Hard Times

Hard Times: A Microcosm of Urban Factories

Inventor and scientific pioneer Albert Einstein once commented that "It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity." Though he was not referring to the industrialization of England during the nineteenth century, his sentiment was echoed by many during the Victorian Age of England. The era saw, in the words of critic Carol Christ, a "shift from a way of life based on the ownership of land to a modern urban economy based on trade and manufacturing" (Christ 1043). Departing from the previous rural economy, England now entered into the modern world of technology. Though productive and profitable, this change in England's social and economic structure transformed the psyche of many Victorians. By the end of the century, England was the world's principal imperial authority, but with this new power came the destruction of moralistic ways of life found earlier in England's history. Nineteenth-century England's overzealous adoption of industrialization threatened to dehumanize its citizens by thwarting the development of their emotions and imaginations for the purpose of tangible productions of industry. To quote Christ, Victorians "suffered from an anxious sense...

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