His words and about amusements and life delectations, that Dorian dives into sensual pleasures, debauchery, and crimes. Kohl argues that “Dorian’s fatal error is to take Lord Henry’s theories as practical guides for life” (156). In “wild desire to know everything about life” (Wilde 44) Dorian destroys destinies of people, corrupting them with his thirst of pleasures. Friendship with him is pernicious for people around: Alan Campbell commits a suicide; Adrian Singleton conducts a pathetic life of the addict, having slid on the bottom; the reputation of the cousin of Lord Henry, Lady Gwendolyn is forever discredited—even her children are not allowed to live with her in one house. Liebmann emphasizes that among the major characters only the Mephistophelean Henry survives, and all others—Sybil, Basil, James Vane, Sir Henry Ashton, Lord Kent’s son and aforementioned characters are the victims of Dorian’s influence (451-452).
With every action on Dorian’s part, the painting reflects a change in his soul, creating a clearer picture with every subtle change. The first change occurs after Dorian tells Sybil that he is no longer in love with him. Wilde writes, “ The expression looked different. One would have said that there was a touch of cruelty in the mouth…but the strange expression seemed to linger there, to be even more intensified even (Wilde, 87-88). Dorian had become uninterested in Sybil and proceeded to begin a new aspect or relationship in his life.
This is another aspect of duality within the novel, and this duality is bought out by the relationship that Dorian has with Basil and the heterosexual relationship he has with Sibyl. I believe that Wilde 's mixing homosexual and hetrosexual themes depicts a conflict within Dorian regarding his sexuality and it suggests that he may be bisexual and is torn between love with both male and female characters. This pecieved duality is due to the fact that in the Victorian Era, any type of homosexual or bisexual relationships were considered to be seen as excessive intimacy and these types of
This is all due to his double life that he has come accustomed to living. The double standard can be depicted in image changing, in lavish lifestyles, and in superficial happiness. Dorian Gray, the protagonist in the novel, lives a superficially stable double life. The portrait that Basil Hallward, Dorian’s artist and friend, created for Dorian caused a self-image imbalance. The portrait was young and juvenile, while Dorian was soon to grow old and immoral.
The novel is about a young and extraordinarily beautiful youngster, named Dorian Gray that have promised to his soul in order to live a life of eternal youth, he must try to adapt himself to the bodily decay and dissipation that are shown in his portrait. The genre of the novel is a terror, drama, psychology, humanitarianisms, romance and paranormal components. The Picture of Dorian Gray begins on a beautiful season day in Victorian-era England where Lord Henry Wotton, a determined man, is observing the sensitive artist Basil Hallward painting the painting of Dorian Gray, a handsome young man who is Basil 's ultimate inspiration. Though sitting for the painting, Dorian listens to Lord Henry adopting his hedonistic worldview and begins to think that beauty is the only aspect of life worth trying. This encourages Dorian to wish that the painted image of himself would age in his stead.
The murder of his friend forces Dorian to evaluate the severity of his sins and also reconsider his lifestyle. The portrait he once found fascinating now looms over him with a “loathsome red dew” (Wilde 146) on one of the hands. As his sins weigh upon him, Dorian attempts to repent through good deeds, but nonetheless, he finds no change in the portrait. The lack of transformation in the portrait suggests that Dorian still feels influence from evil, and does not truly want to change himself. Lord Henry mocks Dorian’s attempts to “moralize” and tells him that it is no use.
The Picture of Dorian Gray provided a narrative in which Oscar Wilde was at his moral crossroad, but would not realize it until his unfortunate time in jail. Although Wilde had not yet realized he was morally confused, The Picture of Dorian Gray is still about how its characters kill the their own love. When Dorian watches Sibyl’s horrible performance, Sibyl causes the connection that Dorian felt between them to die. “You have killed my love. You used to stir my imagination.
In addition to drug use, Dorian decides to begin a romantic relationship with a very young actress, Sibyl Vane. However, when she decides to give up acting in order to focus fully on their developing relationship, Dorian crudely remarks, “The world would have worshipped you, and you would have borne my name. What are you now? A third-rate actress with a pretty face.” (Wilde, Oscar). Dorian’s words to someone he claimed he wanted to marry are unnecessarily harsh and evil, considering they later cause Sibyl Vane to commit suicide.
The juxtaposition of visual and aural imagery shows Dorian’s internal battle, but the fact that Dorian cannot see them, only hear their voices displays the blind faith that Dorian has in two men who have completely contrasting moral ideals, displaying Dorian’s mercurial and conflicting morals. The lexical choice of “follow” expresses the way in which Dorian is still very young and easily influenced. This quote also shows the deteriorating mind set of Dorian and the ongoing internal battle he faces between good and evil. Furthermore, while Dorian does have conflicting morals, it is clear that the influence of Lord Henry is far superior to that of Basil, this is illustrated in Dorian’s outburst, “’Each of us has heaven and hell in him, Basil,’ cried Dorian with a wild gesture of despair.” The antithesis of heaven and hell is a clear manifestation of Dorian’s dual nature, Wilde’s clever use of religious imagery here dissects the parallels that exist between the dual nature of man and the duality that lives within the Victorian
Furthermore, the picture of Dorian Gray manifests the stage of social during the Victorian era, 1837–1901 when English society banned homoeroticism. According to Geek mythology, the myth of Narcissus is one of the most famous myths. It is the story about the young extraordinary beautiful boy who is hugely arrogance and overly concern with his appearance. The myth of Narcissus has a significant influence on the picture Dorian Gray because there are various similarities between both myth and novel whether it be plot, homoerotism, elements, etc. Psychological Disorder The main type of mental disorder in the picture of Dorian Gray is narcissistic personality disorder (NPD).