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Guðni Eiríksson Fall 2011
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Jóhanna Ásta Þórarinsdóttir
Table of contents:
The main characters of the book are Dorian Gray, Basil Hallward and Lord Henry which is sometimes also called Harry. These characters will be discussed throughout the essay. Who are they? What effort did they put in the story to make the plot work? Who do they represent? How did they evolve throughout the story? I will try to answer these questions as carefully as I can. Oscar Wilde, the author said himself that all the main characters had something that he, himself had.
Basil Hallward represents all the good in the story. In the beginning he is painting a picture of Dorian Gray, which is a boy that he got to know not that long time ago, they met in a party hosted by Lady Brandon. He obviously has some feelings towards Dorian because he has spent a lot of time painting his picture, and explored every detail of him. When he is asked to show his painting to the universe he refuses because he has put too much of himself into it, and he is afraid that the viewer could read his soul through the painting. Maybe he is afraid that his homosexuality will be found out. “I knew that I had come face to face with someone whose mere personality was so fascinating that, if I allowed it to do so, it would absorb my whole nature, my whole soul, my very art itself.” (Wilde, 13, 1890). Basil is afraid that Lord Henry will spoil Dorian Gray’s purity. “Don’t spoil him. Don’t try to influence him. Your influence would be bad. The world is wide, and has many marvelous people in it. Don’t take away from me the one person who gives to my art whatever charm it possesses; my life as an artist depends on him”. (Wilde, 21, 1890). Later when Dorian...
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