Beauty And Beauty In Oscar Wilde's The Picture Of Dorian Gray

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Throughout The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde, the idea of beauty being the most important thing in life leads to the corruption of an innocent soul, Dorian Gray. This idea is drilled into this naive man by his “friend” Lord Henry. As a man of high affluence in life, Lord Henry sees his friends as playthings for his social experiments, he is obsessed with psychology and feels that emotions are just something to bring people down. Lord Henry’s forwardness with his views of life and pushing his opinions onto other people causes the corruption and downward spiral of Dorian Gray’s outlook on life. Lord Henry has many opinions on life and what he thinks about life, he also likes to push his views onto people. Throughout the book Lord Henry constantly changes his view on things depending on the person he is addressing. Wilde supports Lord Henry’s contradictory character by making him go against himself while talking to other people, to Basil he says “Genius lasts longer than beauty” (9) but then a few pages later Lord Henry says “Beauty is a form of Genius- is higher, indeed, than genius.” (16) when speaking to Dorian. By making this small change, his opinion on his view on of beauty and genius he can easily influence Dorian. Lord Henry takes advantage over the fact that Dorian is very naive and vain. Due to Lord Henry’s continuous influence upon Dorian Gray, Lord Henry speeds up the eroding of Dorian’s soul. Lord Henry makes Dorian a selfish, shallow shell of a man.
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