Comparing The Painted Door, And Shooting An Elephant, By Oscar Wilde

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Prompted by the influences of society, greedy and ignorant individuals in The Picture of Dorian Gray, “The Painted Door,” and “Shooting an Elephant,” all submit to change in order to achieve eternal happiness. The Picture of Dorian Gray written by Oscar Wilde is about a beautiful man trying to make a life in the Victorian era in Britain. “The Painted Door,” written by Sinclair Ross, regarding the feeling of needing a change of lifestyle from isolation to appreciation and affection. Lastly, the author George Orwell, developed “Shooting an Elephant” based on a common colonist view “When the white man turns tyrant it is his own freedom that he destroys.” All three of these short stories convey the ideas of an individual pursuing happiness based …show more content…

In the beginning of the story, Lord Henry, who becomes a very important mentor to Dorian, begins to promote how important youth and beauty are in the Victorian era of Britain. Henry expresses, “Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing in the world but youth!” (Wilde 2). After explaining to Dorian how important these feelings are, Lord Henry uses his ability to exploit others' emotions and makes Dorian agree with this philosophy, as Dorian had something that he never had, youth. After Lord Henry’s initial influence, this began to grow on Dorian. The feeling of having so much beauty in his life satisfied his pleasure. Opening an opportunity for Dorian to fulfill his satisfaction of pleasure through all the materialistic and events within his control. Wilde writes, “Between two of the windows stood a large Florentine cabinet, made out of ebony and inlaid with ivory and blue lapis.” (Wilde 15). This example explains a beautiful cabinet within Dorian’s home, which was surrounded by many other astonishing objects. Although this was only a materialistic item, it contained opiates which Dorian was petrified that others at his party would find. Even though people were having too much fun at the amazing party, Dorian was still worried people would wander off to judge the materialistic items in his life. (The picture). As the …show more content…

Orwell presents a common problem in society upon how colonists feel pressured to do inhumane actions. In the beginning of the story the officer explains how he was mistreated and was not very liked by many as he was too goodhearted to be a police officer. These feelings made the officer angry. Orwell writes, “All I knew was that I was stuck between my hatred of the empire I served and my rage against the evil-spirited little beasts who tried to make my job impossible.” (Orwell 1). In an attempt to feel better about how he has been treated for the last few years, the officer moves forward with the request that was given, this was to kill the elephant. The thought of feeling pride from completing a mission makes the officer feel happy, among feeling good about himself he feels killing the elephant would lead to respect from the community. The officer exclaims, “To come all that way, rifle in hand, with two thousand people marching at my heels, and then to trail feebly away, having done nothing – no, that was impossible. The crowd would laugh at me. And my whole life, every white man's life in the East, was one long struggle not to be laughed at.” (Orwell 3). The ideas learned from this quote is that shooting the elephant would embrace the people, it would make the people support the officer and give him the respect he deserves. This is

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