The Picture of Dorian Gray: Review

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English Essay
Oscar Wilde’s novel is an extended metaphor that reinforces his idea that ‘There is no such thing as a moral or immoral book’. In The Picture Of Dorian Gray his view is very contradictory. His theory is reinforced through the changes in Dorian’s personality, the ‘yellow book’ A Rebours (‘against nature’) which was one of the most important novels during the decadence period, which was given to Dorian Gray by Lord Henry. Consequently, leading us to the corruption of Dorian Gray and his inevitable death. Dorian’s change in personality reinforces Oscar Wilde’s idea. This is because Dorian is living a double life, and in regards to the novel elements of his good and bad side is shown. This is shown with hints in the novel and shows the cautionary tale of the novel. As his friends, such as Lord Henry attempted to “spoil” his “beautiful nature” one of his closest friend Basil was cautious this was going to turn young Dorian from good to evil. Wilde does this to show how Dorian’s lifestyle can be corrupted morally and immorally, as things such as the painting make him accomplish the things he always wanted accepting pleasures moral or immorally. In spite of this, Lord Henry threatens Dorian’s fear of the painting losing beauty. Wilde uses this scenario that challenges his idea, because as Dorian is in constant fear of his loss of beauty this links in with Wilde himself as he wants “to be like Dorian” Wilde is always cautious of presenting his homosexuality within the book because the society didn’t practice it. Nevertheless he clearly states his desires for men in the book which doesn’t reinforce his idea as they are immoral feelings that are represented. The influence of the ‘yellow book’ is fundamental to Oscar Wilde’s idea. This is because Lord Henry gives the book to Dorian Gray and once Dorian has read this book he starts to get thoughts in his head which corrupts his mind. Thus shown in the novel as the yellow book as Dorian is now starting to...
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