The Aesthetic Movement In Oscar Wilde's The Picture Of Dorian Gray

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The "Aesthetic Movement" refers to the introduction of principles that emphasised art in the production of furniture, metalwork, ceramics, stained glass, textiles, wallpapers and books. We will only touch on a few examples. The movement incorporated both exotic and historical influences. It is widely agreed upon that the roots of the Aesthetic Movement lie in the reaction to Industrialisation (Nguyen, 2002). It is important to consider the foundation of The Aesthetic Movement, which is the Arts and Crafts Movement. The movements are both fundamental and interchangeable in their similar philosophies. The motivations were social and moral. Britain was the first to discover that factory conditions are far from ideal and the realisation that technical 'progress ' does not necessarily coincide with the improvement of mans lot brought with it - the long campaign for social, industrial, moral and aesthetic reform that is in fact still unresolved today (Burke, et al, 1986). The Aesthetic movement is just one facet of the campaign, however because the movement marks a stage in mans efforts to come to terms with…show more content…
In reference to Oscar Wildes novel/social critique "The Picture of Dorian Gray" seen in Figure G, the main character Dorian Gray embodies the ultimate aesthetic lifestyle by pursuing personal gratification. Yet, while he enjoys these indulgences, his behaviour eventually kills him and others, and he dies unhappier than ever. Rather than an advocate for pure aestheticism - Dorian Gray is a story in which Wilde illustrates the dangers of the aesthetic philosophy when not practiced with good taste. Aestheticism, Wilde argues that it too often aligns itself with immorality, resulting in a precarious philosophy that must be practiced deliberately (Dugan). This book is important in this argument because the character of Dorian Gray and the story of his profound degeneration provides a case study which examines the viability of a purely
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