Beauty In The Picture Of Dorian Gray

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Nature and beauty were emphasized in many literary works from the Romantic period. This is largely due to the withdraw many people and artists felt from nature after the industrial revolution in Europe during the late-1700s and the mid-1800s. This is manifested in The Picture of Dorian Gray as more of a grotesque and dark obsession with beauty.
The industrial revolution drastically changed the way of life in Europe. With it came many new innovations and inventions such as the steam engine and the spinning jenny, however, the quality of life for not only those living in urban centers but also for those living in rural areas drastically decreased. Cities grew overpopulated as people from rural areas moved into them in search of jobs, many of
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This is exemplified in his work: The Picture of Dorian Gray. Dorian Gray is portrayed as a very handsome and modest young man, but as the story progresses he becomes more corrupted and obsessed with his own beauty, so much so that he desires to stay young and unaged forever. This obsession, however, grows dark and twisted, Dorian thinks: “‘the search for beauty is the real secret of life’” (Wilde 48). Dorian makes a wish upon a portrait of him that it will age and he will stay young, but the portrait begins to show all of the sins he commits and becomes a hideous and distorted depiction of him. He is horrified by this and grows a hatred for Basil Hallward, the artist of the portrait and one of his closest friends. Basil makes a comment to Dorian about how he could never commit any sin and Dorian snaps, he takes Basil to the attic where he has been hiding the painting and forces him to look upon his changed work. In a fit of rage, Dorian kills Basil: “He rushed at him, and dug the knife into the great vein that is behind his ear, crushing the man’s head down on the table, and stabbing again and again” (Wilde 151). Dorian’s obsession with beauty was the force which pushed him to commit countless sins and even drove him to commit murder, and eventually suicide. The Picture of Dorian Gray is the perfect example of a Dark Romantic novel, it focuses on sin, dark beauty, and the literal and metaphorical self-destruction that comes from
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