A Genetic Structuralism Study on The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Keywords:genetic structuralism, homoerotic relationship, Victorian era, classic novel
This study aims to disclose the homoerotic male relationship in Oscar Wilde’s novel “The Picture of Dorian Gray” using the genetic structuralism approach proposed by Goldmann. This approach was used in analyzing: (a) the homoerotic male relationship; (b) the reason why homoeroticism emerged during the Victorian era; (c) the influences of the author’s biography on the novel; (d) the messages from the novel. The result of this study shows that there are three main characters in the novel as the doers of homoerotic relationships, i.e. Dorian Gray, Basil Hallward, and Lord Henry. They grow admiration of each other because of the beauty or aestheticism, which leads to the lust that is conveyed through gazes, over-closeness, and acting like more than just friends. The emergence of homoeroticism in the Victorian era was caused by the dominance of the male in society, the act of homosexuality, and the culture. The author’s biography shares significant influences on this novel as Wilde states that he represents himself to the main characters. Despite the novel being about homoeroticism, this study finds that some messages could be learned from the novel, e.g. people cannot hide their sins and friends shall be there for one another.
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