The figure of Dorian is an allegorical representation of this condition.The portrait is a literal visualization of Dorian's private self, the state of his soul, while Dorian himself looks perpetually young, beautiful, and innocent.
The figure of Dorian is an allegorical representation of this condition.The portrait is a literal visualization of Dorian's private self, the state of his soul, while Dorian himself looks perpetually young, beautiful, and innocent.Tags: Maths Homework HelperExplanation Essay5th Grade Student Council EssaysApprenticeship Cover Letter UkOf Mice And Men Essays On FriendshipSearchable Database Of EssaysLiterary Analysis Essay Life Of Pi
Much of Wilde's social commentary in the novel springs from his manipulation of this theme.
People's responses to Dorian constantly highlight the overwhelming superficiality of Victorian London (if not people in general).
Throughout the novel, vanity haunts Dorian, seeming to damn his actions before he even commits them; vanity is his original sin.
Dorian's fall from grace, then, is the consequence of his decision to embrace vanity - and indeed, all new and pleasurable feelings - as a virtue, at the behest of Lord Henry, his corrupter.
Because Dorian always looks innocent, most of the people he encounters assume that he is a good, kind person.
Dorian literally gets away with murder because people are automatically more willing to believe their eyes than anything else.Lord Henry claims to value beauty and youth above all else.It is this belief, when imparted to Dorian, that drives the protagonist to make the wish that ultimately damns him.Once a sense of the preciousness of his own beauty has been instilled in him by Lord Henry, all of Dorian's actions, from his wish for undying youth at the beginning of the novel to his desperate attempt to destroy the portrait at the end, are motivated by vanity.Even his attempts at altruism are driven by a desire to improve the appearance of his soul.Lord Henry creates a domino effect with Dorian corrupting anyone and everyone around him, “Yet these whispered scandals only increased in the eyes of many his strange and dangerous charm.” Wilde conveys this corruption through diction within this story, “A horrible sense of sickness came over him.He felt as if his heart was beating itself to death in some empty hollow.” Dorian corrupts Alan, convincing him to help destroy Basil’s body using blackmail.However, although both men fancy themselves artists at living, their flaw lies in their blatant violation of the rule given in the first line of the preface: "To reveal art and conceal the artist is art's aim." Dorian and Lord Henry both strive to reveal themselves in their "art." Wilde also explores this theme by blurring the line between life and art.Characters in the novel include actresses who live as though they are constantly on stage, and a painter who values a friendship predominantly because the relationship improves his ability to paint.Lord Henry openly approaches life as an art form, seeking to sculpt Dorian's personality, and treating even his most casual speeches as dramatic performances.Most notably, he pursues new sensations and impressions of beauty with the amorality of an artist: as Wilde writes in the preface, "No artist has ethical sympathies." This latter characteristic is the one that leaves the deepest impression on Dorian's character.