Beauty in The Picture of Dorian Gray Essay

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In Oscar Wilde's novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, beauty is depicted as the driving force in the lives of the three main characters, Dorian, Basil and Lord Henry. Dorian, the main character, believes in seizing the day. "Dorian is described as an addict, having mad hungers that grew more ravenous as he fed them." Basil, the artist, admires all that is beautiful in life. Lord Henry, accredited one's physical appearance to the ability of achieving accomplishments in life. "Lord Henry's moral position in Dorian Gray is akin to that of the devil; he is the initial serpent in the Garden, and continues to coax Dorian to evil throughout the novel." Beauty ordains the fate of Dorian, Basil, and Lord Henry. The novel embodies the relationship of…show more content…
"Dorian's features retain their youth and purity, while his deepening moral corruption caused by his narcissistic worship of the beautiful is made visible only in the portrait." Dorian sets his conscience aside and lives his life according to a single goal of acheiving pleasure. His painted image, however, asserts itself at his conscience and hounds him with the knowledge of his crimes. He aspired to have had a good life rather than one filled with artificial meaning. The image of Dorian reflects his conscience and his true self, and serves as a mirror of his soul. The moral beauty of Dorian lies within the portrait of himself. The portrait imitated his life. He finally realized that beauty cannot help him escape his evil actions. He deeply lamented his wish that the portrait bore the burden of his age and sin. He Buckner 3 finally realized there is no way to undo the effects of age or of sin on a soul. Dorian tries to destroy the picture, so he will no longer be reminded of the evil that beauty has caused him. But, as he destroys the picture, he kills himself, and the picture is cleansed and beautiful again. Dorian gives nothing less than his soul for the mistakes that he made. The price that one must pay for their discrestions is exceedingly high. Basil's life is also driven by beauty. He is infatuated with Dorian's beauty in the beginning. He appreciated Dorian's beauty but did not wish to possess it for himself. Basil
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