Mohsen Gholami, Majid Yazdani


The present paper aims at sifting through Oscar Wilde’s carceral/post-carceral writings: De Profundis (1905), The Ballad of Reading Gaol (1898), and The Daily Chronicle’s letters (1897-8) in order to pinpoint how Oscar Wilde’s literary voice, during incarceration, transformed from that of an aesthete, or a witty writer into an uncompromising prison reform activist, remaining actively engaged in mounting a propaganda tool against the desperate plight and hardship of the late nineteenth-century penal system, and accordingly, calling for the necessity of implementing major penal reformations as a retaliatory measure. The overriding question concerning this paper, therefore, will center on ‘How prison reformed Oscar Wilde’, and ‘How Oscar Wilde reformed prison’ from every conceivable angle to explore the fact that Oscar Wilde is worthy of consideration in the way in which he was affected in prison and solitary confinement and how he summoned strength to cope with the deprivations of prison life as well as implementing his recommendations to help reform prison, which were incorporated in the 1898 Prison Act.


Oscar Wilde, Carceral Literature, Gross Indecency, Penal Reform, 1898 Prison Act

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