The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay

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Artists of any art form tend to use real life experiences as their muse. Oscar Wilde was no exception. In creating the story of The Picture of Dorian Gray, Wilde used his experience of sitting in on a painting session, done by a Basil Ward. He then proceeded to comment on how it would be amazing if the painting aged while the subject of the painting did not. Throughout the novel, we notice this kind of lifestyle being lived out by Dorian and Lord Henry, but we also see how Dorian handles his conscience based on his actions. The Picture of Dorian Gray is a novel that, while it has its controversies over what its purpose is, is a novel that “can function as an appropriate text for a wide variety of classes” (Waldrep; Smith II 53). Despite what Wilde believed, practiced, and even the preface of the novel, Wilde wrote this novel as a lesson on morality.
Oscar Wilde’s inspirations for writing The Picture of Dorian Gray comes from his own life. Oscar Wilde himself practiced aestheticism, or pleasing the self. A literary critic of Wilde’s work, Richard Ellmann, observes Wilde’s life as “bent on a subversion of propriety and sobriety” (1). He even used Mr. Basil Ward’s name for the character Basil Hallward (Wilde; Jullian; Lawler 406). He frequently looked to satisfy his own desires, whether they were morally or socially acceptable. He once was arrested for homosexuality, which was a crime in England at the time. Even Wilde’s encounters with his fellow writers prompted an

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