The Picture of Dorian Gray - Comparing Dorian to His Self-Portrait

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The Picture of Dorian Gray - Parallel between Dorian and his Self-portrait

Oscar Wilde's novel, "The Picture of Dorian Gray", presented many themes. One such theme is the idea of doubleness. Oscar Wilde used this as a technique to link his characters and ideas. While doubleness is shown in many aspects of the novel, the most obvious and most important presence of it is the parallel between the main character, Dorian, and his self-portrait. This bond between Dorian and his picture is crucial to the understanding of the novel. Dorian and the picture are in a sense one character acting as two.

When Basil paints the portrait of Dorian Gray, Dorian becomes angry and curses the picture. The idea of the picture
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It wasn't until his conversation with Harry that he embraced his new discovery as a blessing. He vowed to live his life as he pleased; seeking only happiness and pleasure. Any sins he committed would be forever hidden within the picture. He no longer had to except responsibility for his actions. Wilde states that "the portrait was to bear the burden of his shame: that was all." (86) Dorian would forever keep his youth and innocent looks, but only in return for his heart and soul. He valued beauty so much that he willingly gave up his essence and being. The picture truly is the "most magical of mirrors" (87) and as Wilde states, "as it had revealed to him his own body, so it would reveal to him his own soul." (87) Dorian is empty at this point. He is nothing more then a walking breathing corpse. The picture has become him.

This life suited Dorian fine until his later years when he begins to realize his many mistakes and feels regret for his actions. The portrait that haunted him for so many years was a direct reflection as to how horrible he really was. In the beginning of the novel Dorian thought that the picture would mock him by remaining young and beautiful, but ironically, the picture mocked him for all of its days after the change. It drove him crazy, and made him weary and paranoid of everyone. He feared the thought of anyone discovering it and exposing him for the fraud he was. In a
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