The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay

The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay

Length: 1299 words (3.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Masculine Expectations
The novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde shows the life of three men who are affected by art in the Victorian society. In Victorian times men were expected to provide for himself and his family, accumulate wealth, exemplify good morals and prove his masculinity. If a man did not show one of these qualities in the Victorian time his masculinity would be questioned. In the novel these men show three different sides to masculinity. Each character finds himself unhappy with the role he is forced to play in order to prove his masculinity. For them it seems in order to be successful or achieve happiness they must push past the gender roles society has placed on them. Basil Hallward represents the artist, Dorian Gray represents the conceited young man concerned with his own pleasures, and Lord Henry Wotton represents an aristocrat in Victorian society; which were all typical roles that men played during the Victorian era. Their characters in the novel represent typical masculine gender roles in Victorian society, that is until they are all come in contact with the portrait of Dorian Gray. It seems as if their perspective on life changes which allows them to question what they want to do with their lives. While questioning their lives, the topic of pushing and being confined to their gender roles seems to come into play.
Lord Henry Wotton’s character exemplifies the typical aristocratic masculine role. With the status as an aristocrat, society rules that Lord Henry must have also have a wife and family to keep up with his status. Belonging to the higher-class because of his wealth and title always expresses his unasked for opinions on the meaning of life, the human quest for pleasure and different...


... middle of paper ...


...ing to chill or intelligence.” (6-7). Overall this means that Dorian’s beauty puts him at obligation for society, they would constantly judge him and as a man he would have to uphold righteous morals. This is the exact opposite of what Dorian does as he becomes hedonistic, which means involved and devoted into seeking and striving the greatest pleasures of life.
These three men symbolise three different types of masculinity during the Victorian era because of a portrait that affected their identities to society. While admiring the portrait it is easy to see that they all feel some level of confinement because of the gender roles placed on them by society. Though is it shown in different ways the idea of obligation to society seems to be the ultimate setback for these men that really want to express themselves without being defined by society’s rules of masculinity.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

The Vampire And The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay

- Within the works of Interview with the Vampire and The Picture of Dorian Gray, there are many found commonalities. These two books are well known for their risky content as well as for their beautiful word usage. To compare, both Anne Rice and Oscar Wilde present a character in their stories whom contains the trait to never grow out of his or her youthful beauty and demeanor. In The Picture of Dorian Gray, the character happens to go by the name of Dorian Gray. Likewise, in Interview with the Vampire, the character’s name is Claudia....   [tags: Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray]

Strong Essays
1378 words (3.9 pages)

Essay about The Picture Of Dorian Gray

- ... At the beginning Basil begged him not to influence Dorian, but he makes Dorian have second thoughts about his youth that leads toward the downfall of the novel. With this being said, Lord Henry did not care about the consequences of his words and actions he only seen the entertainment in how far he could corrupt Dorian. Sibyl Vane is first brought up when Dorian tells Lord Henry that he has fallen in love with an actress. She is an Shakespearean actress who ends up falling head over heels for Dorian....   [tags: The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde]

Strong Essays
2462 words (7 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 Essay

- ... This is evident in how Dorian falls out of love with Sibyl over such a trivial matter of acting, something many people do in real life even in today’s society in the twenty first century. The main character, Dorian Gray, is portrayed as if he doesn’t fit in the setting because Wilde tries to make Gray seem as though he is a distant character, making it more interesting when he goes insane and kills Basil. The narrator of the story of the story is most likely Oscar Wilde, he is outside of the story....   [tags: The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde]

Strong Essays
1220 words (3.5 pages)

Essay about The Picture Of Dorian Gray

- ... He is not sure of what is most grotesque- corruption or aging (Boyle 162). When Dorian expresses how he feels towards an "actress", Sibyl Vane, Lord Henry makes fun of him causing Dorian to change. Basil Hallward, the artist of the aging painting, sees the difference in Dorian. Basil continually thinks Dorian is intrinsically good and he blames this change on being around Lord Henry (Mustafa). Basil stands for better benefits and has an inward sense of morality (Cohen) though he does not believe "morality" effects his views or art (Boyle 159)....   [tags: Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray]

Strong Essays
1249 words (3.6 pages)

The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay

- ... In the first place, Dorian 's intentions with Sibyl are not genuine. This is illustrated when Lord Henry inquires about Sibyl from Dorian; "I will tell you, Harry; but you mustn 't be unsympathetic about it. After all, it never would have happened if I had not met you. You filled me with a wild desire to know everything about life. For days after I met you, something seemed to throb in my veins" (35). He continues later to say; "You said to me once that pathos left you unmoved, but that beauty, mere beauty , could fill your eyes with tears....   [tags: The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde]

Strong Essays
1928 words (5.5 pages)

The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay

- ... Even though being married, he acts as if he is a bachelor and that is what draws Dorian in. Being a mutual friend with both Dorian and Basil, he acted as the mediator between the two. He would give them both advice when they needed it. At the beginning of the book, Lord Henry asks Basil “. . . why won 't you exhibit his portrait” (13). The portrait of Dorian looked perfect to him and he could not understand why Basil would want to hide such a painting. Basil told him that "Because, without intending it, I have put into it some expression of all this curious artistic idolatry, of which, of course, I have never cared to speak to him....   [tags: The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde]

Strong Essays
1515 words (4.3 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)

The Conscience of Dorian Gray in Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray

- The Conscience of Dorian Gray in Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray Much of the criticism regarding The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde has dealt with Dorian Gray’s relation to his own portrait (Raby 392). While some may argue that the portrait represents a reflection of Dorian Gray’s character, this is only a superficial analysis of the novel and Dorian’s character. While Dorian Gray’s true character never changes, it is his own perception of his character (his conscience) that is reflected in the changing face of his portrait....   [tags: Picture Dorian Gray Essays]

Strong Essays
2861 words (8.2 pages)

Evil in The Picture of Dorian Gray: Essay

- Evil in The Picture of Dorian Gray: The Picture Of Dorian Gray is yet another novel portraying evil. The theme is very much reflected by the book's setting, plot structure and characterisation. It shows how individuals can slowly deteriorate because of the evil lying within themselves. The evil of this book is the evil created by one's self and thrusted upon one's self. The power of greed and selfishness take over Dorian Gray and create an ugly evil side to him. The mid eighteenth century was a very influential era, specially in England....   [tags: Picture Dorian Gray Essays]

Free Essays
924 words (2.6 pages)