Human Connectivity And Response On Art : The Portrait Of Dorian Gray

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Tracy Robinson Dr. Michelle Dougherty Graduate Writing and Research 9 October 2016 Human Connectivity and Response to Art: The Portrait of Dorian Gray Is it the morality or immorality of art that affects our lives, or do we bring that morality or immorality to art? Oscar Wilde’s novel, The Portrait of Dorian Gray, can be seen as a discussion on the effect of art on life and how there exists a unique connection between the morality (or immorality) of art and the importance of human connectivity and response to art. The preface to The Portrait of Dorian Gray exists as a lesson in contradictions; specifically, Wilde mentions in tandem that there is “no such thing as a moral or immoral book” (Wilde 3), yet he continues the thought by stating that art can be moral when it “consists in the perfect use of an imperfect medium”(Wilde 3). One could interpret this seeming contradiction to mean that perhaps the artist’s intent and final product does not distinguish between morality or immorality, but that it is the reader’s own interpretation that causes this to become an issue. This is not necessarily a thoroughly embraced notion, one critic states that,“There is no doubt that Basil initiates the tragedy, for it is his worshipping of the young man’s physical beauty…that calls Dorian’s attention to himself…”(Oates 421-422). This critic places the fault of Dorian’s corruption fully in the hands of the artist; without this influence, perhaps Dorian would not have been first tempted to

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