Dorian Gray Identity Essay

Decent Essays
Almost two decades of Dorian Gray’s life is laid out in The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. The novella focuses on Dorian’s identity in relation to a portrait. Dorian’s beauty is what ruined him, beauty and the youth he prayed for. Throughout the novella Dorian struggles with his identity, displays his beauty, and displays the objects that influence his life. One cannot have an identity if all aspects are not shown. Half of Dorian’s identity was his beauty, his good side. The other half was shown on the portrait, his evil side. Dorian’s beauty represents the way society saw him. The evil side represents how he saw himself. After Dorian tells Sybil he does not love her he notices the portrait altered to show a “touch of cruelty in…show more content…
Dorian believes that “to influence a person is to give him one’s own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. (Wilde 20). Dorian lets the portrait influence how he views himself. As a result, the portrait takes a part of his identity. Dorian feels a lot of things would not “have happened if he had not met” Lord Henry (Wilde 52). Lord Henry influenced Dorian to find pleasures and new sensations, which brought him to Sybil. Dorian would not have the desires to find pleasure if it were not for Lord Henry. These two have a master-puppet relationship. Lord Henry controls the strings and Dorian feels like there is nothing he can hide. The portrait “itself - that was evidence” of Basil’s murder. Dorian wants to destroy it” (Wilde 228). Dorian was under the influence of the portraits image of how ugly he was supposed to look. Dorian was furious at the portrait for messing up his life. Dorian kills the art, and in doing so kills himself. One could not destroy the portrait without destroying Dorian.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde goes through almost twenty years of Dorian’s life. The focus is on Dorian’s identity and how it connects to the portrait. Dorian finds the good and ugly side to his identity, he shows his beauty, and explains how people and objects influence his life. Why did Dorian keep the portrait so long? Why was society so focused on Dorian’s appearance and not his identity? What does the ending of the novella
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