The Beautiful Soul of Don Damien is an enticing tale, with a unique point of view. The portion of the tale that makes it so unique, is that the story is told by the narrator through Don Damien’s soul’s perspective of the events. The character development is beautifully demonstrated through the use of the techniques, direct statements and indirect characterization. The journey to the discovery and final assessment of Don Damien’s personality, is intriguing as both a reader and a student learning from the Juan Bosh’s writing. The reason I chose to analyze the character development of Don Damien, in the story ‘The Beautiful Soul of Don Damien’ is because of the other characters contrasting views about Don Damien, and also the peculiar way the character development is brought about by Juan Bosh.
He idolizes him. His idolization of Dorian causes him to let Dorian dominate him. Small as it is, it shows Dorian for the first time what his beauty can do to people. The fact that people are willing to believe and do anything for him because of his beauty. This realization causes a lot of problems later on in the storyline.
It was none other than the work of, Lord Henry who corrupts Dorian gradually. Lord Henry has set his mind on corrupting Dorian because he feels that with his lack of knowledge, that he can make Dorian become a spitting image of himself. We see Lord Henry try to convince Dorian to do many things at the beginning of the book when Basil first mentions his name to Lord Henry. Later we see Lord Henry convince Dorian to give into his temptations and just do everything that pleases himself. Dorian takes these words and turns them into reality, but in doing so harms those around him both physically and emotionally.
The portrait was young and juvenile, while Dorian was soon to grow old and immoral. Thus causing a mental epiphany that made Dorian realize he could not have his fellow peers discover he is not innocent. “” At least you are like it in appearance. But it will never alter,” sighed Hallward. “that is something.”” (Wilde 33) The reader begins to perceive that Dorian is both intrigued and disgusted by the never changing portrait of his innocence.
In Lermontov’s The Demon, we are plunged into a world of ontology in which one can question his/her own existence and human intentions in parallel with the story of the Demon. Through the use of clear characterization and understanding of human nature, Lermontov is able to humanize the Demon by depicting him as a symbol of isolation, emotion and rebellion. Because of this, one is able to relate to the main character of the poem on a level of empathy due to the understanding of human nature and what it is to exist in our world or a fictional world. From the beginning of the poem, the main character is portrayed as evil, as he interacts with the setting, the Caucasus, in a tyrannical way. Despite this, the idea of the Demon being of bad nature is just the surface description of the character since he “sowed evil without enjoyment”.
When Dorian chooses to be influenced by Lord Henry, he cautions him, but does not actually try to stop him; however, this pattern does not continue for long. Over time, Basil begins to scold Dorian and attempt to nudge him into what he believes is the right direction. At the point of his downfall is when he most forcefully attempts to persuade Dorian to do something that can only be done through one’s own volition. He insists that Dorian pray in an attempt to save himself: ‘It is never too late, Dorian. Let us kneel down and try if we can not remember a prayer.
At the end of the book Dorian tries to destroy the portrait,that shows an image of his corrupted soul, which haunts him like a conscience. In the book it is said that “His beauty had been to him but a mask, his youth but a mockery. What was youth at best? A green, unripe time, a time of shallow moods and sickly
Before he dismissed the compliments made by both Basil and Lord Henry as mere niceties, but now he projects them at the portrait and understands why the compliments were given in the first place. By objectifying Dorian as a work of art and appropriating his looks on the canvas, Basil sparked Dorian’s narcissism. Dorian cannot help but feel forever captivated by his own beauty, much like he captivated Basil with it, and now dreads the temporality of beauty. His beauty will not remain forever for one day he shall grow “old, and horrible, and dreadful” (Wilde 27-28). Dorian is so distraught by this that he would do anything to preserve his youthful appearance and the portrait to bear the scars of time – a symbolic Faustian deal in which Dorian sells his soul to the portrait.
These last two characters share many virtues as part of their personality and other ones that show how their differences make them unique. The main difference is in the relationship each one of them has with Dorian Gray. While a casual reading of Oscar Wilde’s book The Picture of Dorian Gray shows that Lord Henry Wotton has mutual interest friendship with Dorian, while Basil Hallward has a friendship with Dorian founded on admiration, which reveals that Harry’s values are based on mutual interest with others and Basil’s values have to do more with dedication and compromise. For instance, Lord Henry’s values are shown mostly in Dorian’s dialogue and in his relation with Dorian. In various occasions, the novel’s main character talks about the way he sees Wotton and his qualities.
When the protagonist comes to realization, this shows that his experience has led him towards maturity in the end. Similarly, in The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dorian Gray goes on a journey from immaturity to maturity. After he sees the corruption of his soul, he decides to change his ways and be “good”. After the death of James Vane, Sibyl’s brother, Dorian believes that his death is bad omen and it has shaken Dorian significantly as he says, “I am too much concentrated on myself. My own personality has become a burden to me.” (221) Dorian tries to change his ways and start a new life, and what better way to destroy the one thing that is restricting him from being good?