Sunday, January 19, 2020

Alcoholism among Victorians Essay -- Victorian Era

Alcoholism among Victorians Wrayburn: â€Å"It will be necessary, I think, to wind up Mr. Dolls, before anything to any mortal purpose can be got out of him. Brandy, Mr. Dolls, or - ?† Mr. Dolls: â€Å"Threepenn’orth Rum.† --Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens Throughout Victorian society â€Å"gin was the preferred spirit of the lower class, while wine and brandy were imbibed by the more comfortable citizenry† (Alcoholic Beverages 12). During the nineteenth century, the Victorians had high expectations of their class system to make sure the classes were distinct and properly represented. They â€Å"valued controlled, propitious behavior† and would tolerate nothing less (Harding Victorians and Alcohol). There was a â€Å"cultural value placed on teetotaling,† total abstinence from alcoholic drinks, but despite this value â€Å"alcohol consumption became a popular pastime† (Harding Victorians and Alcohol). Behavior such as drunkenness was strongly disapproved of because of its association with the lower class. Alcoholism: Representation of the Working Class It was widely known that â€Å"drunkenness, and the related loss of self-control, was associated with the lower classes† and therefore had negative connotations (Harding Victorians and Alcohol). Spirits, a popular hard liquor, â€Å"had become the everyday drink for less wealthy people† and â€Å"laborers commonly used spirits to flee from their desolate everyday lives† (Harding Victorians and Alcohol). The awful working and living conditions of the working class contributed to their â€Å"hard, controlled, and monotonous life, [leading] to excessive drinking of hard liquor† (Harding Victorians and Alcohol). This excessive drinking would sometimes result in public intoxication which was â€Å"regarded as anti-s..., Inc. 1996. 12. Distad, Merrill N. â€Å"Food and Diet.† Victorian Britain: An Encyclopedia. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc. 1988. 304-307. Garwood, John. â€Å"Religious and moral Character of the Pensioners, and Provisions made for their Instruction.† Social Investigation/Journalism – The Million-Peopled City. (1853): 94-96. 11 Mar. 2005 Harding, Stephen. â€Å"Alcohol.† Victorians’ Secrets. â€Å"Absinthe and Victorians.† Victorians’ Secrets. 2000. University of Texas at Arlington. 24 Feb. 2005. Kent, Christopher A. â€Å"Drink.† Twentieth-Century Britain: An Encyclopedia. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1995. 239-240. Murdock, Catherine Gilbert. Domesticating Drink: Women, Men, and Alcohol in America, 1870-1940 . Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998.

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