The Devil In The White City Dorian Gray Analysis

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The events presented in The Devil in the White City and The Picture of Dorian Gray help steer the reader to interpret each text as a representation of progress as a force of destruction. The Chicago World Fair is described in exquisite detail in the Erik Larson’s account of how it came about. Oscar Wilde’s novel explores the actual portrait of Dorian Gray as his personality changes through the progression of the book. Although both pieces of literature work with different platforms in writing, they all come together to emphasize the idea that the progression of any sort comes at the price of destruction. In The Devil in the White City, Larson writes extensively about the construction and execution of the Chicago World Fair, H. H. Holmes…show more content…
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. By making this decision, Dorian destroys the relationship between himself and Sybil in a cruel and detached manner. This cruel manner was then reflected on the portrait of Dorian Gray, marking the first change in his portrait. Throughout the novel, the different changes accumulating onto the portrait are described by Wilde in great detail as they happen in conjunction to his…show more content…
Dorian begins to study a new topic of his interests when he gets bored with his previous obsession. In a way, this quest of new studies can be seen a progression for Dorian himself as he seeks new interests overtime. One can also twist the ideas to grasp the notion of destruction being represented as an act of progression. Wilde ends the chapter detailing Dorian’s obsessions stating, “There were moments when he looked on evil simply as a mode through which he could realize his conception of the beautiful (Wilde, 140). Wilde is introducing the idea that every act of progress Dorian takes only leads to destruction, ultimately claiming that Dorian’s view of progression is merely an illusion. Each new topic of study lets Dorian deeper into the sins he has committed, making him less inclined to change his views on life. This lack of care on Dorian’s part for his actions allow his progression to gear him towards his destruction, specifically the destruction of his
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