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Hedonism In The Picture Of Dorian Gray

analytical Essay
1011 words
1011 words
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The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde follows Dorian Gray 's cursed life after he is poisoned with an obsession with youth and beauty. Dorian pledges his soul in order to trade his inevitable aging with the aging of his portrait, and this leads to the death of his humanity and eventually his own bodily death. I believe that Dorian is poisoned by Lord Henry 's idea 's of hedonism and cherishing youth above all, and this acts as the agent that slowly but surely kills Gray. When Lord Henry first meets Gray, he instills an obsession with youth in him, and leads him to believe that it is the most important part of Gray. Gray is so heavily affected by Lord Henry 's ramblings that he begins to believe that he is, in fact hedonistic, but represses …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how oscar wilde's "picture of dorian gray" follows the cursed life of oscar gray after he is poisoned with an obsession with youth and beauty.
  • Analyzes how lord henry instills an obsession with youth in him, and leads him to believe that it is the most important part of gray.
  • Analyzes how the poison of lord henry's words inspires an insatiable hunger, which is fatal, men are often warned against unnecessary investigation or experimentation.
  • Analyzes how gray's infatuation with sibyl vane sealed his fate as a hedonist.
  • Analyzes how dorian gray's obsession with beauty is furthered when he reads the yellow book, and begins to accept evil as a part of himself.

The poison of Lord Henry 's words has not yet affected Gray 's good nature but it begins to inspire an insatiable hunger, which is obviously fatal, men are often warned against unnecessary investigation or experimentation. Exploring London, Gray "look[s] at every one who pass[es] [him], and wonder[s] with a mad curiosity what sort of lives they led. Some of them fascinated [him]. Others filled [him]] with terror. There was an exquisite poison in the air. [He] had a passion for sensations," (56). Here we can see the juxtaposition of the words poison and passion. "Exquisite poison" itself can be seen as an oxymoron, but as Gray himself is figuratively poisoned and not yet felt the negative effects, it makes sense. Passion and poison both sound similar and the tone/alliteration surrounding these words reveal that they are one and the same in the case of Gray. His newfound passion for beauty is the same poison that will end up rotting him from the inside …show more content…

Gray is "poisoned by [the] book. There [are] moments when he looked on evil simply as a mode through which he could realize his conception of the beautiful," (189). Gray 's quest for beauty leads him down a path of no morality, but because he believes the search for beauty is the highest form of virtue, he consistently chooses any indulgence over doing the right thing, until it becomes his temperament rather than a series of choices. The seed that turns into this way of thinking is planted the yellow book which solidifies Gray 's fear of losing his beauty. Instead of seeing the evil in the portrait, Gray grows happy thinking that he 's successfully separated his own soul and

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