Nguyễn Thị Yến Nhung
Hồ Thị Phương Dung
Vũ Thị Huyền Trang
Course: English literature 1
Supervisor: Tran Phuong Hong
May 12, 2009
Group Assignment: Oscar Wilde
I. The books that truly symbolize Oscar Wilde’s modernist thinking
Our group has chosen six works of Oscar Wilde to read. They are The picture of Dorian Gray, The Happy Prince, The Nightingale and the Rose, The devoted friend, The selfish giant and The decay of lying. After discussing, we decided four works: the novel “The picture of Dorian Gray”, the two fairy tales “the Happy Prince” and “the Nightingale and the rose”, “The decade of lying” as the works that truly symbolize his modernist thinking in two aspects: Art and Love.
Firstly, about Art
We choose The picture of Dorian Gray because this is the only novel Oscar Wilde wrote and this work truly symbolizes his writing style “Aestheticism”, and his modern thinking “Art for the art’s sake” which is a strong motif in the novel.
“The Picture of Dorian Gray” is considered one of the last works of classic gothic horror fiction with a strong Faustian theme. It deals with the artistic movement of the decadents, and homosexuality, both of which caused some controversy when the book was first published. However, in recent times, the book has been regarded as one of the modern classics of Western literature. The Picture of Dorian Gray is a tale of moral decadence. Through the homoerotic theme, the writer wants to criticize those who dare to make a deal with the devil for eternal youth and surely these persons will be punished strictly. In the novel, after Dorian Gray trades his soul to the devil, he never appears to age, but a portrait he had painted of himself looks more and more hideous with each sin he commits.
Though the work “The picture of Dorian Gray”, Oscar Wilde emphasizes that life is a long journey of finding out the conscience and seeking for the true beauty which is... [continues]
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