British Empire Adventure Fiction – Cosmopolitanism/Citizenship

The popularity of British ideology was not unified. It was habitually grassed with enormous uncertainties and obsession. Though, the onset of the 20th century illustrated the British Empire obsessed with acquiring extensive colonies abroad “… annex new territories overseas” (Dunae, 2008,p.112).

According to George (2006), however, acquiring of these colonies was not easy; it was beleaguered by qualm, thus; these qualms sneaked into deliberation of British royal program. British were tasked with the challenge of maintaining the flouting warnings of modern social opponents who viewed substantiation everywhere of its civilization diminish.

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They categorically cautioned of social and cultural deterioration, gender assault, hostility and opposition, colonial revolution and class cessation (Georgia, 2006). These fears were distinct, for while social, gender, race and colonial precincts and identities were in place, in the 20th century; the British precincts untying them were delicate and thawing. Thus, an initiative crafted to disintegrate the doubts through royal tales.

The Boys’ Literature and the Idea of Empire, 1870- 1914, one of the adventures literatures tried to argue that; boys as the role model of Britons “are you proud to be a Briton?” (Dunae, 2008, p.111).

According to Dunae, (2008, p.105), every British boy born notion, Kestner asserts that they were restricted in publicly talking against the British Empire, if noted; severe punishment was executed (2010, p.157). Dunae appears to be factual to his arguments during the 19th century, and early 20th century, a larger proportion of British youth were unquestionably conscious of their heroic tradition (2008, p.106).

This was strengthened by early exposure to British Imperialistic notions in; schools, recreational associations and church among other places. Consequently, narratives and other printed publications portrayed the supremacy of young British nationalists with enticing assortments of imperialistic notions.

Overtime, the philosophies of publications of Boy’s literature and the empire fixed the progression of British imperialism across the world. The period of adventure fictions concurred with the intensifying importance of British influence abroad (Dunae, 2008, p.106). The literatures published thus, served as a theoretical platform to infuse British ideologies to boys which will later make them defenders of British philosophies in adulthood.

According to Orgeret (2010), the publications of adventure fictions were critical they highlighted the progress that Britain encompassed to form a strong empire in its overseas acquired territories. Besides, British spirit of adventure as a result of their exploration undertakings mirrored how the people at home reacted.

Thus, the concepts of bias, slavery, gender and superiority were main aspects associated with its expansion interests. Despite of vast empires in overseas colonies; the adventure fictions highlighted how the British influenced male dominance and the superiority of its empires (Orgeret, 2010).

Besides, the idea of cosmopolitanism came about as a result of the imaginations among the Britons in discovering the world around them. Moreover, the vast British colonies provided a larger geographical landscape. Thus, this provided a room for more interaction with other races. A new form of citizenship also was created. For example, The British overseas created a new form of citizenship due to interaction with other races (Kestner, 2010, p. 77).

According to Ferguson (2003, p. XII), the British Empire, as a result of its overseas expansion interests, encouraged slave and slavery. They sold slaves to different countries across the world. Thus, dispersal of slaves to various parts of the world established a new form of migration. This consequently facilitated development of cosmopolitan urban with different races, and new kinds of citizens, as Fergusson asserts “ I have relatives spread across the world…. In Ontario, Perth, Philadelphia… because of the British empire” (2003, p. Xiii).

Further, he gives another example when he says “in 1966, after completing medical studies in Glasgow…. Taking his wife and two infants children in Kenya (Fergusson, 2003, p. XIV). This situation shows how the British Empire contributed to the development of cosmopolitan-urban centers across the world.

Although most of the readers of adventure fiction remained in Britain, the narratives reinforced the influence of British approach of life and the “rightness” of British cause. On far distant lands, the middle-class workers in colonies found illustration of adventuring as a demonstration of attachment of outstanding lifestyle. In isolated stations, the colonial-civil servants found such narratives resilient thus they were actually on a point of something exhilarating (Kestner, 2010, p. 129).

However, surprised by the reports of the waning British strength, and establishment of manufacturing, and military hegemony of other countries such as Germany Boy’s literature was seen as restorative “…..looked apprehensively at Germany…power” (Dunnue, 2008, p 116).

Since the lower working class in the society was already lost, the Boys’ literature targeted the population with potential, and those involved in supporting the standing of the British Empire, and what was better for the Victorian society. This means the middle and upper class working individuals.

The Boys’ literature provided a variety of organized and most conformist rational prospect. Therefore, it appealed to middle class and parents as a whole since it embraced the traditional masculine and heroic figures to persuade responsible behavior. For instance, Scouting instilled obedience and submission. It encouraged grading as a natural edict in the society and indicated divergence from mainstream social systems which would otherwise mean cultural destruction (Kestner, 2010, p. 138).

Reference List

Dunae, A.P., (1980) Boys’ Literature and the Idea of Empire, 1870- 1914, Victorian Studies, (24), 1, pp. 105-121

Ferguson, N., 2003. How Britain Made the Modern World, Camberwell, Penguin Group

Georgia, G., 2006. Empire and Exoticism in the Short Fiction of Alexandros Rizos Rangavis, Journal of Modern Greek Studies, (24), 1, pp.23-55

Kestner A.J., 2010. Masculinities in British adventure fiction, 1880-1915, Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, ltd

Orgeret, S,K.,s 2010. Mediated Culture and the well Informed Global Citizen, Nordicom Review, (31), 2, pp. 47 -67