In Oscar Wilde's novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, beauty is depicted as the driving force in the lives of the three main characters, Dorian, Basil and Lord Henry. Dorian, the main character, believes in seizing the day. Basil, the artist, admires all that is beautiful in life. Lord Henry, accredited ones physical appearance to the ability of achieving accomplishments in life. Beauty ordains the fate of Dorian, Basil, and Lord Henry. The novel embodies the relationship of beauty and morality. Beauty is not based on how attractive an object is to everyone, but how attractive it is to one. 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 convinced that his beauty allows him to accomplish anything he desires regardless of the consequences and still be loved by his friends. He uses his beauty to mitigate his evil actions. Dorian says, “I don't wish to know anything about them. I love scandals about other people, but scandals about myself don't interest me. They have not got the charm of novelty.” Youth and beauty are the most precious things to Dorian. In his life, beauty is of utmost importance. Then he sees the picture of himself, painted by Basil, absorb his sins and this changed his view. “I hope it is not about myself. I am tired of myself tonight. I should like to be somebody else,” Dorian said. He aspired to have had a good life rather than one filled with artificial meaning and beauty. The moral beauty of Doran lies within the portrait of himself. The portrait imitated his life. He finally realized that beauty cannot help him escape his evil actions. He deeply lamemted his wish that the portrait bore the burden of his age an... ... middle of paper ... ...e ability to achieve anything in life. Hopefully, readers would learn from this novel that beauty is not the most important aspect in life. Society today emphasizes the beauty of one's outer facade. The external appearance of a person is the first thing that is noticed. People should look for a person's inner beauty and love the person for the beauty inside. Beauty, a powerful aspect of life, can draw attention but at the same time it can hide things that one does not want disclosed. Beauty can be used in a variety of ways to affect one's status in culture, politics, and society. Beauty most certainly should not be used to excuse punishment for bad deeds. Beauty is associated with goodness, but that it is not always the case. This story describes how the external attractiveness of a person can influence people's behavior and can corrupt their inner beauty.
Within The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Sun Also Rises, Oscar Wilde and Ernest Hemingway respectively illustrate characters that hold a fascination for their own beauty. Through this essay I will compare and contrast those characters, Dorian Gray and Brett Ashley, and their obsession with their said beauty. Within The Picture of Dorian Gray both Dorian Gray and Lord Henry value youth to extreme extents, and Dorian is able to grasp a sense of eternal youth only to drive himself to his own demise. Brett Ashely on the other hand, uses her beauty to find a powerful identity within a patriarchal society, and at the end of the novel she finds herself cycling back to who she was in the beginning of the novel. While both characters use their beauty to gain power, Ashely is able to avoid the downward spiral that Dorian suffers due to her dependent relationship with Jake Barnes. Within The Picture of Dorian Gray, Basil is incapable of forming any reciprocal relations with Dorian, thus allowing Lord Henry to mold him. Henry plants the seeds for Dorian’s development, but Dorian breaks away from Henry and begins to develop an overzealous form of masculinity that excludes all external relationships. It is due to this disconnect that Dorian is unable to reach the same fruition of his goals as Ashely is. Through their tales both Dorian and Ashely developed into strong idealized figures of beauty, but only Brett is capable of maintaining her mentality.
Dorian Gray shows how much he gave up to pursue his obsession when he said that his fiancé’s suicide was melodramatic and unnecessary (Wide 88-89). Obsession causes Dorian to indulge all forms of self-pleasure, whether moral or immoral, and to disregard the value of his own soul to preserve his transient beauty. The portrait that Basil Hallward painted acted as a mirror to his soul’s state and grows revolting each time he indulges in immoral acts, which inhibit him from focusing on what is truly important. It was only until the end when he kills himself does his soul reverts back to his inner beauty as shown in his portrait (Wilde 197). Wilde shows us how conformity can push us to obsess something that we don’t truly believe and ignore all other aspects that actually lead to our good lives. Through Dorian Gray, we are taught that we need to stand by our beliefs and not lose ourselves in other people’s beliefs. Wilde teaches the audience that we need to hold onto some core beliefs and elements that we hold near and dear to
The Picture of Dorian Gray is a philosophical fiction novel written by Oscar Wilde. The Picture of Dorian Gray is referring to two portraits, first of all is the portrait of Dorian Gray painted by Basil Hallward, the painter in this novel, and the second one is the literary picture of Dorian Gray created by the author in this novel. The physical beauty of the main character of this novel, Dorian, remains unchanged even after 18 years but the painting of Dorian is changing horribly throughout this story to reflect the corruption of Dorian’s soul.
