Analysis Of The Picture Of Dorian Gray

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Haley Morrow
Mrs. Crook
12 AP English
15 Oct. 2015
Irony in The Picture of Dorian Gray
More often than not, it is hard to face the consciousness of the inevitable. Everyone feels the distress of realizing that time is fleeting and they will soon grow old and wrinkly, no longer their youthful self. The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde, illustrates this human condition specifically through the main character Dorian Gray. Mr. Gray captures the artistic imagination of artist Basil Howard, who constantly paints portraits of Dorian. Basil usually depicts Dorian as an ancient Greek hero or a mythological creature, but when he completes his first portrait of Dorian for who he truly is he is disappointed because he feels as though this painting reveals too much about his subject. Dorian on the other hand goes to the extreme when he sees this portrait. Worrisome, Dorian believes that one day the portrait will remind him of his former beautiful and young self. Out of anguish, he curses the portrait, ultimately selling his soul to spare himself of the burdens of age and infamy, allowing him to stay forever young. In his novella, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde uses irony to exemplify an anomaly between the aging process of Dorian Gray in contrast with that of the portrait of himself, particularly in a society that prizes beauty and youth.
Dorian’s first big act of cruelty begins when he inconsiderately calls of his engagement with Sibyl Vane, a beautiful actress. Sibyl

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