Dorian Gray Characterization Essay

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Characterization is integral to literature. Though people read for setting, plot and a whole lot of other reasons, it is characterization that really draws in the reader. In Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, characterization plays a key role. Wilde spends ample time distinguishing his characters. No matter their role Wilde creates a personality that the reader can connect to, and can empathize with. In the novel, there is a trinity of primary characters: Dorian Gray, Lord Henry Wotton, and Basil Hallward. Wilde illustrates the macabre aspects of human nature through the medium of the characters, but he also shows that within said context Basil Hallward stands out. Within the setting of Victorian London the reader sees both the…show more content…
God is often associated with the unique ability to create, but in truth all writers, artists, and so many others create what they imagine everyday. As an artist, Basil Hallward creates paintings, but his finest work possesses properties that differ from the ordinary. The setting in which Basil does most of his work is at his home, which overflows with valuables and beauty. In his garden there are “honey-colored blossoms of laburnum whose tremulous branches seem hardly able to bear the burden of a beauty so flame-like” and there are the “fantastic shadows of birds in flight flitting across the lawn” (Wilde 3). This place that seems so like paradise finds its likeness in the Bible with the Garden of Eden. As God created the Garden of Eden as a place for his creations to come to life, so too has Basil assembled his studio as a place of peace where his art can come into existence. Basil creates the painting of Dorian Gray, which represents all the youth and beauty that Dorian will soon lose. Basil “put too much of [him]self” in the portrait of Dorian, he has painted with his own soul, and in that process he created the soul of Dorian (Wilde 4). When God created the world he too put his soul into it. By creating the portrait, Basil creates a physical representation of Dorian’s soul; this property of bringing into being is only one characteristic that likens Basil to
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