Class and the Artist in "My Last Duchess" and "Heart of Darkness" The relationship between identity, self and artists in Victorian and Modern writing is vastly different. No where is this more obvious then in the effect that class has on the creation of the artist’s sense of identity and self. In this essay it will be argued that the Victorians maintained class boundaries and these informed the identities of the individuals, in the modern texts the lines between classes are blurred and identities are more fluid. This can be seen in “My Last Duchess” as the only voice is that of the Duke who clearly demonstrates that as an upper class individual he is the only one worth listening to. In Heart of Darkness the situation has changed...The end:
.....otypical depictions of class are eliminated as people like Marlow possess the mixtures of upper class and lower class characteristics. As protagonists these lower class people have the ability to actively create art instead of just being technicians passively working for upper class individuals. In this sense class becomes less important to the identity and sense of self in the modern texts. So while upper class people may make the action possible and they are dominant in civilized society they are dependent on others to extend their influence. Works Cited Browning, Robert, “My Last Duchess” in My Last Duchess and Other Poems, Shane Weller (ed), Dover Publications, Toronto, 1993: 1-2. Conrad, Joseph, Heart of Darkness, Babylon Dreams, 2009.