The Picture of Dorian Gray: Character Analysis

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Amanda Boyd

The Picture of Dorian Gray

A key mistake established by the main characters in The Picture of Dorian Gray, is that their focus is always set on one another’s outer beauty rather than their moral backbone. In Oscar Wilde’s time era the society that he lived in was significantly influenced by the way people looked and dressed rather than the quality of their character. Lord Henry is the perfect example for someone who is only concerned with one’s outward appearance and social status rather than intelligence and personal character. “But beauty, real beauty, ends where an intellectual expression begins. Intellect is in itself a mode of exaggeration, and destroys the harmony of any face.” He has accepted as true that you can’t be beautiful and intelligent at the same time, for it will ruin your brilliance. Even Dorian, who was once a blank canvas, is corrupted by Henry’s views and becomes preoccupied with the conservation of his youth and discards all morals and intelligence. “ I know, now, that when one loses one’s good looks, whatever they may be, one loses everything.” His views are completely changed; however Basil tries to save Dorian’s innocence and keep away from the ignorance that comes with being obsessed with outward appearance but cannot stop Dorian from his newly establish way of thinking. The characters in this novel are more focused on how each other appear and present themselves rather than the value of a person as a whole. Lord Henry’s character is full of drastic ideas and opinions, most of which emerge to be wicked to the reader. “ I can sympathize with everything except suffering. I cannot sympathize with that. It is too ugly, too horrible, to distressing.” Although his greatest mistake is that he failed to focus on a person for the good qualities and traits they have rather than their appearance. “Being natural is simply a pose, and the most irritating pose I know.” Lord Henry is blunt with his superficial views....
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