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Occultism In Dorian Gray

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This essay aims to look at the relationship between Gothic and religion and/or occultism in the two texts The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde and Dracula by Bram Stoker. Firstly, it is important to highlight the definition of occultism. The word occult means the study of the supernatural. In the Picture of Dorian Grey, the occult and religion are key factors in the novel. The novel highlights the occult because of the supernatural powers that are given to the painting and the unusual properties the painting has. Dorian Grey himself does not get older, but the painting ages. A key element of the gothic genre is aesthetics which is mentioned in the novel throughout which is another factor to mention. In the novel Dracula, the occult and religion are also key factors. The novel’s main focus is the existence of vampires which is significant to occultism as it is the element of the supernatural. Throughout the novel there are also references to religion from the beginning because the first few chapters of the novel explains that there are religious symbols such as a crucifix and the church and graveyards are also mentioned several times. The setting of Count Dracula’s house is described as a mansion which is a typical scene for a gothic novel.

The Picture of Dorian Grey highlights the key element of aesthetics. Aesthetics is beauty or the appreciation of beauty . In the beginning of the novel, Oscar Wilde talks about the philosophy of aesthetics and he praises beauty. As this is in the beginning, it shows that aesthetics is a key factor in the novel. The novel is very closely linked to aesthetics because Dorian is concerned with youth and a majority of his life is devoted to beauty and this may be potentially why his life ends ...

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... the occult and religion are also key factors. The existence of vampires is significant to occultism as it is the element of the supernatural. There are also references to religion from the start as the first few chapters of the text explains that there are religious symbols such as crucifixes and the church are also mentioned numerous times. The setting of Dracula’s home is described as a mansion which is an archetypal scene for a gothic novel. In both of the novels, it appears that the want to be young and immortal is always linked with evil, for example with Dorian Grey he starts with being a good character and once he becomes obsessed with his youth, he turns evil. With Dracula he is a vampire and is immortal and seeks other people to also become vampires, which shows that the people are being controlled against their own will and shows Dracula to also be evil.
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