Dorian Gray

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In The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, Dorian, the main character undergoes important changes throughout the novel. In the beginning of the novel, Dorian is immature and naïve. Dorian is very kind and lacks the knowledge of life. However, Dorian meets Lord Henry and becomes corrupted with Lord Henry’s ideas of life. Due to Lord Henry’s influence over Dorian, this leads to the picture changing and Dorian’s realization that he was morally wrong in demeaning Sibyl Vane. Due to the altering of the portrait, Dorian develops a distorted moral conscience. As a result Dorian struggles with what is right and wrong because of his vanity.

To begin with, Dorian’s response toward the portraits change is shown through the syntax. In the second paragraph of page 94, Dorian describes what he sees while entering his home. Notice that the sentences are very long and complex. However, when Dorian realizes that the picture has altered, the syntax begins to include choppy sentences and rhetorical questions. Dorian’s epiphany of the portrait makes Dorian question his actions. The rhetorical questions show how Dorian is struggling with the internal and external conflict. Dorian questions if he was really cruel to Sibyl Vane but still manages to maintain a large amount of hubris by stating that everything was Sibyl’s fault. Thus showing how Dorian doesn’t know what he did wrong because of his arrogance and vanity.

To continue on, Dorian is not just the main character, but also the dynamic character. Throughout pages 94 and 95, Dorian undergoes a lot of changes. As Dorian has an epiphany of the portrait, he claims that he will change his behavior. Although he believes he did nothing wrong, he wants to apologize to Sibyl and remain good. At first Dorian claims that he has an infinite feeling of regret, but then changes his mind and states that Sibyl is nothing to him now. Dorian’s change of mind shows how he is constantly changing and foreshadows how the picture will continue...
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