The Picture of Dorian Gray
What would happen if every time a person invested emotion into art, they perished? That is the idea that Oscar Wilde presented in his 1891 novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. The Picture of Dorian Gray focuses largely on the idea that art should only exist for beauty and admiration. An audience should not invest emotion into art, because it is proven by the novel that it can only end badly. Art should simply exist for the sake of being art. The Aesthetic Movement has lasted much into the modern world and spread between many cultures. The Aesthetic Movement thrived because of The Picture of Dorian Gray.
The Picture of Dorian Gray was heavily influenced by the Aesthetic Movement of the mid 1800’s. The Aesthetic Movement implied that art is only to exist for the idea of beauty, and that the viewer of the art should not look into the meaning behind the art. Oscar Wilde believed this theory, and he used ideas from the Aesthetic Movement in many of his pieces, including The Picture of Dorian Gray. The Picture of Dorian Gray was an incredibly controversial novel, especially with its added aesthetic ideas.
David A. Upchurch emphasizes the impact that the novel had on Victorian society in his article, “The Picture of Dorian Gray: Overview”. Upchurch declares:
The novel was immediately controversial because of the ethics of the aesthetic doctrines it seemed to embrace. Critics have since approached the book from a variety of positions: as an autobiography of Wilde's life, as gothic melodrama, and as an aesthetic novel.
The idea that The Picture of Dorian Gray is a heavily aesthetic novel is very true because the central theme of the novel is that art should only exist to be art.
Alan Crawford examines...
... middle of paper ...
...sh Literature in Transition, 1880-1920. 36.4 ( 1993): 429-450. Rpt. in Literature Resource Center. Detroit: Gale, 429-450. Literature Resource Center. Gale. NORTHWEST COLLEGIATE ACADEMY. 25 April 2011 .
"Steampunk Brings Victorian Flair to the 21st Century." All Things Considered. (6 Feb. 2008): Literature Resource Center. Gale. NORTHWEST COLLEGIATE ACADEMY. 1 July 2009 .
Upchurch, David A. "The Picture of Dorian Gray: Overview." Reference Guide to English Literature. Ed. D. L. Kirkpatrick. 2nd ed. Chicago: St. James Press, 1991. Literature Resource Center. Gale. NORTHWEST COLLEGIATE ACADEMY. 28 April 2011 .
Wilde, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray. New York, NY: Barnes and Noble Classics, 1890.