Many people influence our lives, shaping the way we act, talk, and even think. People can affect others in many positive ways, however, they can also corrupt the people around them. In the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray , 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 Dorian Gray to the point where Dorian loses all respect, dignity, and integrity that he had and eventually leads him to experience his downfall. Dorian Gray 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 Dorian Gray, 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 everything!" (p. 28) Lord Henry's words on youth and beauty influence Dorian to make this wish. His wish was granted and the painting will show his sins and his age while Dorian would remain young. As Dorian observes the portrait alter more each time he does something unpleasant, he realizes that he never feels the guilt that coincides with the evil act. This awareness causes Dorian to feel almost invincible because now he may do anything he pleases without paying for it later. Through this, Wilde...
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