The role of narcissism in 'Dorian Gray'

Topics: Narcissism, Original sin, Sin Pages: 2 (630 words) Published: October 14, 2013
The role of narcissism and pride in the character development of Dorian Grey in the novel 'the Picture of Dorian Gray', by Oscar Wilde.

-Dorian goes from innoncent, pure, almost christ-like man without sin to a filthy, disgusting sinner who exploits everyone. The original sin pride, which usually is said to be the source of all other sins, gives birth to this new man. In this essay I will discuss how this sin leads to other sins; wrath, lust.... and how these sins affect Dorian as a person, into becoming the terrible one in the end of the novel.

Narcissism is a generalized personality trait characterized by egotism, vanity, pride, or selfishness. The psychological state could be described as an pursuit of perfection. This quest is however a central theme in the novel where art stands for perfection and life for imperfection. Dorian Gray was in the beginning of the book a noble gentleman, a wealthy youth archetype of beauty and innocence. However, this changes when he sees the portrait that Hollward painted for him the first time.

"The sense of his own beauty came on him like a revelation. He had never felt it before. "

As earlier mentioned, the original sin pride is usually said to be the source of all other sins. Dorian’s consciousness is first filled with admiration for himself, and his unnatural beauty. This could be seen as a turning point in the novel, from being the innocent and pure man he gets possessed by himself. The portrait of him developed a vanity and with that – he commits the first sin. Next feeling that is crossing his mind is jealousy, and just like pride, that is one other of the seven death sins. Could it possibly be so that Oscar Wilde had the sins in mind while he was writing the book? Since the story takes place during the1800th century it may actually be so. Wilde was himself a christian and strongly believed in god. Based on this we can connect Dorian with Jesus, a symbol for goodness.

It is aloud to commit sins from...
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