The Supernatural in The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

785 Words 4 Pages
If you can get past most of the superficial and unlikeable characters in The Picture of Dorian Gray, this story does indeed have its place in the horror genre. While I understand the setting and the characters were a reflection of the actual class distinctions during the Victorian time period, I found the shallowness and narcissism of Dorian Gray and his circle of acquaintances tedious. "Fops" came to mind more than once along with "don't these people have a purpose other than to dine out and indulge themselves?" Even the women were for the most part portrayed as imbeciles. It almost hurt to read the section in chapter four where Lord Henry's wife appears for the first and only time: "She was usually in love with somebody, and, as her …show more content…
It is interesting to note that he doesn't ask for it to show his sins, only take on his aging. The painting gets progressively more horrible throughout the story, but it is not just aging it shows, it seems to portray an awful decay. Dorian uses a mirror to compare himself to the painting (one that Lord Henry gave him) and seems to take pleasure in his corruption: "...looking now at the evil and aging face on the canvas, and now at the fair young face that laughed back at him from the polished glass. The very sharpness of the contrast used to quicken his sense of pleasure. He grew more and more enamored of his own beauty, more and more interested in the corruption of his own soul ... wondering sometimes which were the more horrible, the signs of sin or the signs of age" (Wilde 106). The use of the mirror further points out his narcissism. This is also the same mirror that he crushes under his feet the night he tries to "kill" the painting.

The devil is suggested a couple of times (and I may have missed more instances). Once by the woman at the bar talking to James Vane: "They say he has sold himself to the devil for a pretty face" (Wilde 160). I think the more important reference was by Basil Hallward in viewing the painting the night Dorian killed him: "Christ! What a thing I must have worshipped! It has the eyes of a devil" (Wilde 131).

Last but not least is the role Lord Henry played with the corruption