Wilde first shows the importance of looks when Basil first sets eyes on Dorian Gray. "I knew that I had come face to face with someone whose mere personality was so fascinating that...it would absorb my whole nature, my whole soul, my very art itself" (7). This was before Basil had even talked to Dorian, and he had already judged what type of personality he had, ...
The young and stunning Dorian was always accompanied by stares as he entered a room. Women wanted to be with him and men wanted to be him. Basil described the experience he had in meeting Dorian for the first time: “When our eyes met, I felt that I was growing pale” (Wilde 16). The simple fact that a male was so taken aback exemplifies the fact that Dorian is visually stunning. However, the budding connection is anything but authentic. The nature of attraction that Basil feels toward Dorian lacks the fundamental structure of a true relationship. The truth is that Basil is attracted toward Dorian purely based on his appearance. He is the model from which Basil is able to create a magnificent painting but beyond that, he is just eye candy. These thoughts are brought to the attention of Dorian through Henry’s continued indoctrination of beliefs. As anguish creeps into the back of Dorian’s brain, he calls out Dorian for only liking him for his looks and questions what the future between them will hold when he begins to grow old: “How long will you like me? Till I have my first wrinkle, I suppose. I know, now. That when one loses one’s good looks, whatever they may be, one loses everything” (Wilde 38). This is a driving theme behind that novel that Oscar Wilde consistently advances. It was quite clear that when Basil fist saw
In the beginning of the book, Dorian seems to be an innocent, charming, beautiful young man, and even referred to as “a wonderful creation” (ch 2). Dorian is described as this amazing person, with looks comparable to a God, charm that could swoon any woman, and a mesmerizing persona about him with the ability to draw anyone near, yet he seems to be so imperceptive to himself. His attitude of simplicity causes readers to be fond of him, passing their first judgments that he could not possibly be evil. As the story moves along readers see the first inkling that Dorian may not be so perfect. Dorian comments on “how sad it is…[that he] shall grow old, and horrible, and dreadful. But the picture will remain always young” (ch 2). This statement lets readers inside Dorian’s thoughts, showing how shallow and frivolous Dorian views life to be. He places so much value and esteem on looks alone, forgetting that being painted should be an honor, or at the very least...
In "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde, we see a beautiful young man who makes tremendous efforts to transform the actual world into the idealistic world of art, dreams and sensations. Dorian's quest, however, culminates in his ultimate tragic destruction. Given that Dorian lives a corrupt life, one is likely to focus on the negative aspects of his character. In spite of his significant character flaws, Dorian Gray may still be considered a hero. This essay will examine Dorian's degradation from the innocent world to the vicious, sensation-oriented world. The elements contributing to Dorian’s status of tragic hero will then be discussed.
The portrait of Dorian Gray represents his inner beauty. The longer Dorian Gray stays beautiful on the outside the worse his personality gets. That’s why the portrait becomes so ugly in the end that Dorian had to destroy it.
Aestheticism was a popular dogma in the late 1800s that centered on the belief that art should exist for beauty alone. This doctrine is defined as an “exaggerated devotion to art, music, or poetry, with indifference to practical matters” and “the acceptance of artistic beauty and taste as a fundamental standard, ethical and other standards being secondary” (“Aestheticism,” def. 1 and 2). In Oscar Wilde’s sole novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, aestheticism is a fashionable belief accepted by society at the time. Oscar Wilde uses the moral deterioration and ultimate destruction of Dorian Gray in The Picture of Dorian Gray to emphasize the negative effects of society’s preoccupation with aesthetics and offer a moral for the reader.
