The Theme of Social Responsibility in Victorian England Essay

707 Words 3 Pages
How does dickens explore the theme of social responsibility in
Victorian England?

Charles dickens wrote ‘A Christmas Carol’ for a certain reason, and that reason was that he wanted to make people aware of the terrible situation the children of the poor were in. He visited a school in
1843 and was appalled by what he saw there. It was a school for the poorest children to teach them basic reading and writing skills. The children’s employment commission had also shocked him. At first dickens had the idea of writing a pamphlet called ‘an appeal to the people of England on behalf of the poor mans child’ but soon realised that seen as he was the most popular novelist of the time people would take much more notice he wrote about the
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All of this and the building of the new railroad made the population of Britain grow and it would reach up to 4.5 million by
1889. The upper and middle class lived very near to unbelievable poverty and filth. The poor street sweepers attempt to keep the streets clean of manure. There were pickpockets, prostitutes, drunks, beggars and vagabonds of every kind to add to the everyday life of
Victorian London.

Up until the second half of the 19th century people were still drinking water from the Thames in which raw sewage flowed into, causing several outbursts of cholera along with the great stink of
1958, the disease and sewage in the drinking water made a link with
Dr. John to find that all the victims of the cholera outbreak was connected with the same water pump. A plan was put together by Sir
Joseph Bazalgette, completed in 1875, which finally provided adequate sewers to serve the city.

A new law was put into place ‘the new poor law’ enacted in 1834.
Before it had been burden of all the parishes to take care of the poor. The new law required that all the parishes worked together to create regional workhouses where aid could be applied for. The workhouse was little more than a prison for the poor.

Victorian children worked in manufactories. They worked long hard hours to satisfy the needs of the parents because the families were so poor. The conditions of employment were terrible. They didn’t have any shoes because the
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