Benjamin Disraeli: An Analytical Comparison of the Victorian Age Intellectual with Contemporaries Charles Dickens and Thomas Carlyle

Essay by belskyHigh School, 11th gradeA+, April 2002

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Benjamin Disraeli was a politically engaged man. He was a Member of Parliament, Chancellor of the Exchequer, which is relatively like the United States' Secretary of the Treasury, and was twice the Prime Minister of Great Britain. Unlike many politicos of his day, however, Disraeli was heavily involved in issues of the common man of Victorian England, such as expanding suffrage to all taxpaying men, improving health facilities and practices, housing, trade unions, but most importantly, humanizing the working and living conditions of the lower-class in England. He addressed these issues with not only governmental involvement; Disraeli was a professional writer as well. He wrote both romantically and realistically, and molded public opinion with his novels Cybil and Conigsby as much as he did with any legislation. The philosophies of this man are multifaceted, and his political experience combined with his influential literature give him no precise contemporary. However, there were many intellectuals of his time with whom he concurred and deterred about prevailing matters within Victorian England.

There is the aspect of Disraeli's actual writing style that could be considered superficially insignificant, but is, in fact, a quite important feature of each of their outlooks. Benjamin Disraeli was, as afore mentioned, quite a successful novelist prior to his beginning as a Member of Parliament. Like fellow Victorian author Charles Dickens, who made himself famous by stating the horrific conditions of working class Victorian England in novels of historical fiction such as Nicholas Nickelby and Oliver Twist, Disraeli chose to use novels as the expression of his views on the need for government reforms for improved working and living conditions for the working classes. He believed that telling stories, in which the reader could see, understand, and interpret the appalling conditions for themselves, his the best way to show...