The Reflections of Emerson’s self-reliance in three of Oscar Wilde’s comedies

Tatari Varnosfaderani, Sara
Ralph Waldo Emerson was a prominent individualist who wrote several essays asserting the greatness of a self-suffusing individual. This thesis analyses three of Oscar Wilde’s comedy plays, namely Lady Windermere’s Fan (1892), A Woman of No Importance (1893) and The Importance of Being Ernest (1895), in the light of Emerson’s concept of self-reliance which is tied to his concept of Individualism. Wilde portrays some degree of self-reliance and independence in various characters within these plays. Since selfreliance is at the core of Emerson’s definition of individualism, Wilde’s three comedy plays can be said to be harmonious with Emerson’s individualism. There are reflections of Emerson’s concept of self-reliance in the three selected plays, and components of Emerson’s notion of individualism and self-reliance are elaborated on at an individual level. Self-actualization is the priority of individuals in Wilde’s plays which, at the same time, remains compatible with his own theory of individualism.


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Citation Formats
S. Tatari Varnosfaderani, “The Reflections of Emerson’s self-reliance in three of Oscar Wilde’s comedies,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2018.