The growth of pessimistic thoughts during Victorian era


Thus the established order, customs, faiths, beliefs and traditions were losing their hold on the minds of the people, and the new order of things had not yet been established. Man had lost his mooring in God, Religion and Nature. The mechanistic, view of the universe precluded any faith in a benevolent creator.

Man felt, “Orphan and defrauded”. He took a gloomy, view of life, for he felt miserable and helpless with nothing to fail back upon. It was for the first time, says David Cecil that “conscious, considered pessimism became a force in English literature”.

The melancholy poems of Arnold, the poetry of Fitzgerald, Thomson’s The City of God, and the works of Thomas Hardy all reflect the pessimistic outlook of the late Victorian era. This growth of pessimism was further encouraged by the flow of pessimistic thought from Europe, where pessimism was much in the air at the time.

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