the Victorian novel continues to be largely in the Fielding tradition. The plot is generally loose and ill-constructed. The main outline of the Victorian novel is the same.
(2) A Mixture of Strength and Weakness:
The Vicrtorian novel is an extraordinary mixture of sentiment, flashy melodrama and lifeless characters. There is much that is improbable and artificial in character and incident.
(3) Entertainment Value:
The Victorian Novel makes interesting reading. The novelists may not construct a compact plot, but they tell the story so well. They are so entertaining, that children still love to read and enjoy a novel of Dickens or Thackeray. The readers’ attention is not allowed to flag even for a single moment. They do not like to give it up unfinished.
(4) Panoramic Value:
Novels like Vanity Fair, David Copperfield etc., are not like most modern novels, concentrated wholly on the life and fortunes of a few principal characters; they also provide panoramas of whole societies. In the Victorian novel, Cecil says, “A hundred different types and classes, persons and nationalities, jostle each other across the shadow screen of our imagination”.
(5) Immense Varity:
The Victorian novelists have capacity of varied moods. Their range of mood is as wide as their range of subject. They write equally for the train journey and for all time; they crowd realism and fantasy, thrills and theories, knock out farce and effected pure aesthetic beauty, check by jowl on the same page; they are Mr. Galsworthy and Mr. Huxley and Mrs. Woolf, Mrs. Christs and Mr. Wood house, all in one. A book like David Coperfield is a sort of vast schoolboy hamper of fiction with sweets and sandwiches, pots of jam with their greased paper caps, cream and nuts and glossy apples, all packed together in a heterogeneous deliciousness.
(6) Imaginative Rendering of Reality:
Not only have the Victorian novelist’s width and range of subject and mood, not only are they entertaining story-tellers, they have also creative ‘imagination in ample measure. Their imagination works on their personal expertness and transform and transmutes them. The act of creation is always performed. Dickens is, “the romancer of London streets”, and Thackeray too, transports us to an entirely new world, call it Vanity Fair or Thackeray-land or what you will. The creative imagination of the Victorian
The creative imagination is also seen in the humour of the Victorian novelists. Each of the great Victorian novelists is a humorist, and each is humorist in a style of his own. They have created a number of immortal figures of fun, each is comic in his own different way. There are hundreds of fine jokes and witty remarks spread all over the Victorian novel.
The Victorians are all able to make their character live. Their characters may not always be real, there may be much in them that is improbable and false, but they
(9) Lack of Liberalism:
The Victorian novels show a definite decline from the earlier English novel. Any lapse from virtue is shrouded in an atmosphere of, “drawing the blinds and lowering the voice.” Free and uninhibited treatment of the animal side is tacking The Victorian novel presents only a partial, one sided view of life.