Campus Location

Abilene Campus (Residential)

Date of Award


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Chris Willerton

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Steve Weathers

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Gay Barton


This thesis examines Oscar Wilde's construction of the self. Three major aspects of Wildean literary work serve as handles for this thesis examination. They are the Wildean interpretation of theoria, Wilde's literary technique and philosophical assertion of masks and poses and Wilde's favor of the social dandy.

In addition to these three aspects, this thesis utilizes four of Wilde's works as primary sources. These are The Pictureo f Dorian Gray, The Importance of Being Earnest, "The Decay of Lying," and "The Critic as Artist."

Like most current critiques of Wilde, this thesis relies on many of the reading strategies of postmodern criticism. Additionally, this study takes into account the overall critical history and personal biography of Wilde.

Finally, this thesis asserts that Wilde's constructed self is a self that is multiessenced and, therefore, in direct conflict with the traditional Western notion of the self.



I would like to thank my committee members for the time and effort they have spent working with me on this project. Special thanks goes to my committee chair for his enthusiasm about the issues addressed by this thesis and for his guidance in the research and development of the original idea.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.