The Application Of Power In Oscar Wilde's The Picture Of Dorian Gray

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Influence is the application of power to accomplish a specific purpose. Research shows that people typically try to lead and/or influence others using four “dark side” influence tactics: avoiding, manipulating, intimidating, and threatening. The tactic most notably seen in The Picture of Dorian Gray is the use of manipulation. Lord Henry demonstrates this tactic thoroughly throughout the novel causing Dorian to become corrupt. In Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, Lord Henry plays a pivotal role as the main external force that influences Dorian, thus responsible for his corruption.
The grasp Lord Henry has on Dorian Gray is evident in the first few chapters. However, Dorian is quite oblivious to this. While strolling through the garden, Lord Henry finds “Dorian Gray burying his face in the great cool lilac blossoms” (23) giving Lord Henry the sign to use his power to start ‘influencing’ Dorian. He says to him that “nothing can cure the soul but the senses, just as nothing can cure the senses but the soul” (23) causing Dorian to “[feel] suddenly awakened” (23). Dorian at this point is “[feeling] afraid” (23) but is “ashamed of feeling afraid” (23) because someone crosses path with him who understands life’s mystery, this is the point where readers know Lord Henry gains his firm grip on Dorian. Dorian is now upset over the fact he “[will] grow old, and horrible, and dreadful. But this picture will remain always young” (28) because Lord Henry told Dorian that

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