The Consequences Of The Novels InThe Picture Of Dorian Gray

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A murder has been committed. The accused enters the court room with an explanation at the ready; “the book made me do it”. There is no jury in the country that would believe that. A perfectly sane man could not commit such an appalling crime simply as a result of reading some words on a page. Books do not have that much control on a person’s life. They cannot dictate a person’s actions.
In The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (1890), Dorian Gray blames his horrendous misdeeds on the little yellow book Lord Henry gifted to him. He goes as far as to say that he was “poisoned by a book” (Wilde, Ch 12). What makes this novel so venomous? It appears for all intents and purposes just some words bound together. Perhaps it was cursed. For a single novel to have such an impact on an individual, there must have been something unnatural about it. There isn’t a book published today that would make a seemingly normal man begin a life of crime. This idea of a cursed book, however, does not hold up. When reproduced in multitudes of color, the books continue to produce the same effect.
The words themselves might have prompted such a change. Maybe it had been written in an especially persuasive prose. Some writers have the ability to completely turn the reader inside out with a few lines of text. The idea of them somehow completely altering a conscience, however, seems doubtful. A perfectly sane man would not succumb to the insanity of murder just because a piece of paper told him to.

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