Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

May, Brian

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of English


This study examined Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which foreshadows the Victorian period, and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, which reflects on it. The two novels are both monster stories that share many similarities, including themes of creativity and morality. However, the two novels are distinctly different in surprising ways. This thesis serves as an examination of their differing treatments of creativity and morality. In its examination, it reveals the ways in which Shelley couples these themes, foreshadowing Victorianism, while Wilde decouples them, reflecting and refracting on Victorian themes. Thus, this study reveals some of the major cultural changes that occurred across the nineteenth century and interrogates the possible reasons these shifts may have occurred.


46 pages




Northern Illinois University

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