Dorian Gray Monster

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The monster within If you asked different groups of people the question: “Did you have a terrifying monster hidden under your bed, or somewhere in your room when you were a child?” Most of them would probably answer affirmatively. But their idea of monster has surely changed from when they were children, and it will change again many times during the rest of their life. According to several literary examples and different studies, monsters impersonate humans’ fears. It’s fascinating to notice, then, how human fears have changed and keep on changing with the passing of time. Literature is a great mirror of this continuous variation. It offers us ample quantities of monstrous creatures reflecting the deepest human weaknesses and their most…show more content…
It is exactly in the preface of The Picture of Dorian Gray, that Wilde, defending himself from the critiques that the book received after its first publication, writes: “Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital. When critics disagree the artist is in accord with himself” (Wilde VII). The same contradictions and debates mentioned in Shelley’s case, can easily be found regarding Wilde’s work. The professor Nils Clausson states that “Dorian Gray has always provoked contradictory interpretations, but underlying the disagreements about the work 's meaning there has persisted a more fundamental debate about what kind of novel it should be read as” (Clausson 1). The Picture of Dorian Gray is, indeed, a very controversial romance, which has been reinterpreted multiple times. It gives a complete picture of the Victorian society Wilde lives in, and it analyzes its weaknesses and falsities. The story shows how an innocent man becomes a monster as he starts to frequent the high society environment that, for the most part, turns out to be corrupted and extremely negative. The influences to which Dorian is exposed, turn him into a completely different person, capable of committing terrible crimes without feelings of regret. For example, right after Dorian breaks the vow he made to Sibyl, and after he learns about the tragic consequences his action brought, states, “I am nothing of the kind. I know I am not. And yet I must admit that this thing that has happened does not affect me as it should” (Wilde 73). This statement clearly proves that Dorian is completely aware of both the deed’s brutality, and his indifference towards it. But he goes beyond the simple unconcern and coldness. As he says that what happened, “has the terrible beauty of Greek tragedy, … in which [he] took a great part, but by which [he has] not be wounded”(Wilde 73), he loads the horrible deed with a powerful and deep passion. In these moments the
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