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.


The value of sociability in Rousseau, Hegel, and Nietzsche
Karatekeli, Emre; Turan, Şeref Halil; Department of Philosophy (2021-5)
This thesis investigates the political philosophies of Rousseau, Hegel, and Nietzsche, as regards the relation between sociability and freedom. Firstly, I argue that Rousseau’s fundamental view undergoes a drastic shift in that while in the Second Discourse he regards the human being as essentially individualistic, in the Social Contract he dismisses egoism and argues for the establishment of sociability in the name of general will to materialise human freedom. Secondly, I discuss how Hegel proves the neces...
The Origin of Virtue: Bernard Mandeville's Skilful Politicians
Cesmeli, Isil (2017-06-01)
Bernard Mandeville is well-known with his portrayal of selfish human nature and his design of prosperous society comprised of the vilest characteristics and the basest passions of mankind in his famous work, The Fable of the Bees. Long before the publication of The Fable in his satirical poem, "The Grumbling Hive", he narrates a parable based on a prosperous hive which is full of vicious bees. All fables show folly of mankind and urge people to self-analysis and lessoning in the end. Along the same line, Ma...
The question of freedom in political philosophies of thomas hobbes and jean-jacques rousseau
Yiğit, Pervin; Turan, ŞHalil; Department of Philosophy (2007)
This thesis aims to examine the question of freedom in its relation to political authority in social contract theories of Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778). In order to do that, discussions on human nature, evolution into political association and the foundations of legitimate governments are focused on. As the social contract theories of Hobbes and Rousseau mainly seek for rational justification of political obligation, the primary aim of this thesis is to analyze the nature o...
The Leviathan Becoming a Cephalophore: Primogeniture and the Transition from Sovereignty to Governmentality
Grıffıth, James Edmond Carr (2020-09-01)
For Foucault, Hobbes is important for the transition from sovereignty to governmentality, but he does not always go into great detail how. In“Society Must Be Defended”, Hobbes’s reactions against the politicalhistoricism of his time lead him to an ahistorical foundation to the state. InSecurity, Territory, Population, his contract is emblematic of the art of government still caught in the logic of sovereignty. Management techniques, one of which being inheritance laws like primogeniture, inducing changesin ...
The Imaginary and Descartes’s Paradoxical Rationality
İbrahimhakkıoğlu, Fulden (2018-05-01)
The imaginary plays a distinctive role in Descartes’ writings. While its place is often articulated in negative terms (as that which is illusory or deceptive), it nonetheless serves as an important ground for the Cartesian project to unfold. Descartes’ search for clear and distinct ideas takes place through reason’s interplay with the imaginary. While its reliability as a source of knowledge is ultimately dismissed, the imaginary is that which is never truly mastered or overcome. It is a source of dread and...
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.