Oscar Wilde is an esteemed writer and his only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, is a dark novel that paints the deathly consequences that resulted from choosing between right and wrong. In the novel, Dorian Gray, who is the protagonist, wished to remain young forever. This wish came true as he sold his soul to a painting and the painting grew older instead of himself. This allowed Dorian to preserve his youth forever. Many people have regarded Wilde’s novel as an immoral book and have lashed out criticism for the moral horrors in the novel (Buzwell). However, Wilde argued that the book is too moral as it shared the truth of being a human being. Despite being written many years ago, this novel is still relevant today and carries the important …show more content…
He shows this through the destruction of Dorian Gray that resulted from his unhealthy relationship with Lord Henry and Basil Hallward, the unlawful influence of art, and Dorian’s crippling paranoia. Oscar Wilde showed the destruction caused by relationships through Lord Henry’s twisted teachings and the portrait done by Basil Hallward that corrupted Dorian and drove him to insanity. The power that art has over an individual’s morality was illustrated through the influence of Lord Henry’s yellow book and Dorian Gray’s evergreen painting. Dorian Gray’s increasing paranoia was a result of his immoral actions that eventually led to his own death. Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray displays the self destruction that comes as a result of …show more content…
Oscar Wilde uses the twisted relationship shared between Dorian Gray with Lord Henry and Basil Hallward to show the potential corruption that results from unethical support in relationships. The yellow book and the portrait painting was used to show the power of influence that art has on an individual’s desires and decisions. The secrets of the painting and the murder of Basil Hallward, that resulted from Dorian’s hunger for youth and beauty, slowly destroyed Dorian Gray and drove him to suicide. Through the usage of friendship, art and paranoia, Oscar Wilde displays the relation between the craving for eternal youth and the destruction of an individual. Through this novel, it can be learnt that sins are a part of humanity that cannot be erased but the choice of doing the good or evil can save an individual from the corruption of the
“There were passions in him that would find their terrible outlet, dreams that would make the shadow of the real evil” (Wilde,115). The author reveals pleasure as the driving force of many characters within Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, but this search for pleasure becomes fatal once taken into the hands of Dorian Gray. Throughout the novel Dorian Gray changes his opinion on pleasure based on what he requires in order to escape reality. With each death and misdeed he is responsible for; Dorian must search harder for a more drastic form of release. His path declines from his innocent beginnings with Sybil Vane, to the pleasure he finds in corrupt relations, and finally his need to escape the reality of killing a former
In analyzing Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, concepts such as influence and the origin of evil in Dorian Gray play an exceptionally valuable role in understanding the motives of the characters. Although some critics argue characters such as Lord Kelso significantly influence Dorian’s corruption, Lord Henry Wotton’s toxic personality undeniably impacts Dorian the most. Throughout the course of the novel, Lord Henry remains the ultimate source of evil and uses deception and persuasion to poison Dorian from a naïve boy to a destructive monster.
Wilde also was famous for his leading of the aesthetic movement and his imprisonment for propagating homosexuality. The Picture of Dorian Gray tells a story about a degradation of a young man Dorian Gray. At the beginning, an artist Basil Hallward paints a portrait of the kind and innocent Dorian Gray and, after seeing the artwork, Lord Henry Wotton - a vain and snobbish class man - requests to meet him. Influenced by eccentric Henry Wotton’s philosophy, Dorian begins to become vain and cruel but while his external appearance remains unchanged, his appearance on the painting alters every time he commits a sin. The novel explores many issues, one of them is aestheticism - exaltation of art and beauty, leading to the eternal question - can a beautiful person be moral and a moral person be beautiful, which always have and will stir society’s curiosity. Oscar Wilde once said that "All art is quite useless" and in The Picture of Dorian Gray, he tends to juxtapose various expressions of art with the routine of Dorian Gray and a shallow life in the nineteenth century. As a tool to reveal the concept of a life at the end of the 19th century Wilde uses art of pretty - but meaningless - things used to please one’s vanity and create a mundane environment. This raises the question: what did Oscar Wilde want to imply by and how does he use art to develop the theme of morality in The Picture of Dorian Gray? It was impossible to avoid art in any of its expressions (parties, theatre, clothes, etc.) in even the most regular lives in the 19th century and of course it influenced the way of thinking, created the social status and the image of oneself, so, after all, art had a huge impact on the individuals of the 19th century. And, as often beauty does, art encourages greed and vanity, which Oscar Wilde demonstrates through the usage of art in the novel.
Most people are taught from a young age what is right, and what is wrong. These teachings set up the basis for later discovering one’s personal values. In Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, these same principles are applied and challenged by Wilde. Not only does he question morality and human nature, but also the ideas of the Aesthetic movement- which influenced the ideals and behavior of Dorian Gray. Through Dorian’s morally ambiguous character, Wilde asserts that one is not purely good or evil, but a mixture of the two; Wilde establishes this theme when Dorian breaks up with Sibyl Vane, murders Basil Hallward, and stabs his decaying portrait.
The Picture of Dorian Gray, a novel laced with sin, treachery, and raging battles of inner conflict, is Oscar Wilde’s sole novel. Considered immoral and scandalous upon publication, the book centers around a young man named Dorian Gray, who does not age or reflect the darkness of his heart outwardly, and instead a portrait of him bears the damage his destructive life wreaks on his soul. However, the meaning of the story extends past the simple fact that Dorian lives a life of immorality—he walks the path that takes him there with his two friends, Basil Hallward and Lord Henry Wotten. The two attempt to guide and influence Dorian throughout the novel in their own ways, and are a vital piece of Dorian’s tale. Basil and Henry act as character foils as well as a symbolic angel and devil for Dorian Gray’s character, and also contribute themes of choosing one’s own fate.
