Oscar Wilde’s Short Fiction: Reading Questions

“The Canterville Ghost”: 

  • relationship to the gothic
  • look up subtitle “hylo-idealism” and think about its possible relationship to story
  • portrayal of Americans vs. the British
  • role of irony and humor here
  • role of the ghost
  • theme of old/new, tradition/presentism, role of class and capital
  • What “serious” points seem to be made in this story, despite (or through) its humor, and what are they?
  • Can we compare the ghost to the artist (in Wilde’s prose poem “The Artist”)? How so (or not)?

“The Remarkable Rocket”:

  • a fairy tale–how is it one, how is it not a typical one?
  • what “serious” points are made in this story, despite (or through) its humor, and what are they about?
  • comparison with “The Canterville Ghost” on points of irony/humor, and also on serious aspects
  • individualism, artificiality
  • realism vs. illusion
  • “the remarkable rocket” as an artist, a dandy, or deluded and naive dreamer?  How so (or not)?
  • Can we compare the rocket to the artist (in prose poem “The Artist”)? How so (or not)?
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Filed under Reading questions, Week 2 Reviews: Wilde's Poetry and Short Fiction

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