At its peak "the movement had a disdain for any traditional, natural, political, or moral ideals; rather, the importance of nonconformist form and subject matter were fore grounded" (Majer). Wilde suggested that art should hold no purpose in society and merely exist for its beauty. He argued, as any aesthete would, that by giving art a value greater than its beauty, society is in turn ruining it. He also added that art must be looked at as a whole, and only those who can see the complete "picture" can truly understand the meaning behind art, while also seeing into the artist's soul. In the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde portrays aestheticism in many ways, mainly through art and the human soul.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2007. Credo Reference. Web. 18 February 2011.
“Romanticism”. Continuum Encyclopedia of British Literature. London: Continuum 2006. Credo Reference. web 5 December 2009.
These people consider them savage because they are so blinded by how civilized and advanced the place is where they live, and are to ignorant to be open minded about the home of someone else. Kurtz, one of the main characters in Joseph Conrad’s novella, Heart of Darkness, is the prime example of the overpowering nature of ignorance and the inability to survive in another setting for a prolonged amount of time without going insane. Heart of Darkness is a novel that renders many different themes that often can be argued, or present a contradicting idea. For my topic, I have chosen the argument between Civilization and Savagery, and I am going to reveal the true meaning behind what each word means in the context of the book. In Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad reveals that in reality the Europeans are truly more savage than the more civilized Africans, showing that all is not what meets the eye.
Thus, in the plot of the novel lies Oscar Wilde shows us the main idea of the aesthetics of unconditional superiority of art over real life. Art as the epitome of beauty forever, and because the hero dies, and continues to live a beautiful, as in the end of the artist's portrait. Everything seems to be consistent with theoretical views of the writer. Picture of Dorian Gray is the novel of aesthetic in the highest sense, not propagandizing aesthetic doctrine, and revealing her in danger. His novel, the author argues that life alone controlled sensuality and self-destructive anarchist.