The crucial theme present throughout C.S. Lewis' "That Hideous Strength" and Oscar Wilde's
"The picture of Dorian Gray" is morality, and how it can be influenced. The main characters in C.
S. Lewis' novel, Mark and Jane Studdock, go through very contradicting paths and join opposite in
objectives, organizations; at the same time they share similar feelings (solitude, confusion,
paranoia) and carry out immoral actions in the attempt to run away from the problems.
On the other hand, in Oscar Wilde's novel, the young, beautiful, inexperienced, naïve, Dorian
Gray; influenced by his new friend Lord Henry Wotton, forgets his moral values and lives in
constant pursuit of individual pleasure. The characters find themselves in different situations, but
prove the same statement that an unstable human mind can easily be influenced and forced into
The main characters in both of the novels, are fooled into the dangerous influences because of their own
youthfulness, naivety, and lack of experience. Dorian Gray listens to Lord Henry due to the lack of a
strong parental figure in his life. Dorian was raised by his rich uncle who left Dorian to live his life the
way he chose to, that made him vulnerable to influences. In C.S. Lewis' novel, The National Institute of
Co-ordinated Experiments (N.I.C.E.), fools Mark by offering him a new job. The high payroll convinces
Mark to join the N.I.C.E. Jane's peculiar gift (the ability to predict the future in her dreams ) makes her
wanted by the N.I.C.E. agents, they intimidate her and she becomes mentally unstable. The doubt that
Jane has regarding the choice between her friends and the N.I.C.E. puts humanity in danger. What looks
like an obvious choice proves to be difficult for Jane to handle under pressure.
Although the main characters in these novels represent the same theory, the environments in which;
Dorian, Mark and Jane act, are...
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