Oscar Wilde 's The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay

Oscar Wilde 's The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay

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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. The thematic overtones explored in Wilde’s book discuss many issues of value, ethics, and vice. Although Wilde writes about the downfall of Dorian Gray due to obsession of beauty, it is important to note that Dorian himself only dies when his human consciousness finally becomes overwhelming. The Picture of Dorian Grey adheres to the lifestyle and ideals of author, Oscar Wilde. His pursuits of decadence are impressed upon Dorian’s character that reflects both Wilde’s decadent ideals that stirred trouble in his life, but in addition, Dorian represents what is valued-beauty.
Innocence, youth, and beauty are distinctly admired within British civilization that Dorian and his friends live in. The first inflection of evidence that supports the admiration of beauty by society is the painter, Basil Hallward who is obsessed with Dorian. In an effort to capture his youth snare, Basil paints a portrait. Basil’s artistic obsession with Dorian provokes a passion in his portraits to the effect where he feels lost without Dorian’s presence. Basil is transfixed in the innocence Dorian portrays, and he attempts to shield Dorian from any outside influence that will corrupt him. Basil’s obsession with shielding Dorian Gray from outside influence only cau...


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...seless” (Wilde 1). It seems that although Dorian was obsessed with stones and aristocratic art, it never seemed to satisfy him and still pursued immoral relationships with people (of which is never thoroughly detailed in the novel).
Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray reflects the ideals of what is considered beautiful: physical attributes, talent, skill, lack of, and admiration are all elements that all characters and more importantly the author admire. His take on beauty within this book finds itself in paradoxes, and a back and forth discussion amongst all the characters. The different guises of beautiful things come with the price of decadence and over indulgence. It is clear that more than any other written work by Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray represents the clear and concise view of Wilde’s opinions of the world and the world of his contemporaries.

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