Dorian Gray and Art's Usefulness

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Google defines art as: (1) The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination,

typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture; e.g "the art of the Renaissance" or (2) Works produced by

skill and imagination. Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, on multiple occasions reveals the importance of

art in Dorian’s world, and even ours. On several different occasions the text brings out the value of art in specifically

two ways. In one, it is used textually and verbally as a medium that can be portrayed in many forms, drawing,

acting, speech and even beauty. In another case, it is a medium used to compare, describe, depict, define, and even

draw the plot, ideals, to life. Both cases, (the reason of creation, and the viewer’s opinion) deal with influential

factors to the themes, plot, characters in the text, and daily events in our own lives, proving to us the value of

art.

“You have brought me to something higher, something of which all art is but a reflection.” (Wilde, 94) This

is a very powerful statement made by the text as it has the character (Sybil Vane, the late lover and ex-fiancé of our

main character) speaking in the context of a lover’s rant to Dorian, proclaiming that the art of acting, is a reflection

of the reality of love- or in this case, her idea of love. She goes on to say Dorian is means more to her than all art

could ever be, which was a huge announcement, considering she had said earlier how much of her life revolved

around her art, acting. This not only brought attention to Dorian, but aroused a fatal attraction to her; “You said

to me that Sibyl Vane represented to you all the heroines of romance—”(Wilde, 118) (this was Harry’s statement on

Dorian’s behalf, since Dorian had supposedly only loved her for her art). Art is also used as a representation of one’s

ideals, thoughts, like/dislikes, morals and ethics, etc.. “… My very art itself” (Wilde, 10)...
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