The Picture Of Dorian Gray

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In Chapter XI of The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, the eponymous character, Dorian, practices escapist behavior. Upon noticing his portrait changing to reflect his immoral acts, he hides the picture in his upstairs schoolroom and distracts himself with New Hedonism, the amoral lifestyle preached by Lord Henry Wotton. Chapter XI chronicles Dorian 's material pleasures over the course of eighteen years. Initially, I believed that the purpose of this cataloguing chapter was to illustrate Dorian 's escapist behavior and unhealthy coping mechanisms. The unsuspecting song "Gronlandic Edit" by Of Montreal (stylized as of Montreal), however, suggests that escapism is often accompanied by a search for a more permanent solution to one 's…show more content…
In the first verse, the speaker, presumably lead singer Kevin Barnes (or his stage persona, Georgie Fruit) asserts that he is "satisfied hiding in [a] friend 's apartment," a sentiment Dorian would likely parrot regarding his New Hedonistic lifestyle. In the same verse, however, Barnes admits facing anxieties at night, just as Dorian does on page 128. This establishes that the primary characters of each work are practicing escapist behavior and allows the rest of the song to cast new light on Chapter XI of The Picture of Dorian Gray. In the second verse of "Gronlandic Edit," Barnes sings "I guess it would be nice to give my heart to a god / But which one, which one do I choose? / All the churches fill with losers, psycho or confused / I just want to hold the divine in mind / And forget all of the beauty 's wasted," revealing an irreverent search for religion. Barnes is less interested in institutionalized faith and more invested in personal spirituality and beauty. In my analysis of the song, this echo of Dorian 's obsession with physical beauty and reluctance to join an organized faith made apparent the unexpected textual connections (Wilde 128). "Gronlandic Edit" illustrates the link between escapism and a search for a permanent solution to one 's problems – in Barnes ' case, religion. With this in mind, my analysis turned to what Dorian may be seeking while practicing avoidant

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