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Influences Of Lord Henry In The Picture Of Dorian Gray

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Influence of Lord Henry in The Picture of Dorian Gray
1. Introduction
The turn from the 19th to the 20th century has given to the world a whole group of literary geniuses. It was a time of cardinal changes, the death of the old principles, of revolutions and wars. Former ideas and rules disappear and it slowly, but inevitably leads to the generation of the new directions in literature, philosophy, and art. One of such movements was a new aestheticism, which roots go to romanticism. In the atmosphere of the contradictory ideas of the Victorian era, in the time of extreme optimism and extreme pessimism, a time where strict moral rules and exaggerated virtues contrasted with the widespread of prostitution and child labor, Oscar Wilde as the most notable follower of the new aestheticism has a particular position as the preacher of this new movement for which beauty was above morals, art was higher than reality (Abrams 3). Wilde urges the audience to consider that art reflects only
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Lord Henry consciously chooses Dorian Gray in pupils, attracted first of all with his appearance: “Your mysterious young friend, whose name you have never told me, but whose picture really fascinates me, never thinks” (Wilde 7). Not only his physical beauty, but his pure soul is so amusing for Lord Henry: “All the candour of youth was there, as well as all youth’s passionate purity. One felt that he had kept himself unspotted from the world” (Wilde 17). This innocence and ardency attract Lord Henry when he decides to “project one’s soul into some gracious form . . . to convey one’s, temperament into another . . . he could be fashioned into a marvelous type, at any rate. . . . There was nothing that one could not do with him. He could be made a Titan or a toy” (Wilde 34). Liebmann notes that Lord Henry decides to make Dorian an extension of himself
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