All actions have an inverse action that can be acquired. The novel, The Picture of Dorian Grey, significantly portrays the inverse options in life. Superficial happiness is the leading cause for double standards. The main character preservers through an abundance of difficult situations, while retaining his beauty. 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. Thus causing a mental epiphany that made Dorian realize he could not have his fellow peers discover he is not innocent. “” At least you are like it in appearance. But it will never alter,” sighed Hallward. “that is something.”” (Wilde 33) The reader begins to perceive that Dorian is both intrigued and disgusted by the never changing portrait of his innocence. At this point, Dorian begins to acquire the indication to switch souls with the painting, in order to
Boyett 2 maintain an innocent complex. The beginning of the soul switch did not cause any harm, his minute cruelty led to small lines on his portrait’s face, while not allowing any signs on his own self. Realizing the soul switching was successful,
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Dorian stabs Basil to death. The next day, he goes back upstairs to check the portrait, and with disgust, he realizes “that loathsome red dew that gleamed, wet and glistening, on one of the hands, as though the canvas had sweated blood” (Wilde 127). With every crime that Dorian Gray commits, the portrait shows what he did by shedding blood on his hands and showing lines of cruelty along the wrinkles in his face. Also, the portrait symbolized how the worldly influences tainted Dorian’s innocence, turning him into a corrupted monster. Going back to the beginning of the story again, Basil Hallward paints Dorian Gray, capturing “his finely curved scarlet lips, his frank blue
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.
No matter how hard Dorian tries to act innocent, his sins cannot easily be erased since he acts pure for selfish reasons, such as clearing his conscience. Additionally, Wilde uses mist to symbolize Dorian’s uncertainty about beauty. As Dorian enters the opium den, “the mist thickened, he felt afraid” (205). In Plato’s theory, Dorian does not completely understand the beauty of something, since he glances it from at a surface level and therefore, remains far from the truth and results in confusion and uncertainty, such as the mist. Moreover, Wilde suggests how before Basil’s murder, Dorian did not appear completely innocent but society could still consider him pure and white if he prayed for God’s forgiveness.
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. From the beginning of this book, the social commentary towards the upper class begins with the structure of the novel.
From the beginning of the novel we get to see a model of poor and unconventional morality, Lord Henry Wotton, a man who is moved by an ethic current called “New Hedonism” which taking into account society’s ethics (specially the ones from the Victorian Era) is quite immoral. The New Hedonism basically consists in looking for the individual’s best comfort, pleasure and happiness (based on beauty), leaving aside the other’s comfort and what should be morally done. This character with poor morality is who guides the book’s main character Dorian Gray along his adventure. However, it is vital to take into account the fact that Dorian Gray is never forced to follow New Hedonism and that Wilde never influences or invites the reader to follow New Hedonist
Some feel very strongly about what they know to be certain. Some feel certain about religion, others about love. In Oscar Wilde’s book The Picture of Dorian Gray a character, Lord Henry Wotton, says this, : “The things one feels absolutely certain about are never true. That is the fatality of Faith, and the lesson of romance” (181). The truth one knows does not always prove to be certain.
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.
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. Basil Hallward is a painter who wants to paint Dorian 's picture. He is a quiet and unchangeable man. When he first meets Dorian, they talk about how it was destiny for them to meet.
As soon as Dorian enters in Chapter 2 of The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wildes’ one and only novel, its is evident that there will be a battle between who will have the most influence on his pure, untouched soul. Basil Hallward, a painter and worshipper of art is an optimist and sees only the good in even the wickedest of people, such as Lord Henry. Lord Henry is a charming, self-indulgent aristocrat that shapes and molds Dorian to lead a life devoted to pleasure. Both Basil and Lord Henry represent two important opposing forces in the novel, good and evil. The greatest struggle in The Picture of Dorian Gray is inside Dorian; he himself embodies both pure good and pure evil.
As a writer one is greatly influenced by their personal experiences with social, historical, and cultural context within their specific time period. Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray was shaped by the aspects of the world around him. The themes of the text are are influenced by morality in the Victorian Era. Throughout the Victorian Era a deeper movement was also prominent in London called Aestheticism. Aestheticism is the worship of beauty and self-fulfillment.
As the portrait significantly becomes more hideous, Dorian gradually loses his mind. The reader understands that what eventually leads Dorian to kill Basil Hallward, the only true friend he has, is the constant reminder of the evil found at the heart of Dorian’s nature, as represented by the portrait. In Dorian doing so, the reader realises that not only does Dorian kill Basil, he also kills his only chance of redemption of his soul. The reader realises that the statement that Dorian had expressed earlier in the story was the truth: “Yes, Basil could have saved him. But it was too late now.”
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.
Lord Henry’s painting showed Dorian the reality of life and all the sins he had committed. With the picture, Dorian destroyed it plus his own life because he could not bear the fact that his beauty was going to fade. In addition, Henry influences Dorian by manipulating him because; he carries on with his idea of remaining youthful. This is evident when he says, "To get back to my youth, I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable" (Liebman 300). Lord Henry had everything to do with Dorian’s obsession of wanting to remain young especially with the picture and his philosophy.
Basil has come to ask Dorian about all the horrible rumors surrounding him, and hopes they turn out false. Basil also asks about the portrait and why Dorian hides it, so Dorian decides to show him his “to see your soul. But only God can do that—you shall see it yourself to-night!”. Dorian then takes Basil to see his picture, which at first cannot be recognized by Basil, but soon he realizes the true horror of the situation, “an exclamation of horror broke out from the painter’s lips as he saw in the dim light the hideous face on the canvas grinning at him” (Wilde 113). Dorians soul has become rotten to the core with selfishness and pleasure, mainly because of Lord Henry’s poisonous words.