In The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde is able to show how possessions can change a man so drastically. Over the course of the book the readers examine how many items such as the painting, the yellow book and much more, shape and alter Dorian from being outgoing, likable, and overall good to secluded, manipulative and most of all deceitful. Dorian gray has many motives for being deceitful that help develop the characters, and change the way they interact with each other.
Oscar Wilde's novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, explores the themes of influence, corruption and conscience. “The obvious influence of Lord Henry upon Dorian shows how one may corrupt another to such an extent that one's own conscience withers and dies”(Weintraub 116).
The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde, is a novel about greed and ruin. Dorian Gray, received infinite youth from a portrait of him, which portrays all his sins and wrongdoings on itself, rather than his body. This freedom from morality leads Dorian Gray down a road of destruction until his sins are returned to him and he meets his end. Through a psychoanalytic Freudian lens, it is clear that Dorian Gray exhibits many of Sigmund Freud’s theories, including his theory of personality, the Oedipus complex, and the defense mechanisms.
Much of the criticism regarding The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde has dealt with Dorian Gray’s relation to his own portrait (Raby 392). While some may argue that the portrait represents a reflection of Dorian Gray’s character, this is only a superficial analysis of the novel and Dorian’s character. While Dorian Gray’s true character never changes, it is his own perception of his character (his conscience) that is reflected in the changing face of his portrait. In essence Dorian’s picture becomes a mirror through which the "true Dorian" judges his own metamorphasis as the superficial "Lord Henry Dorian" attempts to embrace Lord Henry’s teachings. Dorian’s
Oscar Wilde’s The picture of Dorian Grey’s novel is about a young man named Dorian Gray, the subject of a painting by artist Basil Hallward. Basil is impressed by Dorian's beauty and believes his beauty should not be wasted and it is responsible for a new mode in his art. Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton, a friend of Basil's, and becomes enslaved by Lord Henry's world view. He shows him a new hedonism, and suggests the only things worth following in life are beauty and fulfillment of the senses. When he realizes that one day his beauty will fade, Dorian feels a desire to sell his soul to ensure the portrait that Basil has painted would age instead of him. Dorian's wish
Oscar Wilde was a creator many literary works including plays, poems and books. Though the most infamous piece he has done was The Picture of Dorian Gray. It was first published in 1890 and was seen in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine (The Picture of Dorian First Published Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine, bl.uk). The book was about a young man named Dorian Gray who gets a portrait done for him by a man named Basil. Then he “wishes (and receives his wish) that his portrait ages while he remains youthful and lives a life of sin and pleasure.” (Oscar Wilde Biography, Biography, 2015) From then on there are themes of love, beauty, suicide, murder, and youth. “The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your
Throughout the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde tells a tale about a young man named Dorian whose entire life changes after he meets Basil Hallward, who paints a portrait of Gray that ultimately leads to Gray’s demise. At the same time, Dorian also meets Lord Henry, who eventually plays a bad influence over Dorian. The portrait shows the man Dorian has become
In chapter 20 of The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, Dorian reflects on his past crimes and wonders whether he will ever change and retrieve his innocence again. Throughout the final chapter of the novel, the elements of Gothic novel that Wilde explores conveys the idea of the pursuit of individualism. Dorian’s wild, racing emotions clearly show how much he is driven by his readiness to fulfill his desires under any circumstance. Through this, the use of specific words and punctuation markings highlight Dorian’s personal yearning of removing himself from his past.
In The Picture of Dorian Gray the main character Dorian gray was first an innocent man and role model to artist Basil Howard who represented humanity. Overtime influences, interactions, and beauty got the best of him. In The Picture of Dorian Gray Basil says “He has a simple and a beautiful nature. Your aunt was quite right in what she said of him. Don't spoil him. Don't try to influence him. Your influence would be bad” this shows how even at the very beginning Basil knew how Lord Henry would influence him in a negative way. As we read on we can see how lord Henry teaches him to only care about beauty which causes Dorian to believe beauty is the only thing that matters in life. Lord Henry was the main cause of the corruption of Dorian's soul. In the novel another quote Lord Henry says is Oh, she is better than good – she is beautiful,". This demonstrates how from the very get go he told Dorian that beauty is better than goodness. The poisonous book was another way Dorian was overtaken by the evil. In the novel it says “It was a poisonous book. The heavy odor of incense seemed to cling about its pages and to trouble the brain. The mere cadence of the sentences, the subtle monotony of their music, so full as it was of complex refrains and movements elaborately repeated, produced in the mind of the lad, as he passed from chapter to chapter, a form of reverie, a malady of dreaming, that made him unconscious of the falling day and creeping shadows.” This quote proves how the evil has already taken over him and now the book is taking over his soul. A clear piece of evidence that shows readers how the evil has really won in The Picture of Dorian Gray is the
In Oscar Wilde’s Popular nineteenth century novel, the Picture of Dorian Gray demonstrates the importance of the aesthetic movement in Victorian England. This suggests youth and physical attractiveness is emphasized and are valuable additions to society. Therefore, what matters to Dorian, is not the internal goodness an individual possesses but the appearance they present. Consequently, Dorian is able to forget the violent acts he commits as long as he appears beautiful on the outside. Since external beauty is valued, Wilde argues that people tend to lose their individualism and conform to society’s expectations. With this in mind, Dorian gray grows more corrupt, self-centered as he focuses more on the pleasure for himself as he becomes more vulnerable to his own misgivings. He loses his individualism, because he is conforming to society’s form of asethics. I agree with Wilde’s arguement about Dorian Gray, that individuals lose their sense of idenity when conforming to society’s influence, such as in today’s beauty standards portrayed on social media, racism described through facism, and LGBTQ rights violated by intolerant individuals. (too wordy)