How the "Queer" Undermines Imperial Ideology in the Victorian Novel

Dadelahi, Alexis
Power and the oppression it breeds manifest through the discourse used to describe the world around us. According to Michel Foucault's, The History of Sexuality the very language used to describe the world around us effectively frames our interpretation of reality, and thus, reinforced the structures of power that defined 19th century Western "civilization" and imperialism. My paper argues narratives of "queerness" as an "uncanny other" undermines heteronormity in the Victorian novel, which thereby undermines Imperial ideology in the Victorian age. Through Foucaultian theory I will demonstrate that the Imperial ideologies at work in the Victorian age are subject to scrutiny through queer themes in Victorian fiction that touch on the growing anxiety regarding the decadence and complacency of the British Empire.
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