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... of his own selfishness. Since Dorian is never much more than an empty container, largely filled up, or determined, by the values of the culture in which Wilde has immersed him, does it not follow that his behavior and punishment also indict the culture that has produced him? By the end of Wilde's novel, Basil the artist is dead, killed by Dorian, but that need not be taken to imply that Wilde considers art useless. Dorian's transgressions are those of an entire class, which in turn stands in for an entire economic order, an order that is not, of course, limited to the aristocracy. Ultimately, Wilde's novel concerns a sphere wide enough to encompass and criticize both the elegant circles within which Dorian and Lord Harry move and the grimy contours of Manchester. When all is said, The Picture of Dorian Gray is still with us to expose the "sins" of Victorian Britain.
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