Oscar Wilde 's The Picture Of Dorian Gray

1998 Words8 Pages
Rackshana Sithirasenan
Mr. Cimetta
ENG4U1-01
24 November 2014
Dorian’s Pursuit Towards Hedonism Dorian Gray once told Henry "The soul . . . can be bought, and sold. It can be poisoned, or made perfect" (Wilde 213). Likewise, it would not be beneficial for one to sacrifice their soul with an exception of exchanging it in order to attain perfection. Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray explores the themes and ideologies of Hedonism and Aestheticism. Hedonists believe that pleasure is the most important aspect in life and can be obtained when one denies their moral instincts to partake in sensual activities, essentially neglecting their soul. Aestheticism focuses on the principle that art serves no purpose and exists for the sake of beauty alone in which critics illustrated the attitudes of the movement through The Yellow Book. Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, introduces the protagonist, Dorian Gray, as a young and handsome male during the Victorian Era in England. The story commences with Basil Hallward, a painter, using Dorian as his model. Meanwhile Lord Henry preys on the young lad to encourage him to engage in the Hedonistic lifestyle. More so, the portrait of Dorian presented by Basil represents Dorian’s soul. Immoral decisions made by Dorian slowly alter his portrait for the worse and ultimately mirrors the unsightliness of Dorian’s persona. Lord Henry furthers his projection of Hedonism onto Dorian by presenting a book which reiterates philosophies of
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