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Children in Prison

And Other Cruelties of Prison Life

by Oscar Wilde


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While Oscar Wilde is now strongly associated with the tone of whimsy that imbues his breezy, effortlessly witty epigrams and essays, the Irish writer and playwright was also a serious thinker who, having been sentenced to two years of hard labor as a punishment for his homosexuality, was deeply engaged with the social issues of his day. This essay, penned as a letter to a newspaper soon after Wilde's release from prison, takes up the moral issue of penal sentences for juveniles, a question that still has great relevance today.

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Duke Classics
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Children in Prison
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