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The novel in England and the United States | Conceptual map


Oscar Wilde —
Source: ansa

To focus on the novel in England and the United States, we can orient ourselves on the biographies and works of three very famous novelists: Joseph Conrad, Oscar Wilde ed Henry James, New Yorker but of Irish descent.

Let’s see in detail who they are and why it is important to talk about them (in the meantime, download the Concept Map here).


He was born in Ukraine to a Polish noble family. After studying at the University of Krakow, he traveled extensively around the world, serving the French and British merchant navy.

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In 1886 he became a British citizen. From 1894 to 1902 he composed some of his most famous works, based on his experience as a sailor in the Malay archipelago and in the Congo.

In fact, the famous one dates from 1902 Heart of darkness (Heart of Darkness), a geographical exploration that becomes a moral exploration in the reality of colonialism.

The novel tells the journey of the sailor Marlow along the Congo River in search of the mysterious Kurtz.

Marlow’s Journey presents multiple levels of reading:

  • geographic exploration
  • journey within the self
  • journey of the mythical hero
  • journey to the origins of humanity

Central theme of the novel is the colonialism and his methods, which Conrad seems to oppose.


He was born in Dublin to a wealthy family. he attended Trinity College in Dublin and during his studies showed a nonconformist personality, later won a scholarship to the University of Oxford, becoming a disciple of Walter Father, the father of English aesthetics.

She adopted a lifestyle based on aesthetics and began to behave and dress extravagantly. In the 1980s he wrote a series of short stories and in 1891 published his only novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, that:

  • It is the perfect expression of his aesthetic ideas, to the point that the Preface is considered the Manifesto of English Aesthetics. The protagonist of the novel, Dorian Gray, leads a scandalous and sinful life under the banner ofhedonism.
  • In the novel the double theme: the portrait represents the dark side of Dorian Gray.
  • The novel is a critique ofhypocrisy of Victorian society.

He also writes many successful plays including tragedy Salome (1892).

He becomes immensely popular but things began to take a turn for the worse when he begins a homosexual relationship with the young man Lord Alfred Douglas nicknamed “Bosie”.

He is accused of homosexuality and sentenced to two years of forced labor in Reading Gaol prison.

Released from prison, he decides to leave England and moves to Paris where he lives the last years of his life in poverty.


He was born in New York to a cultured and wealthy Irish family. He first studies in Paris and then (1862) reads at Harward. He travels a lot and in 1875 he moves to Paris, making London his permanent residence for more than twenty years; becomes a British citizen shortly before his death.

He is the first author engaged in change in the technique of the novel in England. His works interpret the complex relationships between American and European civilization.

Reading his novels, the reader has the impression of attending a play. The famous one is from 1881 The Portrait of a Lady (Portrait of a Lady).

  • The central theme is the contrast between American and European culture.
  • American characters have great moral integrity, while European characters are rich in culture but lack morals.
  • James especially does one psychological study of the characters.


Download the concept map about the novel in England and the United States here

DOWNLOAD HERE: Concept map on the novel in England and the United States

Concept map on the novel in England and the United States

Concept map on the novel in England and the United States –
Source: editorial board


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