However, as his desires and virtues are in constant battle, he brushes off the death multiple times, choosing to hide the murder scene and burn the body instead. In the final chapters of the book, Dorian starts to think about Basil and his preaching once more. He decides to try to atone for his sins, thinking that his portrait might clear up after he decides to be “good again”. Of course, repentance never comes that easily, thus, making Dorian’s portrait continue to grow uglier and older with each passing glance, mocking the man and his sad attempts to make amends.
Most people are taught from a young age what is right, and what is wrong. These teachings set up the basis for later discovering one’s personal values. In Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, these same principles are applied and challenged by Wilde. Not only does he question morality and human nature, but also the ideas of the Aesthetic movement- which influenced the ideals and behavior of Dorian Gray. Through Dorian’s morally ambiguous character, Wilde asserts that one is not purely good or evil, but a mixture of the two; Wilde establishes this theme when Dorian breaks up with Sibyl Vane, murders Basil Hallward, and stabs his decaying portrait.
In the beginning of The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dorian is viewed highly by Basil and is claimed to be his sole inspiration. By this little description we read of Dorian, the reader can already see how Dorian at the beginning of the book has a strong presence. However Basil describes Dorian as having a “simple and beautiful nature”(pg-12) and tells Lord Henry, “Don’t spoil him. Don’t try to influence him. Your influence would be bad.” (pg-12). Lord Henry is the first person to start to influence and change Dorian into being deceitful. The second factor that changes Dorian is the painting. In chapter two, Basil finishes the Painting and presents it to Dorian. Instead of being filled with joy, Dorian realizes that he will grow old and the Painting will stay young. Later in the story the Portrait changes to show a sneer around Dorians mouth. The reason for this is because Dorian broke Sybil’s heart. After learning about Sybil’s suicide, Dorian accepts that the Painting will show ageing while he appears to have not aged. This forces Dorian to lock away his painting and this also shows Dorian being deceitful with his looks.
Dorian Gray's life is dictated by his physical appeal. His beauty lies within his youth. Dorian's perception of beauty allows him to love. He is
In Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, the character Dorian did not start out as a monster, but was created, by Lord Henry, who is the monster in the novel. Dorian Gray is very attractive and the characters, Basil and Lord Henry, took great interest in him strictly for his beauty and innocence. The two men both have totally different hopes for what the young Dorian will become. Basil is so intrigued by his pureness that he offers to paint a portrait of him, but while being painted, it is Lord Henry that Dorian takes a strong interest in. During this time is when one can see Lord Henry's obsession with beauty because he stresses to Dorian that his good looks will not last forever, which made Dorian quite
The Picture of Dorian Gray, a novel laced with sin, treachery, and raging battles of inner conflict, is Oscar Wilde’s sole novel. Considered immoral and scandalous upon publication, the book centers around a young man named Dorian Gray, who does not age or reflect the darkness of his heart outwardly, and instead a portrait of him bears the damage his destructive life wreaks on his soul. However, the meaning of the story extends past the simple fact that Dorian lives a life of immorality—he walks the path that takes him there with his two friends, Basil Hallward and Lord Henry Wotten. The two attempt to guide and influence Dorian throughout the novel in their own ways, and are a vital piece of Dorian’s tale. Basil and Henry act as character foils as well as a symbolic angel and devil for Dorian Gray’s character, and also contribute themes of choosing one’s own fate.
When Dorian is told that his beauty will be lost once he outgrows his boyhood, he makes a desperate wish: “[i]f it were I who was to be always young, and the picture that was to grow old! For that I would give everything” (Wilde LOC 64). From this point forward in the novel, Dorian remains forever young and the picture assumes his burdens of age and sin. Dorian’s unchanging face causes those around him to falsely believe he is incapable of evil. This can be seen in Basil’s disbeliefs of the rumors surrounding Dorian when he states, “[b]ut you, Dorian, with your pure, bright, innocent face, and your marvellous untroubled youth— I can't believe anything against you” (Wilde LOC 360). Dorian even gets away with murder because the people of London refuse to believe that someone of his appearance is capable of sin. Lady Narborough later confirms this when she says, “‘Lord Henry is very wicked… but you are made to be good— you look so good’” (Wilde LOC 431). Dorian’s charming good looks contradict the monstrosity of the portrait, proving that people are not always what they seem.
