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Author Study: Oscar Wilde Curated by Emily Liu '23

Society in A Woman of No Importance

Social Norms and roles in the society

Through out the play, Wilde discussed social norms between men and women through different character’s point of view. Each character holds their believes and values base on a certain social norm.

Society in The Picture of Dorian Gray

Your surroundings could influence you more than you thought

Dorian was an innocent young man at the beginning of the novel. Yet, under the influence of Lord Henry, he learnt to be all evil and corrupt. Later in the passage, Dorian passed along this influence he received from Lord Henry to other youths. Oscar Wilde used the case of Dorian Gray to show his readers how a person could be shape under negative influences.

The society greatly values beauty and youth, but is it a good thing?

Through out the novel, many has told Dorian Gray that his beauty and youth are his most important characteristics. This has shaped his values, and make him believe that the only thing he own that could help him in this society is his beauty. That’s one of the key reason why Dorian later corrupt towards evil, and become all ruthless and cruel towards the people around him.

Society in The Nightingale and The Rose

The overrated importance of material life

The girl values true love less than a rich and stable material life. Sometimes human cares more about the physical wealth instead of mental richness.