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OSCAR WILDE’S DOLLS, PUPPETS AND MARIONETTES IN THE HARLOT’S HOUSE


CĂTĂLINA BĂLINIŞTEANU-FURDU
“Vasile Alecsandri” University of Bacău Romania

Issue:

CP, Number 23

Section:

No. 23 (2018)

Abstract:

Oscar Wilde’s The Harlot's House presents the author’s own images of love and lust with the help of puppetry imagery; he refers to prostitutes as “mechanical grotesques”, “automatons”, “skeletons”, “puppet[s]”, “marionette[s]” and ultimately “the dead”. He could hardly find more synonyms for ‘manipulated, lifeless dolls’. Women are misogynistically viewed as objects of desire and subjected to the male glance. All these images represent in fact Wilde’s attempt to create “art for art’s sake” by illustrating decay and depravity through a disrespectful depiction of harlots, dehumanizing them and stealing them the gender identity. The women, described as phantomatic, slim and inert, controlled by a puppeteer, are in fact the representation of the true love’s decay and the lust’s increasing attraction. The female puppets/dolls try to imitate real feelings but cannot do this because of their wires pulled mechanically.

Keywords:

doll, puppet, puppeteer, mechanized culture, transgression of boundaries.

Code [ID]:

CP201823V00S01A0002 [0004785]

Note:


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