Explain some of the social changes in 19th century Britain which Thomas Hardy and Charles Dickens wrote about

(i) Charles Dickens wrote mainly about the emergence of industrial age and it’s effects on society and the common people.
(ii) Growth of factories and expanded cities led to the growth of business and economy and increased the profits of the capitalists.
(iii) But at the same time workers faced immense problems. Use of machines resulted in unemployment of ordinary labour, they became home-less creating the problem of housing.
(iv) Pursuit of profit became the goal of factory owners while the workers were undervalued and almost lost their identity. Human beings were reduced to mere instruments of production. Charles Dickens tried to focuss on these changes in his novel ‘Hard Times’ as well as in 'Oliver Twist.
(v) Thomas Hardy on the other hand focusses attention on the problems and changes in rural community. Traditional rural communities were vanishing fast in 19th century.
(vi) Large farmers bought machines and employed labourers to produce for the market. The old rural culture with independent farmers was dying out. Hardy depicts these changes in his novel, “The Mayor of Casterbridge”. Hardy mourns the loss of the more personalised world disappearing though he was aware of the advantages of the new order.

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