The Mind, Body and Soul in The Picture of Dorian Gray Essays

The Mind, Body and Soul in The Picture of Dorian Gray Essays

Length: 1379 words (3.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

From the moment that Dorian makes his desperate plea in Basil Hallward’s studio – “If it were I who was to be always young, and the picture that was to grow old! …I would give my soul for that!” – he is a grand Gothic experiment (Wilde 28). Even prior to this, Dorian was a test subject of Lord Henry’s, who wanted to see how many of his own ideas he could inject into the boy. This influence rapidly planted in Dorian the ideas of eternal youth and beauty, and led to the encasement of his soul in Basil’s portrait of him. After the switch, Dorian is still under Lord Henry’s influence, but he is also Oscar Wilde’s subject. In his novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, Wilde manipulates Dorian, his surroundings, and his circumstances to capture a realistic portrayal of the character’s downfall by depicting the nature of the body, mind, and soul, and the relationship between them.
Because Dorian’s soul does not reside in his body, but in a portrait, he experiences a number of curious circumstances. First, Dorian’s body does not age. It remains the same as it was on the day that he wished his soul into the picture in Basil’s studio. Neither does his lifestyle leave any mark on his body. Such extravagant and often sinful habits as were indulged by Dorian should show some sign of their passing, but he is excepted. Wilde takes care to tell his readers that Dorian has “changed, of course, but not in appearance” (221). It is the portrait that bears the marks of this abuse. Any change – either as a result of age or of sin – becomes part of the portrait.
Dorian, easily fascinated and influenced, becomes enthralled with tracking the changes of his portrait. Before the first change, Dorian’s portrait is beautiful; it looks as pure and perfect as its ...


... middle of paper ...


... deed? Or the desire of a new sensation, as Lord Henry had hinted,… or that passion to act a part that sometimes makes us do things finer than we are ourselves? Or, perhaps, all these” (227). Before looking into the face of his soul, Dorian truly believes that he is reforming and starting to be good to rectify his sins. Once he sees that what he thought was goodness was really only “cunning” and “hypocrit[ical],” he understands that he had passed a point of no return, and that there was no chance for him to save his soul.
Like many stories, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray has a moral, a greater point. Wilde’s message about the relationship between the body, mind, and soul is simple, but important: the body is the vehicle for the mind, which is the vehicle for the soul. This is the “natural order” of things, and Wilde shows that it should not be contested.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Mind, Body and Soul in The Picture of Dorian Gray Essays

- From the moment that Dorian makes his desperate plea in Basil Hallward’s studio – “If it were I who was to be always young, and the picture that was to grow old. …I would give my soul for that!” – he is a grand Gothic experiment (Wilde 28). Even prior to this, Dorian was a test subject of Lord Henry’s, who wanted to see how many of his own ideas he could inject into the boy. This influence rapidly planted in Dorian the ideas of eternal youth and beauty, and led to the encasement of his soul in Basil’s portrait of him....   [tags: Victorian Literature]

Strong Essays
1379 words (3.9 pages)

The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay

- Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray is the life of a wealthy, beautiful young man after selling his heart to the devil. The story begins in the late 19th century London in a luxurious painter’s studio where the readers are introduced to Basil Hallward and his dear friend, Lord Henry Wotton. The two characters, Basil and Lord Henry, discussed the portrait of a golden-haired young man that Basil was painting. Lord Henry Wotton was astonished by the sight of the magnificent painting. He believed that the painting was Basil’s finest work....   [tags: Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray]

Strong Essays
1983 words (5.7 pages)

The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essays

- The Picture of Dorian Gray is the only novel written by Oscar Wilde. This gothic style story revolves around the protagonist Dorian Gray and his friends Lord Henry Wotton and Basil Hallward in the setting of London, England in 1890. The story is that one day Basil is speaking of a cultured, dignified and attractive gentleman named Dorian Gray to his friend Lord Henry. Lord Henry interested with Basils infatuation with Gray, begs Hallward to introduce him to the fellow. Basil on the other hand does not believe this is a good idea, since he believes Lord Henry will negatively influence Dorian....   [tags: The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde]

