Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray: The Lust for Our True Character The struggle to seem perfect on the outside is ever so present in today’s society. The desire to project an unrealistic version of ourselves, striving to mask our insecurities with layers of falsehood. The Victorian era is known for its beautiful women, art and architecture. Beneath the surface it is all false portrayals full of pretend actions and untruthful ideas in order to uphold their aestheticism. Victorian authors used the idea of “destructive doppelgangers”, showing parallels in contemporary cultures of the falsity.
What was Oscar Wilde most known for? Although he was raised in the upper-class of Victorian England, he often ridiculed the upper-class for their straitlaced customs through his plays using his brilliant wit and flamboyant style. The upper-class wasn’t the only thing criticised by Wilde, but also topics such as love and marriage. One of the most prominent points Wilde mocked the ideals of love was on the stage of his most famous play, The Importance of Being Earnest. In the three acts of this book, Wilde attempts to change the reader’s views and perceptions of the several different topics he criticises.
Dorian seems to be so obsessed with himself that he really has no true value of morals or what is right. Just as Edgar Allen Poe did, Wilde uses symbols and narrator’s voice to convey the madness of these characters and the effect that they have on society. In The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde writes in third-person, unlike Poe. The narcissism of Dorian is first evident in the story when Lord Henry first sees the paining and expresses to Basil Hallward that Dorian “is Narcissus… (Wilde 2).” This excerpt shows that Dorian’s narcissism is evident without even having to meet him
He challenges the Kantian ideology of deontology and its connection with it actually being moral. He wanted to understand the origins of these morals and wanted to weaken the current human values and restyle the way morality is viewed. This led Nietzsche to his Genealogy of Morals which is divided into the noble morality that differentiates between good and bad and slave morality that differentiate between good and evil. He sides with noble morality since; it is an unconstrained affirmation of oneself as “good” and once this happens the rest is considered as bad. On the other hand, the slave morality was a reaction to the dominant noble morality, where it denounces its oppressors as “evil” and then declares oneself as well based on the choice of punishment taken (Nietzsche, 1994, p. 12-15).
Arthur Schopenhauer was a 19th century German philosopher whose ideology is a prime example of philosophical pessimism. Schopenhauer was strongly influenced by Plato and Immanuel Kant, as well as by Eastern religions like Buddhism, yet he rejected the prevalent at the time post-Kantian philosophies of German idealism and optimism. He believed that humans live in a world dominated by a malignant metaphysical “will to live” which causes our lives to consist only of suffering in the form of pain and boredom. In order to at least somewhat alleviate this endless strife of life, Schopenhauer proposed the adoption of an ascetic mindset. “Studies in Pessimism” is a selection of essays from Schopenhauer’s Parerga (Greek for “Appendices”), the first
Lord Henry is known as the person that turns an innocent boy named Dorian Gray into a cruel vile murderer. Some of the comments stated by Lord Henry are seen as cynical however there is controversy on whether or not he truly means these statements or rather they are just for effect on the story. I believe Lord Henry doesn’t mean these comments completely based on his actions in the book. The author of the book The Picture of Dorian Gray was Oscar Wilde. Wilde was known as a very eccentric kind of fellow.
Oscar Wilde lived in London during the Victorian Era, but was very opinionated and even critical of English society at the time. One of the motifs present in the book is that beauty is not just superficial, along with the shortcomings of hedonism. These two major themes reveal Wilde’s view that the Victorian concepts of beauty, love, and pleasure were shallow and superficial (page 37). 6. One definition of a strong character is one who is able to influence and dictate the actions and
Dorian Gray Gone Wilde Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray supports the idea that one should be careful what they wish for, as it may come true. Dorian Gray, the main character, makes a wish that a painting will change instead of him throughout his future. In the novel of The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde, the deterioration of Dorian Gray, and the way he progressively becomes a worse of a person shows how the author, Oscar Wilde, added himself into the novel as a character to show the world how he sees himself. He is portrayed as childish and unaware of the events happening around him. Dorian Gray ruins his future by committing a multitude of sins that later in life he realizes he cannot fix.
Is it possible, however, that we would not be aware if the soul ever left the carcass? Could the soul leave us without any warning? What would happen then? Oscar Wilde, due to his quite insouciant character, was intrigued by the idea of disturbing the balance between these elements, wanting to see what exactly would happen if, let us say, one’s soul and one’s heart were to be separated. This is the theme that also serves at the core of Oscar Wilde’s most significant and most renowned work of prose, The Picture of Dorian Gray.
In their works it is shown that the practice of homosexuality was common and not frowened upon in their circle. Allen Ginsberg was one of the most well known Beat writers and the most known homosexual in the Beat Generation. In his poem “ Howl” , he destroyed some of the gay sterotypes and made it a celebration of this sexual oriention. The poem proved his homoerotic imaginary and it dealt with a lot of censorship battles. „..who howled on their knees in the subway and were dragged off the roof waving genitals and manuscripts, / who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly motorcyclists, and screamed with joy .