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Beastly JourneysTravel and Transformation at the fin de siecle$
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Tim Youngs

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781846319587

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781846319587.001.0001

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Oscar Wilde: ‘an unclean beast’1

Oscar Wilde: ‘an unclean beast’1

(p.165) Chapter Five Oscar Wilde: ‘an unclean beast’1
Beastly Journeys

Tim Youngs

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines images of animality and transformation in a range of Wilde’s work, including his plays, fairy tales and essays. Also discussing the variety of often contradictory animal epithets applied to Wilde himself, it shows how these reflect society’s ambivalence about him. It argues that a focus on animal imagery in Wilde’s work offers a new way of approaching the familiar themes of money and social class and that continuities can be seen across the various genres in which he worked.

Keywords:   Oscar Wilde, The Model Millionaire, The Happy Prince, The Soul of Man under Socialism, The Importance of Being Earnest, De Profundis, A Woman of No Importance

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