Oscar Wilde's Views on Disobedience as a Valuable Human Trait

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About this sample


Words: 770 |

Pages: 2|

4 min read

Updated: 7 December, 2023

Words: 770|Pages: 2|4 min read

Updated: 7 December, 2023


Disobedience can influence a person and show them a new way of thinking or a new solution. Throughout centuries, people have participated in disobedience in order to achieve a goal. Disobedience is a form of feeling, and is a feeling humans get when they feel oppressed or mistreated. It is an important trait for humans to have as it may lead to vast changes within society or within oneself. Furthermore, Oscar Wilde's views on disobedience validate this claim, as being disobedient can create new opportunities and new beginnings for some.

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In the 17th and 18th century of American history, colonists were going through an identity crisis. Some of the colonists wanted to be in ties with the British and others wanted to be independent from the British and have the ability to start their own government and live a new life. Eventually, this division led to two parties, the patriots and loyalists. The patriots wanted independence from Britain and the loyalists wanted to stay loyal to the British. The beginning of it all was when the British put taxes upon the colonists and that angered them. There were many taxes that were set up for example, the Stamp Act and the Intolerable Act. This led to great tensions between the colonists and the British. As tensions grew, the colonists decided they have had enough, and they rebelled. An example of the colonists rebellion include the Boston Massacre which marked the start of the American Revolution. This rebellion done by the colonist is a prime example of disobedience. This act of disobedience led to the birth of a new, democratic nation in which citizens of the country have the ability to live a life of liberty and pursuit of happiness. Disobeying is not always considered to be negative, it can lead to positive directions and a start of something new. To continue with the American Revolution example, it led to the start of independence of many colonists and the start of a new government and a formation of a new country that will eventually become a world power.

Furthermore, the greatest changes in society have happened through disobedience. Protests are an example of this. Through protests, people are united as one to vocalize their concerns in regards to a specific issue. A prime example of a protest that led to a change in society was during the days of women’s suffrage. At this time, there were women in the streets holding up signs and on those signs were messages about making men and women equal. These actions show that people wanted change. People marching and holding up signs, is a demonstration of disobedience as the protestors often refused to follow the instructions by the cops or that the women of the protest refused to follow the stereotypical role of being a woman. This form of disobedience changed the way society viewed women and offered several different laws and organizations for women that are still important in the modern era. Moreover, these incidents of disobedience clearly demonstrated that disobedience is key to promote societal change in the world.

However, it is vital to realize that constantly being disobedient can be just as harmful to societal change. For this, laws and orders are placed. Laws are meant to be followed and order is placed for those to control what is being done, otherwise it would create consistent riots and upbringings in which people may be in harm or in danger. With laws and orders, people are able to control themselves and it keeps society in check, thus leading to a more progressive and prosperous world. Additionally, it is important to note that not all disobedience is beneficial to change or that some disobedience does promote social progress, but with devastating results. For example, during the American Revolution there were many deaths which led to several outbreaks and battles across the country. The colonists disobeying the laws led to punishment, such as the taxes which also further resulted in the British shoving their power at the colonists. These are the down sides of disobeying the rules, but in order to help the future generations with social issues they have to take that risk of something bad happening.

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Oscar Wilde’s claim that disobedience is a valuable human trait and that it promotes social progress is true to a certain extent. Disobedience can lead to a change, as seen in American history, but can also lead to large amounts of death and violence, as also seen through American history. It is through disobedience people are able to voice their concerns, which eventually leads to societal progress.

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Prompt Examples for “Oscar Wilde’s Views on Disobedience” Essay

  • Oscar Wilde’s Perspective: Examine Oscar Wilde’s perspective on disobedience and its value as a human trait, as expressed in his writings and philosophy.
  • Defining Disobedience: Define the concept of disobedience and discuss its various forms, considering whether it can be a valuable trait in certain contexts.
  • Historical and Social Context: Analyze the historical and social context in which Oscar Wilde lived and wrote, and how it may have influenced his views on disobedience.
  • Examples and Counterarguments: Provide examples from Oscar Wilde’s works and literature to support the idea that disobedience can be valuable, while also considering counterarguments that oppose this view.
  • Relevance Today: Discuss the relevance of Wilde’s perspective on disobedience in contemporary society, examining whether his views still hold value in today’s world.

Works Cited

  1. Hedges, C. (2009). Empire of illusion: The end of literacy and the triumph of spectacle. Nation Books.
  2. King, M. L. (1963). Letter from a Birmingham Jail.
  3. Arendt, H. (1972). Crises of the Republic: Lying in politics; civil disobedience; on violence; thoughts on politics and revolution. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
  4. Thoreau, H. D. (1854). Walden. Ticknor and Fields.
  5. Chomsky, N. (2013). Masters of mankind: Essays and lectures, 1969-2013. Haymarket Books.
  6. Zinn, H. (2003). A people’s history of the United States. Harper Perennial Modern Classics.
  7. Galtung, J. (1969). Violence, peace, and peace research. Journal of peace research, 6(3), 167-191.
  8. Foucault, M. (1997). Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison. Vintage Books.
  9. Gandhi, M. K. (1961). Non-violent resistance (Satyagraha). Dover Publications.
  10. Tarrow, S. (2011). Power in movement: Social movements and contentious politics. Cambridge University Press.
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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Oliver Johnson

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Oscar Wilde’s Views on Disobedience as a Valuable Human Trait. (2022, May 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 13, 2024, from
“Oscar Wilde’s Views on Disobedience as a Valuable Human Trait.” GradesFixer, 13 May 2022,
Oscar Wilde’s Views on Disobedience as a Valuable Human Trait. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 13 Jul. 2024].
Oscar Wilde’s Views on Disobedience as a Valuable Human Trait [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 May 13 [cited 2024 Jul 13]. Available from:
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