Cruelty plays a vital role in developing the plot and characters in “The Picture of Dorian Gray”. Throughout the piece, many acts of cruelty are displayed from Dorian Gray and others that show truly who they are how they've developed from it. Dorian takes on a huge change in his morals and standards because of the influence taken in from others. This influence causes him to only care about his own youth and vanity, resulting in a huge change of personality. The more Dorian becomes influenced by Lord Henry and the painting, the crueler he becomes
William K. Clifford’s “The Ethics of Belief” is an essay about justification and how we are morally required to prove our beliefs. Clifford’s theory throughout the essay was “It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.” Clifford thinks that it is a moral obligation for you to confirm each of your beliefs with sufficient proof, no matter how questionable or insignificant the beliefs may be. I believe he thinks this because beliefs have serious effects and consequences on others.
Clifford states that what we believe is not just a private matter but rather a moral issue. Clifford believes that belief is instilled upon us from generation to generation handed down like an heirloom (Notes, 2013). Clifford is basically stating that moral belief is adhering to accepted standards of society.
‘Once in his life may a man send his soul away, but he who receiveth back his soul must keep it with him forever, and this is his punishment and his reward’.
The researcher decides Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray and Fitzgerald’s The Beautiful and Damned to be the objects of the study on inferiority and superiority complex causing hedonistic lifestyle in main character. The first reason, both of literary works cover the changing of each life of the main character, society and ultimately the individual. Second, they both share the same social background of the main character in The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dorian, displays a well-respected young man. He doesn’t recognize his own beauty until he sees it reflected in Basil’s portrait, and, once he does, it’s all too late. While Anthony in The Beautiful and Damned is illustrates reaching pleasure as the lifestyle and it becomes a habit. To get what they want, he will do anything and they do not want to feel the hurt. They think the important things in their life are pleasure and happiness. Pleasure for Anthony is when he lives freely without hard work, spends a lot of money for drunk, goes to the party and also makes up his wife more beautiful using luxuries treatment. The important thing for him is could get his grandfather’s heritages. Here, hedonism is used as the main theory to analyze because the problems of these novels are related to the luxurious lifestyle and temporary happiness.
Relatively all authors are very fond of creating an underlying message to criticize society. Authors do this through social commentary. The book “The Picture of Dorian Gray” is no exception. The author, Oscar Wilde, criticizes the upper class through the consistent underlying idea that people are often deceived by one's beauty and are unable to understand the poison that fills the world is corrupting it.
Dorian Gray and the Greyness of the Human Experience Everyone knows the cliché phrase; if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything. And like the not-well-known Costa Rican saying goes; if the river sounds rocks it brings; in other words there is some truth to every rumor and rumor
The book pulls the reader along with its dark, entrancing imagery and intense, spine-tingling sequence of events. However, Golding’s work is deemed to be manipulative, to a certain extent, due to its overload of forced symbolism and his lack of space for open interpretation. Like many other works of classic literature (such as Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray), Golding’s characters’ main purpose is to simply be symbolically significant, and not to appeal to the readers emotionally, hence why the characters are hard to relate to, despite them being laden with symbolic meaning. The characters barely seem to have any significant human emotions, except those which contribute to the characters’ symbolic meaning. Simply putting it, the characters are not depictions of real human beings, but concrete ideas and solid symbols being personified into young
Another theme illustrated through Wilde’s use of motifs and symbols is the theme of superficiality. The theme of superficiality can be understood as a sense of the superficial view of outer beauty that is shown in the work. It relates to the concept of remaining young, which is an important factor of what is shown in the novel. This is an important part of the novel because outer beauty plays a bigger role for Dorian, than inner beauty does. In the beginning of the novel, Lord Henry and Dorian have a conversation that focuses on the topic of youth and Dorian 's outer beauty – Lord Henry mentions the fact that Dorian has a beautiful face, and later during this conversation, Lord Henry states that: “youth is the only thing worth having…” (Wilde 23). This conversation leads Dorian to wish that he will only age in the painting, and not in reality. Wilde creates a theme of superficiality as he shows through motifs and symbols how Dorian’s sinful and horrific inner beauty becomes excused as the characters of the novel primarily superficially values Dorian’s outer beauty.
The theme of appearance extends further in Dorian’s life. Dorian’s outer beauty allows him to get away with almost anything, due to the fact that people equals his outer beauty to him being a good person. In reality, Wilde makes it very clear that Dorian Gray is not a good person.
“Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’” (1 Corinthians 15:33). The protagonist in "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde suffers from bad company. The sway of people and objects causes impressionable Dorian to descend into corruption. Little by little, he makes choices influenced by the thoughts put in his head. At the end of the book, he has lost all of his innocence and gained cruelty. Bad company and objects are what causes Dorian Gray 's corruption.
The Picture of Dorian Gray, one of Oscar Wilde’s masterpieces, portrays one of the most important values and principles for him: aestheticism. As a criticism to the life lived during the Victorian era in England, Wilde exposed a world of beauty a freedom in contradiction to the lack of tolerance a limitation of that era; of course inspired due to Wilde’s personal life. All the restrictions of the Victorian England lead him to a sort of anarchism against what he found to be incoherent rules, and he expressed all this to his art. His literature is a strong, political and social criticism. He gave a different point of view to controversial topics such as life, morality, values, art, sexuality, marriage, and many others, and epigrams, for what he is very well known, where the main source to the exposure of his interpretations of this topic.
The Picture of Dorian Gray written by Oscar Wilde. The Picture of Dorian Gray shocked the moral judgments of British book critics. Some of them said Oscar Wilde deserved to be pursuance for breaking the laws guarding the common morality because the uses of homosexuality were in that time banned. This book was for that time unusual because it had a pretty serious criticism on the society from that time. 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.
Throughout Oscar Wilde’s novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, we view the horrible actions of the main character, Dorian Gray. These actions, however, never seem to affect Dorian. We soon come to realize that this self-portrait reflects Dorian’s actions and aging process instead of Dorian and allow him to live a secret life of horrible acts. In the novel, Dorian takes full advantage of the portraits power, calling the portrait a reflection of his soul, and makes no effort to preserve his soul due to the poisonous influence from Lord Henry and his own selfishness.