Late Victorianism in Great Britain – Brandon Skenandore
Oscar Wilde represents a bridge between Victorian Era and the open resistance to many of the recommendations and expectations of that era.
Fin de Siecle – end of the era, beginning of new century, hope of what is coming next, anticipation of a new thing. Somehow designation of a new century changes people’s psyche. Fin de Siecle writers are reflecting the anxiety of the culture at the turn of the century, it was big. Some writers became Aesthetes – art for art’s sake. Matthew Arnold was very romantic, some were seeking other things, decadents. Opposite of what moral Victorian culture. Other late Victorians were seen as anti-Victorians, amoral secret self, anxiety of the time to say that they don’t want moral righteousness, but can’t have flagrant acts of sexually deviant or morally behavior and suddenly have that be okay.
Many rhetoricians wanted to go to higher moral ground. Stevenson said that in humans we have both of those things and we culturally don’t allow that. Duality of what Victorian culture. As animals, we have instincts. If we try to be moral, instincts will bubble up.
Need to find a common ground. Literature is a very interesting and important cultural study, because it reflects most. In your groups, explore one idea, theme, or symbolistic characters that you want to talk about, other themes and symbols
Focuses on stature, differences in stature between hyde and Jekyll, physical appearance
Distinct, more natural to be evil.
Talks a lot about keys (to the house, key that was broken)
Important parts of book are letters
Curiosity killed Lanyon & Jekyll,
Good status in society?
curiosity, what it does.
Exploring alternative ways of trying to find stuff out. Curiosity to explore the unknown
Evil grows, new experience fed his evil controlling of curiosity. You need to control your curiosity. Progression of the time, too much curiosity, didn’t control the curiosity, came at a cost, lack of human rights.
People misbehaving more, can’t suppress behaviors and they will blow up in your face.
Idea of two extremes, can control them both, and if you do that, you start to bring them together in the middle. Rampant industrialization, culturally in britain, very buttoned-down, statues created for crimes that have never been in place before, be in control of the way you handle your destiny. Queen Victoria thought she was controlling
Women being over-emotional, over-rational when child is trampled. Women described as harpes. Woman bursts out subduing and crying. Jekyll’s house, 3 windows, for there to be progress, you have to go ahead and do it. Jekyll took the potion, didn’t know what he was getting into, with progress, you have to have the courage to do so. Little beacon of light from a dark place. Passage that talks about women as tramps. Ideas of women are very prevalent. One of those social constructs that will not even itself out. Bound by some of the same incredibly blinded ideas that we still have in the twentieth century.
Women completely inconsequential.
Utterson was used to show his critique on Victorian culture. Stevenson understands that his society was repressing, oppressing in a way intended to do harm, showing that even the best of these plans, most and firmest best intentions. If they aren’t balanced, they will do just the opposite of what you want to do. Goes a lot into the idea of what is natural. “Man is not truly one but truly two”. Not that one was a monstrous thing, if his society had left room for those, somehow settled in the middle. There always seems to be a divide, stays divided.