Open Access Senior Thesis
Bachelor of Arts
John C. Farrell
© 2012 Anna Brill
Oscar Wilde redefined the relationship between Life and Art, and attempted to live in the style of the characters in his works: pursuing Beauty. His view of Life as imitating Art played a crucial role in his definition of Individualism. In his works, he explored how one develops one's personality and Individuality, and society's role in suppressing the Individual. He firmly believed that Life and ugliness were inextricably intertwined, and that society's moral structure was to blame. Popular in his time as an artist, he made it a point in his writing and in his work to stand apart from society. Ultimately, society cast him out; while in prison, he experienced an aspect of Life that he had been avoiding his entire life as an aesthete, and thus altered and expanded his ideal of the Individual. In falling from grace and in being forced to live in the ugliest of realities, he developed a fuller idea of what it means to live beautifully.
Brill, Anna, "Wilde and Wonderful: The Ultimate Aesthete's Redefinition of Individualism, as an Idealist, and then as an Outcast" (2012). CMC Senior Theses. 506.