The Picture of Dorian Gray

Topics: Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Literature Pages: 2 (447 words) Published: November 10, 2010
“Aestheticism, Homoeroticism, and Christian Guilt in The Picture of Dorian Gray” James Carroll introduces the article with a definition on literary criticism. He focuses on Darwinian criticism and the aspects the set it apart from other literary criticisms. Darwinian criticism examines behaviors in a literary work to behaviors in “human nature”. James Carroll believes “Wilde does not develop his themes in Darwinian terms, but the novel can still be read and understood from a Darwinian perspective” (287-288). I think the main point of the article revolves around the idea that Wilde implemented characteristics and behaviors of himself in the three male characters he created in his novel. Wilde’s human nature shines through Dorian, Basil, and Lord Henry. Carroll cites Wilde saying that “Dorian Gray contains much of me in it. Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry, what the world thinks of me: Dorian what I would like to be-in other ages perhaps” (290). Carroll agrees with Wilde, but he also points out how conflict emerges from the characters. Carroll describes the novel as being a horror story that in a way relates to Wilde’s own life. The novel has a heterosexual plot, but Carroll believes that the novel has homoerotic sexual feeling. I agree with this idea because after learning the details on Oscar Wilde’s life, I can see how the characters in the novel reflect much of what occurred in is lifetime. The part of the article I do not agree with is when Carroll says: Dorian is not all Wilde, but he is part of him, and the qualities exemplified in Dorian’s career have two main sources in Wilde’s own experience, one an intellectual source, and the other a personal, sexual source. (292) I believe that Dorian Gray is more of Wilde than just part of him. In my opinion Wilde and Dorian shared many qualities. Just like Dorian, Wilde had a fall from grace. They both had bad reputations and were seen as corruptive. I believe that Wilde’s whole view...
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