A Portrait of Dorian Gray

A Portrait of Dorian Gray

Length: 756 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
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. Lord Henry assumed the role of temptation and lured the naïve Dorian into a legacy of abominable deeds and sordid affairs. Dorian received the benefits of Harry’s charm, wit, and views. As for payment, Dorian surrendered any control he may have had over his own thoughts, decisions, or emotions. Harry was able to pursue his quest for mind control and perform his own psychological experiments as he willed. The matter of the portrait that had plagued Dorian for most of his adult life can easily be explained. The painting was merely his guilt that had manifested and displaced itself as figment of his imagination. For although he had traded his self control for superficial characteristics, he still remained the owner of his soul.

Harry slowly exerts control over Dorian in two simple ways. First he implants ideas and reactions into Dorian’s sub-conscience leading him to believe that the thoughts that are flowing from his head are his own, not Lord Henry’s. After Sybil’s death, Harry consoles Dorian, or at least that is how Dorian sees the encounter. “You have explained me to myself, Harry…I felt all that you have said, but somehow I was afraid of it, and I could not express it to myself. How well you know me!”. It is not that Harry knows Dorian so well, but that Lord Henry has influenced and molded Dorian’s coping mechanisms. The young man will now follow this pattern of denial each time he is faced with remorse, guilt, or sadness. Henry himself admits to the fact that he is experimenting with Dorian, “It was clear to him that the experimental method was the only method by which one could arrive at any scientific analysis of the passions: and certainly Dorian Gray was a subject made to his hand, and seemed to promise rich and fruitful results”.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"A Portrait of Dorian Gray." 123HelpMe.com. 12 Dec 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=98127>.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Essay on The Portrait Of Dorian Gray

- Any reader can name characters in fiction whom they have loved to hate. Elizabeth von Arnim created such a character in her novel, Vera. Von Arnim did not call Everard Wemyss a narcissist, but he fits the profile. There are narcissists in many of von Arnim 's novels, but none so explicit as Wemyss. The various shades and gradations of narcissism will be explored in von Arnim 's works. From Weymss, the most vicious, vindictive, and vengeful character to the the barely mentioned dead husband of Catherine Cumfrit in Love....   [tags: Narcissistic personality disorder, Narcissism]

Research Papers
1391 words (4 pages)

Essay on The Picture of Dorian Gray - Comparing Dorian to His Self-Portrait

- The Picture of Dorian Gray - Parallel between Dorian and his Self-portrait Oscar Wilde's novel, "The Picture of Dorian Gray", presented many themes. One such theme is the idea of doubleness. Oscar Wilde used this as a technique to link his characters and ideas. While doubleness is shown in many aspects of the novel, the most obvious and most important presence of it is the parallel between the main character, Dorian, and his self-portrait. This bond between Dorian and his picture is crucial to the understanding of the novel....   [tags: Picture Dorian Gray Essays Oscar Wilde]

Research Papers
914 words (2.6 pages)

The Significance of the Portrait in The Picture of Dorian Gray Essay

- The Significance of the Portrait in The Picture of Dorian Gray The portrait in the book was originally painted by Basil Hallward who believed it was the greatest thing he had ever done. Everyone admired the painting and it wins him the respect of all his friends. Another significance of the portrait to Basil Hallward is that it poignantly turned out to be the cause of his own death when Dorian madly murders him, as he was the man who painted the portrait that went so wrong. "The mad passions of a wild animal stirred within him…" (Dorian Gray) This shows how angry and disturbed Dorian had become....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
586 words (1.7 pages)

Analysis of The Picture of Dorian Gray Essay examples

- There are so many factors making our choices constrained and even influencing our decisions and thoughts. In The picture of Dorian Gray, Dorian, a beautiful and innocent young man was affected by his portrait, Lord Henry who Dorian trusted him with no reason, and the yellow book which was given by Henry. The wish Dorian made came true. His portrait would change and Dorian stayed who he was. But, facing the horrible changes of his portrait, Dorian started blaming the painter who should not painted of him so that he murdered the painter....   [tags: book, portrait, opiu,, youth, beauty]

Research Papers
946 words (2.7 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]

Research Papers
1983 words (5.7 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]

Research Papers
1365 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on The Picture Of Dorian Gray

- Eternal youth is a universal theme that is flourishing throughout life. Musician Lana Del Rey speaks in her lyrics of her song “Young and Beautiful” when she says, “will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful; will you still love me when I got nothing but my aching soul”, as expressing her thoughts of growing old and being afraid of losing her youth and beauty to the young love that she has. For the love for eternal youth, in which is portrayed in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, the theme is one that is highly faced with multiple encounters of internal conflict intimate with the characters, specifically Lord Henry, Mrs....   [tags: The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde]

Research Papers
1059 words (3 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]

Research Papers
1188 words (3.4 pages)

Free Essays on Picture of Dorian Gray: The Sin of Dorian

- The Sin of Dorian Gray The beauty of Dorian Gray lies within his youth, but ugly of sin. It is said that something is beauitful than it's not confined to realm of morality and immorality. He beautiful people are immoral. So he purse his curiosity of pleasure by using his body. As a temple of beauty his body it used for exotic pleasure for his twisted mind. Also he tried to evade other moral laws to the purse of pleasure. His soul is unclean of sin and ugliness of a pleasure life. Dorian Gray's innocence's of youthful mind is destroyed....   [tags: The Picture of Dorian Gray Essays]

Free Essays
598 words (1.7 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]

Research Papers
2861 words (8.2 pages)

Again, Dorian has given up his individualism for Henry’s supposed wealth of knowledge, wisdom, and experience. Dorian does realize that he has signed himself away to Harry, and he briefly tries to breach the contract. “He would resist temptation. He would not see Lord Henry any more—would not, at any rate, listen to those subtle poisonous theories, that in Basil’s garden had stirred within him the passion for impossible things”, yet resistance was futile. Harry had already acquired so much of Dorian that there was nothing left to fight with. Lord Henry sealed the deal by bestowing the awesome novel to his young friend, who was nothing more than a lab rat after he read the first page. The “novel without a plot” effected Dorian to such a degree that he was practically waving the white flag after he had finished the book. “For years, Dorian Gray could not free himself from the influence of this book. Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say that he never sought to free himself from it”. The reason he became so obsessed by the “poisonous book” was because the book became him. Dorian lost himself in the novel and in turn surrendered any sense of self he might have been clinging too. Dorian was now as responsive as a violin to whatever Harry wished.

Lord Henry had begun to exert control over Dorian from the very first time they spoke, but it was bargain that they made which caused the inevitable tragic ending of Dorian’s life. The greatest pity in the novel was the fact that Lord Henry never really cared for Dorian as stated in a dialogue between the two.

‘Yes, I thought you would like it,’ replied his host, rising from his chair. ‘I didn’t say I liked it, Harry. I said it fascinated me. There is a great difference.’ ‘Ah, you have discovered that?” murmured Lord Henry.

To Lord Henry, Dorian was merely a fascination, and nothing more. Unfortunately, he grew tired of his contract, and left Dorian to fend for himself. And as we see in the end of the novel, he did so miserably.
Return to 123HelpMe.com