The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay

The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay

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The Picture of Dorian Gray presents the reader with numerous possibilities in regards to its theme, yet the one most prominent is the continuous and direct allusion to the Bible as can be seen in the characters themselves, their dialogue, and the imagery surrounding them. As the book opens, two characters are introduced, Basil Hallward, a deeply moral man and an artist who meets Dorian at a party and becomes obsessed with his beauty, which in turn inspires his art; and Lord Henry Wotton, a man of “wrong, fascinating, poisonous, delightful theories” (pg. 56), who possesses dry wit and often becomes a bad influence on those who find themselves unlucky enough to be in his company. Throughout the story the two characters are developed in somewhat subtle, but nevertheless intriguing ways. Lord Henry soon becomes the predominant force active in Dorian’s life, and as the story progresses, it becomes evident that he comes to resemble the devil. Whether this perception is directly visible or if the notion was implanted by the imagery given of him even within the first few pages of the novel, whereupon Lord Henry was described to be sitting on a couch gazing at Basil “in amazement through the thin blue wreaths of smoke that curled up in such fanciful whorls from his heavy, opiumtainted cigarette” (pg. 2). Smoke is rarely associated with pureness or good intentions; in fact, it is often the predecessor of an evil presence, Lord Henry in this case. Further evidence can just as effortlessly be found within each conversation that Lord Henry has with the young man, each time further corrupting his soul. The darkness first found its way into Dorian’s nature with the notions implanted into his subconsciousness by the conversation he and Lord Henr...


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...xt are just two of the themes present within the powerful novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, written by Oscar Wilde. The story of Dorian Gray became the inspiration behind a new age of writing, more daring and defying to the point until the notion became cliché to the public, but the beauty of this specific book lies in the fact that the plot can be infinitely analyzed and new meaning found within each sentence. There is not an explicit meaning to the novel, yet one can assume that the overview is such that life exists to test those who have been fortunate, or rather unfortunate enough to have been born; no life is perfect, and temptation of sin awaits at every step, yet it is the task of the one being tested to resist unbecoming influence and carve one’s own path, while enjoying things as they come rather than becoming infatuated with ephemeral aspects of existence.

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