Dorian Gray Presentation
Arts purpose and Wilde’s philosophy on Art.
As we know from works such as the Water Babies, Victorian society deemed it necessary for art to be useful, partly to entertain but mainly to morally educate. Wilde clearly states that ‘All art is quite useless’. This was one of his many conflictions with Victorian society. An artist should not make art for any purpose and yet this very book is used in education today undermining his work. Wilde remarks:
To reveal art and conceal the artist is art’s aim.
An artist should create beautiful things but should put nothing of his own life into them. And this leads me on to my main argument,
How much does Oscar Wilde put of himself into his own work?
In a letter, Wilde stated that the main characters of the picture of Dorian Gray are in different ways reflections of himself, he says: “Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry is what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be – in other ages perhaps’. Reflections become extremely interesting to notice in the novel. Possibly the strongest reflection in Dorian Gray to Wilde’s life is Wilde/Lord Henry and Dorian/Lord Alfred Douglas. Douglas was Wilde’s lover. Douglass was reckless and headstrong. He was doted on by Wilde. Lord Douglass was younger than Wilde. Wilde had status and money, Douglass was good looking, very similar to Dorian. Douglass was shaped by Wilde and then he seemed to turn sour against him, for example: When Douglass fell ill with influenza, Wilde nursed him back to health, a favor that was not returned, when Wilde became ill, Douglass sent him a letter, explaining that he would be charging his hotel bill to Wilde. It is Dorian’s own reflection that kills him.
Wilde makes it clear that whatever the reader may find in the text belongs to them. He cannot be held responsible. What ever you may find is a displacement of your own fears/feelings. Just as the picture reflects Dorian’s own...
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