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
Although « The Picture of Dorian Gray » was published more than one hundred years ago, Dorian Gray is more real than he has ever been nowadays. It is a novel written by Oscar Wilde, one of the greatest authors in the English literature. It reflects themes that have been human preoccupations: the expresses of desire for eternal beauty and youth, which is a representation of our today’s society and its fixation on appearance. The pursuit of staying young forever has always existed and will continue to grow along with our developing society.
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. His words and painting influenced Dorian’s life immensely and this made him so determined to want to retain his youth after taking a look at his
Color is used throughout the essay in order to describe personalities and themes throughout the novel. For example, Daisy is symbolically shown through a variety of white items. Her car, her clothes, and the rooms of her house are all examples of this. Her "white neck," "white girlhood," the king's daughter "high in a white palace”, are other examples of how Daisy is repeatedly shown as white. When pondering the symbolic meaning of the color white, it is evident that most would believe Daisy must be “pure” and “innocent”. However, this is not the case. Whilst psychologically analyzing Daisy’s behavior throughout the book, she is seen as selfish and destructive to others
Lord Henry was a terrible influence on Dorian by his words and the yellow book. It was given to Dorian by Lord Henry as a gift, “For years, Dorian Gray could not free himself from the influence of this book” (Wilde 92). Lord Henry’s influence on Dorian is horrifying, just as the yellow book poisoned Dorian’s mind and gave him dangerous ideas, Lord Henry has done the same to him. In a way, the yellow book itself represents Lord Henry, with all of its cynicism and pessimistic view on life, it twists Dorian’s once innocent mind into one that is filled with monstrous ideas. The yellow book poisoned him, causing him to be obsessed with it “and [he] had them bound in different colors, so that they might suit his various moods and the fancies of a nature over which he seemed, at times, to have almost entirely lost control” (Wilde 93). Dorian Gray had no control over the influence of the yellow book or the effect that Lord Henry held over
Dorian Gray is a handsome, narcissistic young man enthralled by Lord Henry 's new enjoyment. He satisfies in every pleasure of moral and immoral life ultimately heads to death. Henry tells
The portrait, the main symbol of the novel, carries all the marks of Gray 's degeneration, who is exploring all possible vices and desires, without to notice his moral decay. And all these marks show on the canvas, become a sort of conscience for Dorian.
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. Wilde is greatly influenced by the societal movements in the Victorian Era, therefore the theme of hedonism is prominent displaying the influence of Aestheticism in The Picture of Dorian Gray and further explaining the consequences of selfishness and self-pleasure.
The act of human nature that people should want to bring out in this novel is our need for attention, our vanity. It may not sound so complicated or serious enough to bring up, but this is key in the way men naturally act. Dorian Gray is obsessed with what people think of him. To always have the limelight,being recognized by his peers. We always have to be flattered by someone else to feel valuable. People are always judging someone based on their appearance every day. Why does mankind do this? It is because it is man’s natural train of thought. It seems to be almost impossible to ignore this urge to be seen and to be approved by others. Dorian wanted to remain forever young, not necessarily to live forever, but to stay beautiful. That way others can not judge him based on his outward appearance. He cared so much for drama and plays because I am sure he loved the attention that the characters received. When he walks into the room he wants everyone to think of him as this young, dashingly handsome man. He wants this power forever. Yet he only wants to get positive attention. When he was challenged by others on his way of life he loses control and does things that make him the gossiped person in town. Gives everyone a sense of awe. Gives them something to talk about. Our need for attention rules us all. We do things that we should not
The theme of appearance is illustrated through underlying criticism within Wilde’s use of motifs and symbols. A main motif used by Wilde is the painting done by Basil Hallward. Early in the novel, the reader gets the impression that the painting is pervaded by the longing for the youth that one has lost as well as the frightening deficiency of human life. In chapter eight this painting is described as: “the most magical of mirrors.” (Wilde 98). The portrait works
“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 German Faust myth has been rewritten and adopted in many formats over the years. It’s theme has been reproduced in many forms from books to television, operas and plays, and even a graphic novel. Oscar Wilde applies the tale in his own way in The Picture of Dorian Gray and puts in parallels to older Faust plays by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Christopher Marlowe in his book. Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, Goethe’s Faust, and Wilde’s Dorian share many similarities and some great differences.
These three main characters had different personality that made the story more interesting. Dorian Gray was full of himself wishing to remain in youth, in return, he was willing to sacrifice his own soul and unfortunately his wish came true. Thus, this makes Dorian Gray commit all the sins he wants and only the portrait got affected as he become immortal and not aging, not a single wrinkle in his face. Second character is Lord Henry which was Basil’s friend when Dorian Gray first met him. Lord Henry enthralled Dorian Gray with his world view, which was an extreme hedonism form as he assumed that the only worthwhile life of a person spent was by pursuing beauty and satisfaction for the senses. His views, opinions and influences captivated by Dorian Gray which continuously encourages Dorian Gray into bad things. The third main character is Basil Hallward who was an artist that paints a picture of Dorian Gray and thus, becomes obsessed with him as Dorian Gray’s beauty was Basil’s art object. Basil feelings towards Dorian were left unclear, likely because in that time, those who involved in homosexual are going to be punish be society. ‘The Picture Of Dorian Gray’ book, Oscar Wilde emphasized some relationships which were Basil Hallward and Lord Henry were friends of Dorian Gray, but, as I reach to the middle pages, Basil had feelings for Dorian Gray as he even confessed to Dorian in Dorian’s
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
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.