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Aestheticism in Oscar Wilde’s Fairy Tales

  • Date Submitted: 11/16/2013 10:13 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 46 
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As a leading representative of the Aesthetic Movement in 19th century, Oscar Wilde spared no efforts to advocate for “art for art’s sake”, laying stress on a philosophy that the intrinsic value of art is divorced from any didactic, moral, or utilitarian function, namely, art is complete and independent in itself as well as thoughts. Hailed as an imperfect master in aestheticism, hardly has any literature figures received more praise and abuse than Oscar Wilde, who applied the core of the philosophy in both his life and his literary works. Nevertheless, his fairy tales have won general admiration worldwide.
In China, Oscar Wilde became renowned as more of a playwright than a storyteller for children with the publication of the translated version of Salome, The Importance of Being Earnest, An Ideal Husband, etc. Compared with other types of literature by Oscar Wilde, the significance of his tales, to my mind, has been all along underestimated. The tales written by Wilde are no less than a sort of practice for the aesthetic principle he always advocated: a reveal of true self, and above all, a series of stories not intended for children, but adults with whom he share views in common. In that sense, ingenious as Wilde is, fairy tales may as well count as a most favorable way that gives full play to his genius.
While searching for the studies into Oscar Wilde’s tales, my research covers, by and large, quite a few papers centering on aestheticism and the application of symbolism and religious implication in his fairy tales. Taking a comprehensive view of the current research into Wilde’s Fairy Tale, most of the studies are engaged in exploring the theme of beauty and love in the stories, which is consequential to my study, while on the other hand somewhat limited in research area in general and deserve further exploration. The present research concerning Oscar Wilde’s fairy tales that I’ve gone through so far can be mainly concluded in the 3 aspects:
1. The...

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