The Theme Of Superficiality In Dorian Wilde, By Oscar Wilde

1108 Words5 Pages

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. A main motif that helps Wilde illustrate the theme of superficiality is the colour white. The colour white is continually used in the novel. Dorian’s path from a visible representation of innocence to a visible representation of depravity can be shown through Wilde’s use of the colour white. The colour white commonly represents innocence and purity. This shows in the beginning of the novel when Dorian is first

Open Document