The use and portrayal of the fan in Oscar Wilde's Lady Windermere's Fan is as varied as it is significant. A fancy communication tool mostly used in this specific time period, a lady's fan conveyed a language of its own combined with eye movements, hand movements, its placement, and even in the speed that it was waved.
A lady would use her fan as a unique conduit of code language to convey messages to both men and women. A fan was an enforcer of communication. Arguably, the mere fact of holding the fan instilled in females almost the same level of comfort and security as a gun would have provided a man. In sum, the fan was a huge social facilitator because it was in itself a communicative device. Nowadays you can research anywhere in the Internet and find that "the language of the fan" was quite en-vogue during Wilde's time.
This being said, the role of the fan in this particular play serves a similar purpose: the fan is often used by Wilde to foreshadow a situation, or to extend...
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