The Review of the Picture of Dorian Gray

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In "The Picture of Dorian Gray", Oscar Wilde details a young man's journey from the innocent naiveté of a blameless child to the cold, calculated mindset of a murderer. Through it all, the young man, Dorian, never ages, as the portrait he had made for him in the prime of his youth reflects all his sins and aging. In this way, the portrait effectively keeps them [Dorian's age and sins] from tainting his youthful, flawless appearance. The preface of the book contains many recurring themes and ideas later made apparent in the book. One of the ideas given is that art has both significance at first glance, and deeper symbolic meaning. Those who see the meaning, see not the overall general meaning but what it means to them as a person. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their own risk. Those who look for a meaning do so at their own risk. It is the viewer, and not life, that art really mirrors. After Dorian first gets his portrait made, he is quite contented and doesn't notice it anymore than one would a common object in their household. However, he soon begins to see the changes in himself mirrored in it. Instead of reflecting upon his physical appearance, all his sins and aging are visible in the painting. This shows how it is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors. When he is at the artist's, Basil's, house, before he has realized the magic of the painting, he meets Lord Henry, a learned and experienced entrepreneur. Lord Henry treats him as an experiment and begins to influence him, enjoying seeing the effects. Dorian, with his innocent mindset and childlike curiosity, falls under his spell. As he begins to buy more fully into Lord Henry's ideas, he begins to change emotionally. It shows in the way he treats others and how he himself behaves. He falls madly in love with an actress, Sybil Vane. However, he fails to realize that his love was only for her talent, and not for the woman herself. He marries her on an impulse, and upon seeing that...
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