Dorian Gray Passage: Literary Analysis
In this scene, Wilde creates a threatening atmosphere as he describes Dorian heading to the Opium House at night, a place that represents his sins. Dorian’s carriage “jerks” into a “dark” area, the sudden movement suggesting that the horse is instinctively nervous or scared. And the “low roofs and jagged chimney-stacks” that looked like “black masts” shrouded by a mist of “ghostly sails” paint a nightmarish image of hostility due to harsh words like jagged, and fear with mentions of ghosts; both add to the tension. In the next paragraph Wilde uses diction such as “hastily” and “quickly” to build the suspense with Dorian’s obvious discomfort in the situation and desire to get out of the open. Then, Wilde uses light imagery to illustrate a dark setting which would explain Dorian’s fear. The description that the night was lit by a “red glare” and “lights [that] shook and splintered in the puddles” contributes to the uneasiness because red is often the color of evil and shaking lights can be associated with panic. Dorian’s anxiety heightens as he “hurried” and “[glanced] back now and then to see if he was being followed”. His actions suggest that he is paranoid and running from something, causing the environment around him to appear more threatening. And finally, Wilde’s description of “gaunt factories” completes the image of a foreboding neighborhood because even at night, factories are supposed to appear formidable, not desolate as if they couldn’t stand up to their surroundings.
...How does DorianGray become corrupted?
Is he really so innocent? Does he « sell his soul », if so when?
Various stages of corruption
Dorian is obviously corrupted at first by Lord Henry who tells him his beauty will not last forever, and advises him to take advantages of his beauty: “Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let be nothing lost upon you”. For Lord Henry, beauty rhymes with youth and DorianGray should enjoy his beauty to make new experiences. Lord Henry plays a big role in Dorian corruption since he is the one who put in Dorian’s brain the idea that beauty is the only thing worthy in this world. According to Lord Henry, Dorian can do whatever he wants thanks to his beauty but it will last as long as Dorian is beautiful. Once ugly, Dorian will have to fight to obtain something in this world. These poisonous words lead Dorian to put beauty above everything. When DorianGray looked at his portrait for the first time it is like a revelation: “A look of joy came into his eyes, as if he had recognized himself for the first time. (…) The sense of his own beauty came on him like a revelation”. This passage could refer to the Bible when Adam and Eve eat the apple, then look at each other in a different way since they are aware of new desires... And here the snake would stand...
...beauty over morality permeates the main character’s, DorianGray, actions in The Picture of DorianGray. DorianGray, following the views of Aesthetics, also desires to capture the handsome appearance in his portrait of his youth forever. However, Gray chooses the darker process of selling his soul. Through the course of staying “forever young,” DorianGray leaves his true physical appearance behind and instead puts in its place a monster - himself. The creation of the monster did not occur single-handedly; other influences played a role in shaping DorianGray from the naïve socialite into the grotesque creature. From the artist and actress Sibyl Vane to the repressive Victorian society itself, these other influences served as a catalyst for Dorian Gray’s descent into a monster.
Throughout the novel, DorianGray is acquainted with numerous Duchesses, Countesses, and other female nobility. However, Sibyl Vane, the lowly actress with no titles or riches, inspires infatuation and passion into Gray. From the very moment Dorian set eyes on her, Wilde shows the reader what a profound influence Sibyl Vane has on DorianGray. He first encounters Vane while chancing upon a dingy theater in London, which played numerous...
...they are which causes them to act as if they are flawless, when in reality other people are very conscious of their flaws. In the novel, The Picture of DorianGray, a modest teenager eventually transforms into a narcissistic, destructive man who gives up all cares in the world except for himself because he believes that no one can sees his imperfections, causing him to act as if he is better than he truly is. By showing us the transformation of this seemingly flawless individual through other characters eyes and Dorians himself, Wilde tells us that when aestheticism is a priority, morality cannot exist.
Wilde’s original portrayal of Dorian as a wholesome, flawless young person gives the reader a sense of his innocence, even in the eyes of evil. In the beginning of the novel, Wilde introduces us to three characters: the artist, Basil Hallward, his friend Lord Henry (also known as Harry) and his subject for his painting, DorianGray. When he is introduced, Dorian is portrayed as a young, informed man who enjoys good company and is still figuring himself and the world out. He is brought in when Basil is painting his portrait, and he continues on to say how perfect of a subject Dorian is. Basil fawns over him as a subject and continuously compliments him on how wonderful his work of art is all due to Dorian’s posing. Meanwhile, Dorian is unfazed by...
