The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde

2472 Words10 Pages
Dorian has accepted that his soul is full of sin. When he shows Basil his true form, the one with sin written across its face, he believes he has no hope to be good. He let's Basil in on the truth because the guilt of watching Basil praise him despite the rumors about him is too much to bear. Basil is shocked to see the gross, wrinkled effigy of Dorian and implores that they ask God for forgiveness. He believes there is still a chance, and Dorian only needs to repent his sins. Dorian says with skepticism,“It is too late, Basil” (Wilde, 140). He believes his turpitude is immutable. Because he lacks the will to lead a moral life, he feels fine killing Basil and black mailing friends to clean up the mess. When Alan Campbell is invited to Dorian’s house, he describes the situation upstairs to the chemist. The dead body is merely a thing on a chair resting its head on a table. Had he seen himself as a on who leads a moral life, he would not have invited Alan and turned himself in instead. Because he has already rationalized that he will forever live a corrupted life, he is not afraid to force a friend who has adamantly refused several times to clean up the dirty work to conceal his sins. The difference in attitude before and after his encounter with the mocking portrait is the belief in redemption. ____________________________________________________________________________ Inside the book is the psychological study of a Parisian man who makes it his life goal to live as hedonistically as possible, and undergo “all the passions and modes of thought that belonged to every century except his own” ([2] Wilde 109). The book is written in a way that captivates, with “metaphors as monstrous as orchids and as subtle in colour” ([2] Wilde 109). Wilde writes of the book as he would write the experience of getting into a drug-induced stupor, with all of the color and hallucinations that come with it. In a way, the contents are nearly spiritual, so that “one hardly knew at times whether one was reading the spiritual ecstasies of some mediaeval saint or the morbid confessions of a modern sinner” ([2] Wilde 109). Dorian’s response to it is fascination, then connection. It becomes a drug-like substance for him, and “Dorian Gray [cannot] free himself from the influence of this book” ([2] Wilde 111).
Open Document