The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay

The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay

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The significance of choices and what their consequences reveal for the protagonist Dorian in The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
As Jean-Paul Sartre once said "we are our choices". An individual 's choices reflect who they are and what they may become. In The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, Dorian 's pivotal decision to strike a Faustian bargain causes him to incessantly make poor choices that eventually lead to his demise. This is illustrated through Dorian 's decision to befriend Lord Henry, become engaged to Sibyl Vane, ignore his discovery of the portraits power, and lastly his decision to murder Basil Hallward.
To begin with, Dorian 's decision to befriend Lord Henry is the first choice he makes that leads to his downfall. In the first place, Lord Henry makes Dorian conscious of his own astonishing youth and beauty. This is illustrated from the first encounter Dorian has with Lord Henry; "... You have the most marvellous youth, and youth is the one thing worth having....You have a wonderfully beautiful face, Mr. Gray" (16). He later on says, "The moment I met you I saw that you were quite unconscious of what you really are , of what you really might be. There was so much in you that charmed me that I felt I must tell you something about yourself. I thought how tragic it would be if you were wasted" (17). Prior to meeting Lord Henry, Dorian was unaware of his own youth and beauty and what power this entailed him to have. Not only does he illustrate the power Dorian has, but he makes Dorian think the only things worth valuing are beauty and youth. Consequently, this leads Dorian to make his Faustian bargain, and believe that with his beauty it is acceptable for him to be cruel and live a selfish lif...


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...sible for Dorian to attain forgiveness for the life he lead of debauchery and hedonism. Only in death is there a chance of making amends for all the horrors he caused when he was alive.
In conclusion, a person 's decisions can greatly alter the course their life will take and who they may become. Dorian 's decision to befriend Lord Henry, become engaged to Sibyl Vane, ignore his discovery of the portraits power, and lastly his decision to murder Basil Hallward all lead to his dramatic character transformation and what ultimately lead to his own death. Our choices can be very powerful and should never be taken lightly. As J.K Rowling once said, "It is our choices... that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." Dorian had the abilities of being a charming and charismatic individual yet, his choices were what illustrated who he truly was in the end.

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