Strong Essays
1574 words (4.5 pages)

Essay The Picture Of Dorian Gray

- A common saying heard by many, especially in times of rash decisions, is the phrase “you’re only young once.” But what if that wasn’t the case. What if someone had the choice to stay young for eternity, keeping their youthful looks and beauty. The only price though is that they must forfeit their soul. This is the case of Dorian Gray in Oscar Wilde’s critically acclaimed novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. The novel is about Dorian, a beautiful young man, who is drawn into the concept of eternal youth and splendor which ultimately leads to his own demise....   [tags: The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde]

Strong Essays
1378 words (3.9 pages)

The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay example

- I. Introduction Thematic statement: Oscar Wilde’s gripping late Victorian horror novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, delivers a thrilling portrait of desire and regret. Thesis: Wilde brings Dorian Gray to life in the novel as a malleable, charming and egotistical dandy whose hedonistic pursuits weave a path to moral turpitude. II. Malleable A. “To me, Beauty is the wonder of wonders. It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible....   [tags: Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray]

Strong Essays
1365 words (3.9 pages)

The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay

- Homosexuality in The Picture of Dorian Gray The Picture of Dorian Gray is a well renowned book written by Oscar Wilde. When first published in July of 1880, the novel was edited and many passages were taken out by the British magazine, Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine. These passages that were deleted, included an explicit homosexual relationship between two of the three main characters, Basil Hallward and Dorian Gray. During the 1880’s, the subject matter of the book was not acceptable to society’s standards....   [tags: The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde]

Strong Essays
1515 words (4.3 pages)

The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay

- (In the Berea Coffee and Tea Shop sitting on a couch is Ms. Crockett drinking Mocha, Ms. Cocker drinking organic tea, and Lord Henry drink a Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino in with bendy straw) Ominica Crockett: Do you know I always found the book The Picture of Dorian Gray to have such a questioning theme about Morality. When looking at Lord Henry his life seems to be fine though he is the one who corrupts Dorian. Dorian life seems fine if he could forget the picture, he’s young, handsome and rich. So what his conscience might be ruined, at least in this world he has the perfect life....   [tags: Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray]

Strong Essays
1019 words (2.9 pages)

The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay

- Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray to me emphasis the corruption that comes from obsessing about aesthetics and the idea that looks are the only things that matter. In this modern era novel Basil Hallward is a benevolent artist who paints a portrait of the young attractive man named Dorian Gray. After speaking with Lord Henry Wotton, Dorian makes a wish while looking at his painting and it would be this wish that turned into a curse that ruined Dorian for Basil and ruined the world itself for Dorian....   [tags: Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray]

Strong Essays
1188 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about The Picture of Dorian Gray: The Sins of Dorian Gray

- What good does it do a man to gain the whole world yet forfiet his soul. None, perfection, the goal we all reach for, yet is it really attainable to become perfect without giving something in return, possibly your soul. This is a theme challenged in the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. We see the tragedy of a young beautiful Englishman, Dorian Gray, who becomes a vain sinner dedicated to pleasure. Dorian's inner secrets and weakness of mind becomes his downfall. In this novel Dorian Gray's apparent perfection is destroyed by his weakness of mind and naiiveness, which becomes the downfall of his soul as his mind is opened to sin and Hedonism by Lord Henry Wotton....   [tags: The Picture of Dorian Gray]

Strong Essays
535 words (1.5 pages)

Essay on A Portrait of Dorian Gray

- A Portrait of Dorian Gray “He began to wonder whether we could ever make psychology so absolute a science that each little spring of life would be revealed to us”. Lord Henry spent many days merely philosophizing about the power of the mind and how it could be manipulated. Exercising his abilities of control and influence was what Harry lived for, and when Dorian uttered the fateful phrase wishing to trade places with the portrait, he was not striking a bargain with the Lord of Darkness, but rather one of his rogues....   [tags: A Portrait of Dorian Gray]

Free Essays
756 words (2.2 pages)