He is even told by Lord Henry he is far too charming to go into philantropy. This remark may be the beginning of the flattery that opened Dorian's mind up to his corruption. Dorian is being moved by Harry's speech about cherishing youth and enjoying it. His mind was being challenged by the thought of his own passions until the point when he proclaimed "stop! You bewilder me. I do not know what to say. There is some answer to you, but I cannot find it. Do not speak. Let me think. Or rather let me try not to think". Dorian allows himself to be corrupted. He begins to fear aging and begins to think that everything will be loss with the loss of his youth and beauty. Dorian goes from no worries to this thought as Harry speaks. He was convinced that this "new Hedonism" was the way. This shows the weakness of his mind in his youth it is also the begginning of his fate. With this flaw of character, Dorian seemed to write his fate unknowingly. When Basil Hallward, the painter, rewarded Dorian with the portrait he replied "If I were to be the one always young, and the picture grow old! For that-for that-Iwould give everything!…Iwould give my soul for that!". This was just a plea at the depth of his sorrow, a remark made totally through whim.
Throughout the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde tells a tale about a young man named Dorian whose entire life changes after he meets Basil Hallward, who paints a portrait of Gray that ultimately leads to Gray’s demise. At the same time, Dorian also meets Lord Henry, who eventually plays a bad influence over Dorian. The portrait shows the man Dorian has become
The first sign of Dorian’s new development is when he first lays eyes on the portrait after hearing Lord Henry’s panegyric of youth. As Dorian gazes upon himself on the portrait, he comes to a shocking realisation. Wilde writes it as, “The sense of his own beauty came upon him like a revelation… Basil Hallward’s compliments had seemed to him to be merely the charming exaggerations of friendship… They had not influenced his nature. Then had come Lord Henry Wotton with his strange panegyric on youth, his terrible warning of its brevity. That had stirred him at the time, and now, as he stood gazing at the shadow of his own loveliness, the full reality of the description flashed across him… He would become dreadful, hideous, and uncouth. As he thought of it, a sharp pang of pain struck through him like a knife, and made each delicate fibre of his nature quiver” (Wilde 18-19). His beauty would not last forever, and he would become old and withered just like everyone else will. Dorian, who once didn’t care about his looks, had now become obsessed with the ideals and ideas fed to him from Henry. He makes his wish for the portrait to take on the burden of time and sin, instead of him. He says, “I know, now, that when one loses one’s good
Oscar Wilde’s The picture of Dorian Grey’s novel is about a young man named Dorian Gray, the subject of a painting by artist Basil Hallward. Basil is impressed by Dorian's beauty and believes his beauty should not be wasted and it is responsible for a new mode in his art. Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton, a friend of Basil's, and becomes enslaved by Lord Henry's world view. He shows him a new hedonism, and suggests the only things worth following in life are beauty and fulfillment of the senses. When he realizes that one day his beauty will fade, Dorian feels a desire to sell his soul to ensure the portrait that Basil has painted would age instead of him. Dorian's wish
Also at this initial stage of the novel, Dorian makes his fateful wish for eternal youth, immediately after "recogniz[ing] himself for the first time" at the impetus of Lord Henry (24). This desire to remain youthful does indeed come true for Dorian; his true youthful character remains with him throughout the novel, though he often tries to repress and extinguish it.
After receiving this advice Dorian soon becomes distraught over the fact that he will get older. He sees the portrait Basil Hallward has painted of him and prophetically wishes, “How sad it is! I shall grow old, and horrid, and dreadful. But this picture will remain always young…If only it was the other way! If it was I who were to be always young, and the picture that were to grow old! For this—for this—I would give everything! Yes, there is nothing in the whole world I would not give!” (205). When Dorian realizes the transient nature of life he decides to embrace new hedonism to the fullest, giving in to every impulse.
“There were passions in him that would find their terrible outlet, dreams that would make the shadow of the real evil” (Wilde,115). The author reveals pleasure as the driving force of many characters within Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, but this search for pleasure becomes fatal once taken into the hands of Dorian Gray. Throughout the novel Dorian Gray changes his opinion on pleasure based on what he requires in order to escape reality. With each death and misdeed he is responsible for; Dorian must search harder for a more drastic form of release. His path declines from his innocent beginnings with Sybil Vane, to the pleasure he finds in corrupt relations, and finally his need to escape the reality of killing a former
Finally, Wilde says that he would like to be Dorian but in another time. Dorian starts out as a handsome, wealthy gentleman that's innocent. He is quickly seduced by Lord Henry's words and starts to live life for all its pleasures. These acts are obviously not accepted by the public and with his picture taking all the flaws, his image is never damaged. In my opinion, I believe that when Wilde said he wants to be Dorian, it's because he wishes that he could "get rid of a temptation" by yielding to it,