Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
Michael Foucault postulates that Victorians of the late nineteenth century were experts at repressing their sexuality. This repression is especially evident in the passing of the Criminal Amendment Act of 1885, also known as the Labouchere Amendment, which outlawed homosexuality in Victorian England. However, as with any subjugated topic, there will be those that fight against the ruling power. The genre of the Victorian Gothic provides an outlet of deviance for the sexually “Othered,” as a place of protest against Victorian repression. Gothic writers showcase war within man’s soul when repression forces those labeled as “Other” to become dark monsters in the light of Victorian society. When the dualism and aestheticism of novels like The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Portrait of Dorian Gray are read in conversation with Labouchere and Foucault’s History of Sexuality, the deviant voices of the sexually repressed Victorian Others are heard in a demonstration of freedom against persecution.
Mendlinger, Olivia Blake, "Repressing Deviance: The Discourse of Sexuality in The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and The Portrait of Dorian Gray" (2020). English Honors Theses. 39.