In The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, Dorian Gray slowly becomes more influenced by things and people around him. Eventually, Lord Henry gifts him with a book describing a wealthy man’s pursuit of aesthetically and sensually pleasing items. “The yellow book” has a much stronger effect on Dorian Gray’s perception of beauty than Lord Henry Wotton does. Although it can be argued that Lord Henry introduced Dorian to the idea of aestheticism, the “yellow book” drives Dorian to live a life full of it, and changes his focus. Dorian shows the fact that he is not strongly influenced by Lord Henry through his interactions with Sibyl. Contrary to this, Oscar Wilde illustrates the substantial influence the yellow book has on Dorian by one, the
By being devalued by men, the woman within Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray emphasize the societal norm and expectation being asked by them. Through the suicide of Sibyl, she manifested into the person which she was portrayed as being in the opinion of Lord Henry, as she killed herself due to the shame that formed out of loving Dorian. Within a society where woman have no independence, the expectation of them having to rely on their husbands is affirmed by the fact that their is no distinction between Lady Henry’s opinion and her husband’s. The role of woman begins to degrade as their only mentioned value which is their beauty begins to be dominated by the frequent mention of Dorian’s own beauty, and as a result limits their position within their respected societies. The female characters are weakened to the positions expected of them and so it is through this where we can see wild’s stance, as he demonstrates what woman were limited, so as a result Wilde suggests that woman were not only powerless, but disregarded as being individuals within the society of the novel.
Dorian Gray is a grand Gothic experiment from the moment in Basil Hallward’s studio when he desperately swears that he “would give [his] soul” if only he “was to be always young, and the picture … was to grow old” in his stead (Wilde 28). Even before this moment, Dorian was a test subject of Lord Henry’s, who wanted to see how many of his own ideas he could inject into the boy. This influence rapidly planted in Dorian the ideas of eternal youth and beauty and led to the encasement of his soul in the portrait. After the switch, Dorian not only is under Lord Henry’s influence, but he is also Oscar Wilde’s subject. In his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, Wilde manipulates Dorian, his surroundings, and his circumstances to capture a realistic portrayal of the character’s downfall by depicting the nature of the body, mind, and soul, and the relationship they share.
Oscar Wilde’s novel, Picture of Dorian Gray, portrays the dichotomy of the double life led by Dorian Gray.1 The contrast between the portrait and Dorian personifies the universal battle of sin versus morale and ultimately serves as a moral compass for society.2 Dorian’s development of a double life identifies with the results of sociological oppression leading to confinement.3 The development of this contrasting lifestyle inevitably influences a fatal deterioration of his soul and heart.4 Oscar Wilde’s exaggeration of the effects of the double life of Dorian Gray within his novel Picture of Dorian Gray ultimately conveys the degradation due to a confinement of the soul, and personifies the dualism between private and public lives.5
In the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray written by Oscar Wilde readers are presented with a vast depiction of the art of immorality in the face of ignorant innocence portrayed by the character Dorian Gray. In the beginning it seems to be a quaint novel on artistry and the paradoxical relationship between two lifelong friends by the name of Basil Hallward and Lord Henry. The plot takes a surprising twist when introduced to the real center of attention, the character of the seemingly innocent Dorian Gray. Upon this introduction Wilde then begins to tell the tale of what a life of secrecy and deception will lead to without the consciousness of a moral threshold and the inescapable burden of Dorians horrid accumulation of sins. The deception begins with a simple shout out to the heavens for the impossible to be granted. This then flourishes into unspeakable acts caused by an Egyptian statue, bringing misfortune to Dorian Gray by giving him exactly what he so desperately desires, thus teaching the world a lesson. Not everything we so strongly desire the world to provide is good for the soul.