As a writer one is greatly influenced by their personal experiences with social, historical, and cultural context within their specific time period. Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray was shaped by the aspects of the world around him. The themes of the text are are influenced by morality in the Victorian Era. Throughout the Victorian Era a deeper movement was also prominent in London called Aestheticism. Aestheticism is the worship of beauty and self-fulfillment.
In the novel Romeo and Juliet, there are characters that have structural roles to play. These characters have a deeper and more significant meaning to the story than how they are literally interpreted by the reader. One of these character is Mercutio, a blood relative of the Prince and a close friend of Romeo. Mercutio's role in Romeo and Juliet is to provide the masculine comic potential through the action of degrading love in a joking fashion as observed in the Queen Mab speech, the taunting of the Nurse, and the taunting of Romeo through Rosaline.
Schaffer states that: 'Dracula explores Stoker's fear and anxiety as a closeted homosexual man' which he could be doing here through Harker. Schaffer explores a letter which Stoker wrote to Walt Whitman where he writes how they are from a specific: 'kind' and Schaffer thinks that: 'It is significant that Stoker believes' this, that it is as if: 'he belongs to a species set apart' which mirrors the way the Count is perceived. Through Jonathan and Dracula, Stoker could be trying to have his desired relationship with Oscar Wilde (Schaffer states that they had: 'an intimate [...] history') which shows a positive depiction of femininity as homosexuality was linked to femininity at the time of writing. In conclusion, positive femininity is evident throughout Dracula, with Stoker depicting this through the New Woman - Mina having a job, knowing shorthand and maybe not living to the exact ideology she was brought up in, yet also through stopping this 'elaborate' woman from living, as seen when Lucy is killed: 'Finally it lay still.'
Oscar Wilde’s satirical play The Importance of Being Earnest, set in the late Victorian era, London, is a portrayal of British upper class society and its conventions surrounded by a strict code of conduct. In 1890’s class society, earnestness was desired; to follow the moral code and social obligations in order to keep up one’s appearance. Besides, there was a huge gender disparity between men and women. In the play, Wilde criticizes the social inequality and Victorian upper class standards. He characterizes Victorian personae making fun of their qualities; hypocrisy, arrogance and absurdism, ultimately the very vital state and lifeline of not being earnest at all in Victorian society.
In response to the Industrial Revolution of Victorian England during the 18th century, British society found itself at a crossroad regarding what was deemed significant in human life. The Victorian life was grimy, tough and cruel, and it is made prevalent throughout Charles Dickens’ novella, ‘A Christmas Carol’, that a clear distinction is illustrated between that of the wealthy, aristocrats of England, which was paralleled with those who don’t have wealth, but may have happiness. Dickens integrates the use of satire with the intention to evoke change within his audience, which would result in a more equal England in the future. Moreover, the use of multiple literary techniques as well as the further development of characters, of whom reflect stereotypical members of Victorian England society, Dickens is able to exemplify the need for humanity to transform for the good of all. Dickens establishes greed as a major flaw in society, furthermore, Dickens exposes the greater requirement for generosity to be prevalent within humanity.
The statement ‘masculinity in Victorian literary texts is a category radically divided, re-imagined and problematic’ sums up not only masculinity but also the main male characters from Victorian literature. Some of the most memorable male characters within literatures comes from this era, and they are radically divided from women, they are re-imagined character from the typical Anglo-Saxon white English gentleman, and in no way a stereotypical male, (even creating a new stereotype) and yet they are all problematic flawed characters. The most memorable masculinity novels have characters that are divided, re-imagined and problematic like that of Heathcliff, Allen Quatermain Sherlock Holmes and Watson. With a close textual analysis readers can see how these Victorian masculine characters are made immortal. Masculinity cannot be assessed without femininity to contrast to, even in the book that is for boys written by a boy and about boys King Solomon’s Mines, written by H. Rider Haggard.
The extent of satire shown was widespread throughout the novel, particularly towards the ideas of impulsiveness and materialism. Those aspects are also connected towards the idealistic American Dream. Within the novel, Fitzgerald frequently mocks those in the roaring twenties by showing typical behavior of those who are wealthy and believe in the American Dream, which displays The Great Gatsby as
Nathaniel Hawthorne is one of the most important American writers of the romantic era. As part of this influential movement, he contrasted human intellect and nature's forces. In Nathaniel’s short story, “The Birthmark”, the author uses a birthmark and scientific power to symbolize man’s ambition of changing nature’s perfection. He implies that the birthmark on Georgiana's cheek represents Human’s natural flaw while Aylmer’s scientific knowledge represents the envy of pursuing perfection. Once married, Aylmer discovered Georgiana’s natural flaw and becomes obsessed with removing her birthmark in attempt to achieve the perfection implied by the author into the theme.
However, the intimacy between Alison and the men of this tale have different connotations, forming an ambiguous theme of sex. John’s feelings towards Alison are genuine and demonstrate sex as love. The tale states “This carpenter hadde wedded newe a wyf, Which that he lovede moore than his lyf” (3221-3222). John’s affection for his young wife often prompted jealousy, because he knew that he was much older and considered himself a “cuckold” (3226). Despite the age difference, John was dedicated to Alison and was, without a doubt, in love with her.
Chapter nine, about halfway through the novel, is a discussion of the life of a man who closely paralleled McCandless in his passion and lifestyle. Krakauer opens the chapter with a quote from Wallace Stegner describing Everett’s passions: “What Everett Ruess was after was beauty, and he conceived beauty in pretty romantic terms. We might be inclined to laugh at the extravagance of his beauty-worship if there were not something almost magnificent in his single-minded dedication to it. Aesthetics as a parlor affectation is ludicrous and sometimes a little obscene; as a way of life it sometimes attains dignity. (61)”
When most people think of monsters, they think of ugly creatures whose purpose is to scare anything that it comes across. In Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, that is the case. Dr. Victor Frankenstein’s creation is a hideous monster that terrorizes his creator and townspeople. On the other hand, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray depicts a monster as a beautiful young man whose painted portrait starts to look more like a monster than his actual self. Frankenstein and The Picture of Dorian Gray both tell stories of monsters who do evil things.