Everyone is merely a product of their surroundings and become what they have been raised to be. While some remain untempted by the vices of their peers, others completely absorb the negative influences in everyday life. Modern society values beauty over substance and The Picture of Dorian Gray serves to reveal that flaw. Oscar Wilde criticizes the superficial nature of people by satirizing the corruption of their views on morality. He says “The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame” (Wilde 238). Dorian Gray, the main character, is representative of the direction that humanity as a whole is heading toward. He struggles with his religious identity while also trying to please society’s expectations of him. Dorian’s misguided narcissism and hubris is what inevitably leads to his downfall.
Wilde voices his objections to popular culture through the character Lord Henry Wotton who symbolizes the corrupt portion of society. Wotton’s cynical perception of life is also voicing the problems that Wilde has with human nature. Wilde mocks how people are beginning to feel like being happy and being morally corrupt go hand in hand. This leads into what the Bible refers to as ‘freewill’ and the main character, Dorian Gray, shows what happens when society chooses to sin. Dorian and all the people around him made him feel as though his appearance alone was enough, so he began to disregard his soul. He let Wotton and others lead him to believe that he could not be beautiful and thoughtful at once. The novel demonstrates that physical beauty is not enough to save an ugly soul.
Although the story of Dorian Gray was written to portray society’s ever-growing inclination to vanity, it is not the f...
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...would no longer act because Dorian was her new reality. Realizing that without her profession, she was no longer useful to him, Dorian broke up with her. During a long rant of insults he said “I loved you because you were marvelous, because you had genius and intellect, because you realized the dreams of great poets and gave shape and substance to the shadows of art. You have thrown it all away. You are shallow and stupid” (Wilde 96). His actions show the severity of his feelings of superiority because of how trivial he views the feelings of other people. The irony of Dorian’s insult was that he could recognize when other people were shallow, but could not see his own. Sibyl, already being weak minded and very impressionable could not handle the shame or embarrassment that accompanied his insults. She also was not prepared for her utopia to be snatched away so
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- Everyone is merely a product of their surroundings and become what they have been raised to be. While some remain untempted by the vices of their peers, others completely absorb the negative influences in everyday life. Modern society values beauty over substance and The Picture of Dorian Gray serves to reveal that flaw. Oscar Wilde criticizes the superficial nature of people by satirizing the corruption of their views on morality. He says “The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame” (Wilde 238).... [tags: The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde]
1454 words (4.2 pages)
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819 words (2.3 pages)
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1226 words (3.5 pages)
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1341 words (3.8 pages)
- Prompt #1 - The many faces of a portrait In Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Picture Of Dorian Gray’, the portrait shapes Dorian’s life by manipulating his behavior and perceptions in a negative way. Throughout the novel Dorian aspires to be superior to the painting because of the many sins that are reflected through it. The portrait becomes more hideous because Dorian is extremely corrupted with looks and sex. Between Lord Henry and the painting Dorian truly becomes a monster. Dorian takes in the superficial ideas of life, hoping to reinvent himself, and become a completely different person.... [tags: The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde]
1008 words (2.9 pages)
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1304 words (3.7 pages)
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1066 words (3 pages)
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1814 words (5.2 pages)
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3947 words (11.3 pages)
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1290 words (3.7 pages)