Sybil Vane Analysis

Decent Essays
Some characters seemingly do defeat Time in both novels by using art, and, as Elizabeth Buzard theorises, ‘the only way to avoid being crushed by Time is to die young’. With this in mind, it seems Sybil Vane is the only character to truly defeat Time by committing suicide and Dorian interesting described it as “"a wonderful ending to a wonderful play.” By using art to describe the death of Sybil defeats Time as she will never grow old, yet lived through her thespian endeavours. Dorian's love for her was rooted in his admiration for the various heroines she portrayed, that "The girl never really lived, and so she has never really died.” almost shows she will live on through the memory her characters. By using art, Sibyl defeated Time by not…show more content…
Lord Henry highlights that ‘the gods have been good to’ Dorian but that they can ‘quickly take away’ his youth and beauty. This is added by Lord Henry’s idea that ‘Time is jealous’ of Gray’s good looks and will endeavour to make sure he does not stay that way forever. this is the first indication that everything Dorian is known for revolves around his looks and when they are gone he will be nothing but an empty shell in a world full of younger, more beautiful people. The ‘Gods’ can be a representation of Time, or that the gods control Time as it in itself is all powerful and can be ‘good’ to some and harsh towards others. This is the first glimmer of how powerful Time really is and personifies it as a jealous being that is already beginning to ‘war’ against him. However, Dorians reaction is that of ‘open-eyed and wondering’ rather than anything extreme. This is only noticed once he sees Howard’s painting, in which he exclaims that “Youth is the only thing worth having. When I find that I am growing old, I shall kill myself.” This sudden change from wonderment to total, unequivocal despair highlights that the art itself triggered Dorian into hating Times power, and if it had not been for Howard’s workmanship he may never have truly wanted to defeat Time. this is important as it allows the reader to see how art effects Dorian, rather than just being used as a tool to try and defeat his ‘jealous’ enemy. Art is not seemingly viewed as evil until the end of the novel, however, as Dorian describes that ‘Art does not hurt us. […]We weep, but we are not wounded. We grieve, but our grief is not bitter.’ From this view, it is clear that Dorian believes art somewhat shields us from Time and existence, however, this ironic take on arts function further develops the harshness of Time as the reason for Dorian’s death is the very thing that he thought
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