The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay

The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay-85
Dorian himself consciously bases his life and actions on a work of art: a book given to him by Lord Henry.Dorian's physical beauty is his most cherished attribute, and vanity is, as a consequence, his most crippling vice.Dorian, like Narcissus, falls in love with his own image, and is ultimately destroyed by it.

Dorian himself consciously bases his life and actions on a work of art: a book given to him by Lord Henry.Dorian's physical beauty is his most cherished attribute, and vanity is, as a consequence, his most crippling vice.Dorian, like Narcissus, falls in love with his own image, and is ultimately destroyed by it.

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In the preface to the novel, Wilde invites us to ponder the inescapability of vanity in our own relationship to art when he states that "it is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors." If we see ourselves in art, and find art to be beautiful, then it follows that we, like Dorian, are in fact admiring our own beauty. In addition to the protagonist, many of the novel's characters are greatly concerned with their reputations.

Lord Henry and Basil Hallward both counsel Dorian on how to best preserve his good status in the public eye.

Oscar Wilde demonstrates negative influence throughout The Picture of Dorian Gray using a dark tone, intriguing imagery, and ominous diction, thus portraying the social theme.

Wilde shows Lord Henry grasping onto Dorian and his moral beliefs, “There is no such thing as good influence Mr. All influence is immoral-immoral from the scientific point of view.” Dorian quickly transforms Dorian falls in love with an alluring young actress, Sibyl Vane, whose character quickly deteriorates once Dorian belittles her as he announces the engagement has been called off, “I don’t wish to be unkind, but I can’t see you again.

Lord Henry creates a domino effect with Dorian corrupting anyone and everyone around him, “Yet these whispered scandals only increased in the eyes of many his strange and dangerous charm.” Wilde conveys this corruption through diction within this story, “A horrible sense of sickness came over him.

He felt as if his heart was beating itself to death in some empty hollow.” Dorian corrupts Alan, convincing him to help destroy Basil’s body using blackmail. Dorian Gray's image reflects his conscience and his true self, and serves as a mirror of his soul.This fact echoes Wilde's statement (found in the preface) that "It is the spectator..art really mirrors." However, this theme first appears earlier in the preface, with Wilde's contention that "the nineteenth-century dislike of realism is the rage of Caliban seeing his own face in a glass." Realism is a genre of artistic expression that is said to have shown the 19th century its own reflection.Because Dorian always looks innocent, most of the people he encounters assume that he is a good, kind person.Dorian literally gets away with murder because people are automatically more willing to believe their eyes than anything else.Throughout the novel, vanity haunts Dorian, seeming to damn his actions before he even commits them; vanity is his original sin.Dorian's fall from grace, then, is the consequence of his decision to embrace vanity - and indeed, all new and pleasurable feelings - as a virtue, at the behest of Lord Henry, his corrupter.Lord Henry openly approaches life as an art form, seeking to sculpt Dorian's personality, and treating even his most casual speeches as dramatic performances.Most notably, he pursues new sensations and impressions of beauty with the amorality of an artist: as Wilde writes in the preface, "No artist has ethical sympathies." This latter characteristic is the one that leaves the deepest impression on Dorian's character.However, although both men fancy themselves artists at living, their flaw lies in their blatant violation of the rule given in the first line of the preface: "To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's aim." Dorian and Lord Henry both strive to reveal themselves in their "art." Wilde also explores this theme by blurring the line between life and art.Characters in the novel include actresses who live as though they are constantly on stage, and a painter who values a friendship predominantly because the relationship improves his ability to paint.

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