The Wilderness of Wilde
Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray introduced cultural taboo, the means of art and beauty, and the internal pain of man into the literary world of the 19th century. Wilde himself went through these phases of life and wanted to push views of his reality onto his audience. He portrays several characters through the means of moral corruption over aestheticism while pushing his own controversial ideas and the limits of social normality, such as living indefinitely and homosexuality, over the audience of his era.
In Wilde’s era he created literature that corrupted the audiences ideas of purity. In the beginning of the novel, Basil Howland, the artist of a controversial painting, is particularly proud of his new muse but will not display it for fear “…I have shown with it the secret of my own soul" (Wilde 188). As Basil reveals his reasoning behind not displaying his masterpiece, we find that he is attached to the perfect manifestation of his soul. He is afraid that if the painting were to be shown in public, the audience would know too much information about him. Basil strives to become one with his creations in order to hold a fulfilling life. In the 19th century, the taboo was all about speaking of ridiculously imaginative things such as living indefinitely or homosexuality, “but his story is also a vivid, though carefully considered, exposure of the corruption of a soul, with a very plain moral, pushed home, to the effect that vice and crime make people coarse and ugly” (Pater). Wilde expresses his ideas through this passage particularly because Basil gushes over Dorian and his beauty in the scene before he reveals the painting to Lord Henry. Many researchers suggest Wilde pushes his ideals over an a...
... middle of paper ...
...ggle made evidently clear through Dorian’s actions towards the end of the novel: “In terms of the Art/Life dichotomy, he deserts the calm serenity of art in favor of the sordidness of life” (Aubrey). Instead of realizing how incredible life is, Wilde puts his characters through incredible amounts of immoral decisions that create tension throughout. The internal struggle is a fantastic tale of philosophy from the inside out.
Wilde’s novel brought a new essence of reality and his thoughts provoked the literary world into a new era of literature. The moral decisions made by the characters of the novel portrayed the internal struggles caused by corruption of morality, the means of art and beauty and pain of man in the 19th century. The philosophy behind writing the novel was created by a new sense of tension in cultural taboo caused by Wilde’s critics of the time.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
Examining The Nature of Evil in 'The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde and "Down A Dark Hall" by Lois Duncan
- “The line between good and evil is permeable and almost anyone can be induced to cross it when pressured by situational forces.” BOB BOB In order to eliminate evil and corruption, one must fully understand the systematic way in which they operate. By examining the behaviour of corrupt and corruptible people, it is possible to deduce the very nature of evil. In The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde and Down A Dark Hall by Lois Duncan, Dorian Gray and Kit Gordy are exposed to evil and soon corrupted.... [tags: Literary Analysis]
1693 words (4.8 pages)
- Everyone is merely a product of their surroundings and become what they have been raised to be. While some remain untempted by the vices of their peers, others completely absorb the negative influences in everyday life. Modern society values beauty over substance and The Picture of Dorian Gray serves to reveal that flaw. Oscar Wilde criticizes the superficial nature of people by satirizing the corruption of their views on morality. He says “The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame” (Wilde 238).... [tags: The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde]
1454 words (4.2 pages)
- Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890) follows the story of Dorian Gray; a man gifted with exquisite natural beauty, whose vanity and obsession with his own youth leads him astray in a life of sin. As Dorian slowly loses his innocence, with the obsession of living hedonistically, his portrait suffers the punishment for his sins and growing age. Dorian himself remains untouched in age; however, the portrait reflects the loss of innocence in his pursuit of atheistic and hedonistic lifestyle.... [tags: The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde]
1304 words (3.7 pages)
- In Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray it is unequivocal that a large part of Dorian’s corruption is attributed to Lord Henry Wotton and his cynical, paradoxical teachings. However, it is evident, upon closer inspection, that Dorian’s own nature and the portrait of Dorian himself – although inanimate – plays a much larger part in the deterioration and ultimate demise of Dorian Gray. Throughout the novel it is easy to get caught up in Dorian’s ever-prominent obsession with Lord Henry and his book and forget that Dorian’s own disposition and actions play the most dominant role in his demise.... [tags: The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde]
1066 words (3 pages)
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde Art. It's Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Art can be so beautiful or so hideous. So monotonous or poignant. So imaginative or clichéd. So right or wrong. Art really has no moral, does it. Although the book, The Picture of Dorian Gray has no ethical stance, it was not Oscar Wilde's intention to have a moral. It was to show the splendor of art for art's sake. Through out the paperback of The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde, wildly shows his beliefs in art for art's sake (Cauti XIV).... [tags: Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde Analysis]
1814 words (5.2 pages)
- Homosexual Elements in The Picture of Dorian Gray In spite of the novel's heterosexual text, many critics agree that it has various homosexual elements in its characters, in the dialogues, and even in the portrait itself. One of the critics, Richard Dellamora, mentions this feature of the text, and comments that "By definition this context is heterosexual. Wotton is married and pursues actresses. Basil himself is a graduate of Oxford, a well-established artist, and respectable to a fault" (28).... [tags: The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde]
1610 words (4.6 pages)
- How Art Relates to Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray is a novel about a young, handsome, and vain man who has his portrait painted, and impulsively wishes that he could forever remain just as handsome as he is in the painting -- that the painting would age instead of him. He gets his wish in a most eerie way; as, with passing years, he becomes increasingly dissolute and evil, while the changes that one would expect to appear on his face are reflected in the portrait instead.... [tags: Oscar Wilde Picture Dorian Gray Essays]
907 words (2.6 pages)
- Oscar Wilde Art We begin another chapter in the life of Oscar Wilde, the year 1888, many things have taken place, Oscar has been married and bore two children, Vyvyan and Cyril and his touring of the United States and other countries have brought forth success to the literary giant. Some of his successful writings are "The Picture of Dorian Gray"(1891), "A Woman of No Importance"(1894) and his most resent essay known "The Decay of Lying". Is it true that lying has fallen to its deepest shadow of shame.... [tags: Oscar Wilde Writer Papers]
1491 words (4.3 pages)
- A Comparison of Oscar Wilde and Dorian Gray One novel that stands out as literary masterpiece is The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. Wilde wrote a dark tale of a man, Dorian Gray, who destroys his life by exchanging his soul for eternal youth and beauty. The character of Dorian Gray, in many aspects, mirrors the self-destruction of the author's own life. Therefore, Oscar Wilde portrays his own life through Dorian Gray, the main character of the novel. Oscar Fingal O' Flahertie Wills Wilde is one of Birtain's most well known authors.... [tags: Wildre Dorain Gray Comparison Essays]
1315 words (3.8 pages)
- Criticism of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray The novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, written by Oscar Wilde originally appeared in Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine in 1890. It was then published in 1891, in book form, containing six additional chapters with revisions. The first reviews of Dorian Gray were mostly unfavorable. It was condemned for its speculative treatment of immoral or at least uncomfortable subjects. A review in the St. James’s Gazette by Samuel Henry Jeyes, journalist and biographer was titled "‘A Study in Puppydom." Jeyes refers to Wilde’s idle, “effeminate” characters in the book and writes: “The puppies appear to fill up the intervals of talk by plu... [tags: Picture Dorian Gray]
1117 words (3.2 pages)
- The Netflix Original Series Between Follows Residents Of The Town, Pretty Lake
- The Prentice Hall 's Assessment Online Library
- Devolution : An Opportunity For Local Economic Development
- The Security Guard, A Group Of Homeless Men Huddled Together Outside The Entrance
- Comparing Brittney Cooper 's Article ' Between The World And Me '
- The Drug Kingdom Of America