Short Essay About Dorian Gray

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Short Essay About Dorian Gray

In the early chapters of The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde, we are introduced to a young and naïve character, Dorian Gray. Wilde’s descriptions of the young man create a picture of an innocent yet easily influenced Dorian, who is just beginning to learn what the adult world is all about. He is happy and handsome, yet when he is introduced to Lord Henry, he begins to experiment a little bit more on the side of sin. He becomes obsessed with youth and beauty, and he says that he “would give everything, even [his] very soul” to remain attractive and young. After this declaration, the reader is introduced to a changed Dorian Gray and his new philosophies about life, which begin to sound a lot like Lord Henry’s thoughts. Dorian “falls in love,” and then he breaks a girl’s heart, causing her to end her life. His beautiful portrait begins to alter, and to keep others from witnessing this, he locks the picture away.

At this point in the novel, the reader is brought forward in time, and Dorian is now closer to middle age. Oscar Wilde uses very dark words to set a dreary mood and also a very different sort of image than from the beginning of he novel. Dorian’s life over the past years is described in detail, marking his drastic change and the hold the Devil has over him. It appears that Dorian’s conscience and his very soul have left his body forever, leaving him a sinful and very conceited person. People despise him, and some even leave a room when he enters. It is very clear that Dorian Gray has morphed into someone who is his opposite from earlier in his life.
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