The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay example

The Picture Of Dorian Gray Essay example

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I. Introduction
Thematic statement: Oscar Wilde’s gripping late Victorian horror novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray, delivers a thrilling portrait of desire and regret.

Thesis: Wilde brings Dorian Gray to life in the novel as a malleable, charming and egotistical dandy whose hedonistic pursuits weave a path to moral turpitude.

II. Malleable
A. “To me, Beauty is the wonder of wonders. It is only shallow people who do not
judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the
invisible. ‘Yes, Mr. Gray, the gods have been good to you. But what the gods give they quickly take away. You have only a few years in which really to live. When your youth goes, your beauty will go with it,…Every month as it wanes brings you nearer to something dreadful. Time is jealous of you, and wars against your lilies and your roses. You will become sallow, and hollowcheeked, and dull-eyed. You will suffer horribly.” (Pg. 16)
i. Dorian Gray is a young and innocent dandy whose impressionistic mind is open to influences from older more experienced gentleman like Lord Henry.
ii. Dorian resembles a clean slate ready to receive the first mark, and that is exactly how he becomes influenced by Lord Henry, who is an artist with words.
iii. Lord Henry impresses upon Dorian the importance of being young and instills a desire in Dorian to defy age by wishing to be young forever.
iv. Because Dorian is so young and inexperienced, he deems Lord Henry’s words to be true.

B. “‘How sad it is!’ murmured Dorian Gray, with his eyes still fixed upon his own portrait. ‘How sad it is! I shall grow old, and horrid, and dreadful. But this picture will remain always young. It will never be older than this particular day of June…. If it was only ...


... middle of paper ...


...e destroys the portrait all evidence against him for his committed sins will be erased.
ii. By destroying the portrait, Dorian believes it will remove his bad conscience and constant guilt. Instead, it destroys him.

V. Conclusion

All in all, Wilde’s gallant yet self- indulgent Dorian Gray with his malleable, charming, and egotistical personality slowly wanes from within. This leaves him an empty shell while falsely appearing to others as an idealistic personality worthy of adoration. However, this worship is not enough for Dorian Gray, as only he knows the true secrets of his eternal soul through the portrait. In the face of reality, Dorian refuses to succumb to the dire warnings of his corrupted soul and mocks the portrait. Dorian believes that by destroying the portrait, it will remove the guilt from himself not realizing that it will lead to his destruction.

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