17 February 2014
DorianGray: A Zombie of Fine Sensibilities
To describe the walking dead all of the following apply: soulless, insatiable hunger, actions based purely on instinct; these qualities combined, with or without the rotting flesh, make a zombie but also can be readily applied to the main character of The Picture of DorianGray by Oscar Wilde. The novel analyzes the value of beauty and pleasure and poses a very interesting contradiction between the traditional views of morality and quality of life. Dorian, an aesthetic young man, is tempted into vice, thus selling his soul for eternal beauty. In the late 19th century, Saul Kripke: a philosopher, proposed the idea of philosophical zombies. His theory proposed a creature visually and behaviorally the same as a human being that lacks qualia, soul and sentience (Kirk 2). While it is easy for readers to simply write Dorian’s worsening acts of societally rejected behaviors as immoral, it can be argued that the protagonist had no concept of morals to begin with, and thus learns the public’s immoral as moral and vice versa. In the preface of the novel, Wilde asserts that “There is no such thing as a moral or immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all” (3). This is a statement that is good to be kept in mind when analyzing the main character’s actions. Subtly, through...
...Sibyl falls head over heels in love with DorianGray, willing to commit her life to him after only two weeks. Lady Henry hardly knows her husband, to whom she has been married for some time. Because neither woman is in a stable and comfortable situation, both eventually take drastic measures to move on. Therefore, in The Picture of DorianGray, both Sibyl Vane and Lady Henry are weak, flighty, and naive.
The weakness of women is found in various forms throughout the text. Henry refers to women as "a decorative sex" and that "they never have anything to say, but they say it charmingly." (Wilde 43) Nowhere is this better supported than during Lady Henry's conversation with DorianGray. Speaking blatantly about nothing in particular, the young woman rambles from her husband's views to parties and flowers. Without even so much as a pause to breathe, the young woman continues to talk down herself, probably not consciously, explaining that though she loves music, she is afraid of how it makes her feel, as if it is a crime to enjoy and feel passion for the arts. She then stumbles into admitting her love for the musicians themselves, leading to question how much she actually enjoys music. It is as if she meets or learns of a stunning new artist and then chooses her fascination with the sound. Following her rant on musicians, Lady Henry finds herself on the topic of foreigners. She...
...novel The Picture of DorianGray, written by Oscar Wilde, the author provides recurring examples of influence to demonstrate that being swayed by external influences is the forfeit of one's individuality which often leads to one's destruction. In the novel, Lord Henry influences DorianGray to the point where Dorian loses all respect, dignity, and integrity that he had and eventually leads him to experience his downfall.
DorianGray influences over unfortunate youths and leads them to their destruction. Finally, the society has a profound influence over Alan Campbell and Basil and they eventually meet their downfall due to the influence.
Dorian Gray's downfall rests in his willingness to sacrifice himself to Lord Henry's
vision. When Lord Henry first meets DorianGray, he notices Dorian Gray's beauty. Lord
Henry tells Dorian that youth and beauty are the finest of all treasures, and they should be
cherished and guarded because they quickly fade. Recollecting the words of Lord Henry,
Dorian first recognizes the extraordinary beauty and youth in the portrait and then is
pained by the thought of losing it. He envies the figure in the painting, and wishes, " If it
were I who was to be always young, and the picture that was to grow old! For that- for
that- I would give...
...they were raised, what type of environment they are in. However, in The Picture of DorianGray the main character Dorian says “Each of us has Heaven and Hell in him, Basil!” (Wilde 133). What Dorian is saying is that no matter how one is raised, and what environment one is in they will always do good and bad. In, The Picture of DorianGray the character Dorian by nature is a humble charming good- natured fellow; however, once he meets Harry he turns into a secretive, sordid, egotistic human being. Dorian is a chief example for a person who contains heaven and hell within them. Dorian commits horrendous and immoral acts these acts not only hurt him but others around him, as an example, Alan Campbell, he use to be Dorian’s best friend then once Dorian’s name became trash they stopped speaking. Dorian murdered Basil and then asked Alan to dispose of him; One Alan had he became so paranoid and scared about what he had done he killed himself. Though, everyone contains heaven and hell within them, Dorian can still be held for ruining the lives of peoples he is acquainted with, such as Lady Gwendolyn or Adrian Singleton he feel to drugs due to Dorian’s influence. Harry can be held accountable for Dorian’s ruin as well; he fed Dorian philosophies and gave him a treacherous and immoral book that led him to a road of...
...and in what ways do you agree with the view of DorianGray, the novel is heavy with moral and spiritual corruption”
In this essay I am going to be disguising how the novel “The picture of DorianGray” is engulfed with moral and spiritual corruption. For someone to be morally corrupted it means they don’t care about what is good and bad and only focus on themselves and what will make them happy, it sometimes could involve hurting and killing people along the way. In this case it could be used to illustrate how DorianGray gave his soul to the devil in return for a life time of beauty; the devil could be Lord Henry who leads Dorian down a road of dishonesty and evilness. Furthermore, if someone is spiritually corrupted it means they have been unmasked to unethical things in society and are prone to do such things themselves. To put this into content with the book, DorianGray caused moral corruption because in the 18th century it was socially unacceptable to have sex before marriage; however DorianGray ruined many innocent women by taking their virginity and therefore cause them to be viewed in society as “ruined”. The first addition of “The picture of DorianGray” left Oscar Wilde being loathed by the media because society was saying it was to explicit which caused him to write the second...