The Picture of Dorian Gray Essay

The Picture of Dorian Gray Essay

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Aestheticism is a philosophy in which its followers practice complete self-indulgence. Aesthetic principles teach that the arts, beauty, and youth are absolute over anything else. People who follow this philosophy are very egotistical, and are extremely concerned with appearances. It is often associated with jewelry, painting, music, and perfumes. (insert quote to prove) All followers of Aestheticism put activities pertaining to beauty above anything else. Their priorities hold beauty above attributes such as kindness, morality, and intelligence. Hedonism is a practice that is very similar. Followers of the philosophy of Hedonism conclude that pleasure is the most important aspect of life. In the picture of Dorian Gray, Aestheticism and Hedonism are very active philosophies used by the novel’s characters. Lord Henry influences Dorian to follow these teachings, and as a result Dorian becomes intensely vain and selfish. The portrait is in direct correlation with the immoral influence and the intense vanity. In The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde effectively uses the portrait of Dorian Gray as a symbol to satirize the adverse effects that social pressures and excessive vanity have on a person’s morality.
This idea of Aestheticism transformed the people of 19th century Europe. The Picture of Dorian Gray was written in 1890, during the height of the Aesthetic movement. This practice and lifestyle demonstrates the values of English society at the time. They were very concerned with self-image, and self-gratification. This lifestyle corrupted many people’s attitudes towards themselves and others. The values of European Society during the late 19th century were very focused on vanity. PROVE THIS WITH QUOTE. This explains the vain an...


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...010. Print. Bloom's Modern Critical Views.
Craft, Christopher. "Come See About Me: Enchantment of the Double in The Picture of Dorian Gray." Representations 91.1 (2005): 109-36. JSTOR. Web. 13 Feb. 2014.
Duggan, Patrick. "The Conflict between Aestheticism and Morality in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray." Journal of the CAS Writing Program (2008): 61-68. Print.
Gillespie, Michael, ed. The Picture of Dorian Gray. Second ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2006. Print. Norton Critical Editions.
Keefe, Robert. "Artist and Model in 'The Picture of Dorian Gray.'" Studies in the Novel 5.1 (1973): 63-70. JSTOR. Web. 13 Feb. 2014.
Liebman, Sheldon. "Character Design in The Picture of Dorian Gray." Studies in the Novel 31.3 (1999): 296-316. ProQuest. Web. 16 Feb. 2014.
Wilde, Oscar. The Picture of Dorian Gray. New York: Barnes & Nobles Classics, 2003. Print.



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