The Picture of Dorian Gray

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ure Khadijah Wiley
British Literature
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Social classes are very evident in The Picture of Dorian Gray; they are represented through some of the main characters. The goal of this analysis is to identify the factors, which influence people’s ideals about social classes. The theme of social classes in The Picture of Dorian Gray is effectively revealed through the main characters Dorian, Lord Henry, and Basil.

In opposition, social classes are seen as possible supplement to beauty, wealth and intelligence. The proponents of vanity would say that it is the reoccurring factor in the book, being that all of Dorian’s actions revolved around a gorgeous portrait painted by Basil. Dorian’s portrait had changed his behavior tremendously making it seem as though he was overcome by his own beauty that he could not judge his actions accurately. “People have cognitive bias. They assume that if someone is attractive, she possesses other positive traits, such as kindness and intelligence,” says behavioral psychologist Stephen Josephson, Ph.D., of Weill Cornell Medical College (Landman par.4).

The actions of Dorian Gray are mainly due to the influence of the high-class society. The upper class in modern capitalist societies is often distinguished by the possession of largely inherited wealth. (Characteristics of the Principal Classes par.2). The influence of the high class had tremendous effect on Dorian. The people associated with the upper class influenced his behavior to become detrimental to his overall mental health; along with that the pressure to be the best and to be on the throne of society eventually lead to Dorian’s demise. The fact that his picture was changing with his actions shows that he clearly had a conscious and knew that the actions he was displaying were inhumane. The dominant class, according to Marx, controls not only material production but also the production of ideas…(Karl Marx’s Social Theory of Class...
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